Mari (Tell Harir), Nini-zaza temple
Late Early Dynastic period, (around 2600-2350 BC)
Damascus Museum, Inventory: S 2071 (M.2416/ 2365)
Height 26 cm, cushion diameter 11.6 cm
Catalogue of Syrian Archeological exhibition" Ebla to Damascus" 1985, nr. 66.
This sculpture of the seated singer represents one of the major artistic works of Syrian art during the Late Early Dynastic period (Early Bronze Age). It was found in the temple of Nini-zaza which was one of the main deities of Mari. The singer named "Ur-Nanshe", after a cuneiform inscription on her shoulders, is depicted dressed wearing a robe. She is seated cross-legged resting on a low round cushion. The body is carefully sculpted, and the face details are clear and betray a delicate touch. The wavy hair falls back in long strands ending in curls, and eyes inlays with shell and Lapis- Lazuli are well preserved. Unfortunately, parts of the chest and the arms are lost. Noteworthy, cuneiform archive of Mari convoyed important information about the high social and religious status of the singers in several kingdoms such as Ebla and Mari across the Ancient east