Queen Of The Night Relief Analysis

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Guided Art Tour: Ancient Near East and Egypt
The “Queen of the Night” relief, 1800-1750 B.C.E., Old Babylonian, Baked straw-tempered clay, 49 x 37 x 4.8 cm, Southern Iraq. The “Queen of the Night” relief, also known as “The Burney” relief, is a large plaque that “most likely” originated from Southern Iraq. Although it is difficult to determine the authenticity of an unexcavated object, the thermoluminescence testing that had been carried out; confirmed that this plaque had been created between 1800 to 1750 B.C.E. The relief of this plaque represents a goddess supported by two lions, and wedged between two standing owls. The reason why this nude female figure represents a goddess is due to the ringed rods held on each hand, the horned headdress,
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It is well known that ancient Egypt had an obsession with the afterlife, and apparently, their art was not intended to be seen by the living, but for only those who had passed on into eternity. The statue of King Menkaure and Queen had been found in January of 1910, and when uncovered, was found to be in pristine condition. The statue represented the idealistic masculine and feminine traits of men and women, which King Menkaure and his wife most likely exhibited in their lifetime. The statue had been carved using greywacke, which is a type of sand stone prized for its hardness and dark color. The representation of King Menkaure features a fit and muscular build, while the representation of his wife features a slim and also fit build. The faces of both are symmetrical with almond shaped eyes, well chiseled noses, and perfectly shaped lips, although the wife’s face is by far more smooth and feminine, King Menkaure’s shows more masculine definition around the cheeks. The reason it is known to be King Menkaure is because of the headdress and the chin piece that indicates royalty as well as the location the sculpture was discovered, however, the exact relationship of the female embracing King Menkaure at his left remains unknown. It is speculated to either be his wife, his mother, or
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