Ancient statues from the period of the Kingdom of Van

Unveil the enigmatic past with a glimpse into the ancient world of Musasir, as we explore several life-sized human statues that whisper tales from as far back as the 7th or 6th centuries BCE. These sandstone sentinels, bearing the dignified mark of beards, were unearthed in what was once the bustling city of Ardini, of the Armenian Kingdom of Van—today’s modern Musasir in Iraq.

One such statue, a life-sized figure hewn from sandstone, stands as a silent testament to the artistry and culture of an era long vanished. Currently residing within the protective walls of The Sulaimaniya Museum in Iraq, this statue, although weathered by the relentless march of time, continues to hold a stoic presence. Most of its intricate details have been smoothed away by natural erosion, yet its stature endures, offering a tangible connection to the 8th century BCE.

This remarkable artifact, found near the village of Rowanduz in the modern Sulaimaniya Governorate of Iraq, is one of the precious few relics that provide us with a window into the soul of ancient Musasir. Its presence in the museum allows us to stand face-to-face with history, contemplating the lives and times of those who once gazed upon it as we do now.

Step into the realm of ancient history with the silent yet profound presence of a life-sized bearded male statue from the 7th or 6th centuries BCE, discovered in the heart of Kurdistan. This remarkable sculpture is part of the collection at the Erbil Civilization Museum, where it stands as a guardian of the past, inviting visitors to ponder the depth of history that Kurdistan encompasses.

The craftsmanship of the statue, despite the centuries that have worn it down, still conveys the dignity and solemnity of the era it represents. The detailed carving of the beard on this figure suggests the significance of facial hair as a symbol of wisdom and status during that time.

These stone sentries, found in the region, are more than just art; they are the storytellers of an ancient civilization that once thrived in what is now modern-day Kurdistan. Their discovery sheds light on the rich cultural and historical tapestry of the area, offering us a stone-carved link to our human ancestry.

Behold the stoic gaze of the Bearded Man from Musasir, whose visage has traversed through millennia to reach us. This upper fragment of a sandstone statue, ensconced within The Sulaimaniya Museum of Iraq, was discovered near the village of Rowanduz in modern Sulaimani. The remnants of his facial features, though worn by time, still exude the wisdom and resilience of the era he represents.

The artifact’s robust material has withstood the test of time, preserving the essence of Musasir’s rich heritage. Despite the loss of its lower half, the statue’s head remains a profound emblem of the ancient world, offering insight into the artistic conventions and cultural significance of facial hair in that period.

This historical piece not only enriches the museum’s collection but also serves as a poignant reminder of the advanced craftsmanship of a civilization that flourished in the 8th century BCE. Visitors to the museum are graced with the opportunity to come face-to-face with history, contemplating the narrative of an ancient people through this sculpted stone relic.

Image Source: Tsovi Nare

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