Part of a throne with deity on a bull

Period: Iron Age III

Date: ca. late 8th–7th century B.C.

Geography: Urartu, probably from Toprakkale

Culture: Urartian

Medium: Bronze, plastic restoration

Dimensions: H. 14.6 cm

Classification: Metalwork-Sculpture

Credit Line: Dodge Fund, 1950

Accession Number: 50.163


Urartu was a powerful kingdom that rivaled the Assyrian Empire in the first millennium B.C. It extended from northeastern Turkey into northwestern Iran. Its settlements were palace-fortresses that protected agricultural production and supported many crafts, especially an extensive metalworking industry. In the late seventh century B.C., Urartian centers were destroyed by an enemy whose identity remains unknown.

This object, with the lower part of a figure standing along the flanks of a bull, was most likely part of a throne. From better-preserved examples, we know that the figure wore the horned crown of a deity. The whole would have been gilded. A throne and footstool supported by four deities and their animal companions would have been a potent symbol of the Urartian king's power.