Neo-Assyrian Period, reign of Ashur-nasir-pal II (circa 883-859 B.C.)
Iraq, Nimrud (Kalhu)
Alabaster, 93 1/16 x 80 13/16 in. (236.3 x 205.3 cm)
Purchased with funds given by Hagop Kevorkian and the Kevorkian foundation
Photo © Joan Ann Lansberry
From Museum Website|
"In Assyrian art the basket and cone almost always appear in the hands of supernatural creatures rather than humans, suggesting that these objects may have served a magical purpose. Assyrian texts refer to the basket and cone carried by the genies in many of these reliefs as a “bucket” and “purifier.” This terminology may indicate that in addition to serving to pollinate the sacred tree (as scholars have concluded), these objects had a cleansing effect as well."