Astarte represents the Hellenised form of the goddess Ishtar (Akkadian), Astarte (Phoenician), or Inanna (Sumerian). She was the most important female deity in Mesopotamia through the second millennium BC. She was identified with the planet Venus, and the sunrise. She was the goddess of both sexual love and warfare. The Greeks identified her with Aphrodite as her worship spread through Cyprus. This type of figurine is the most common type of Babylonian votive.
Old Babylonian Astarte and Child Figurine
An Old Babylonian terracotta fragment of female deity Astarte. The goddess is here portrayed nude while tenderly holding a child feeding from her breast. These mass-produced fertility figurines are the most common type of Babylonian votive statuettes, and served as votive offerings or as amulets for conception and childbirth.
Period: Old Babylonian Period
Provenance: Ex private London based collection, 1980’s-2000’s
Condition: Fine, with signs of aging and earthly encrustations to the surface.