The intriguing image displays a meticulously crafted representation of a goddess astride a lion, holding what appears to be a fan or a bundle of herbs. This symbolic representation traces back to multiple ancient cultures, offering insights into their beliefs, art, and societal norms.
Hailing from the Ararat Kingdom around 800 BCE, this imagery draws parallels with the Hurrian goddess, Shaushka, and the Babylonian deity, Ishtar. Both goddesses were of significant importance in their respective pantheons, embodying themes of love, war, and fertility.
One of the most compelling features of this artwork is the goddess’s attire, which presents a cogendered theme. She dons half of a long woman’s skirt combined with half of a man’s kilt. Such a depiction is not just exclusive to the Ararat Kingdom; it’s a recurring motif in Hittite art. However, the origins of this unique sartorial depiction, along with the goddess herself, are believed to lie with the Hurrians, an ancient civilization that had profound influences on the cultures it interacted with.
The presence of the lion further cements the goddess’s stature, symbolizing power, protection, and dominance. Throughout history, deities associated with lions often held significant roles in their respective mythologies.
As we delve into the beauty and mystery of this artifact, it underscores the interconnectedness of ancient civilizations, with shared symbols and deities traveling across cultures, leaving imprints and evolving along the way. This piece stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of ancient cultures, their beliefs, and their unparalleled artistry.
Image Source: Gayane Ayvazyan Հայաստան Armenia Армения