First Temple Period Ivory (Ornament)

Recent lovely little finds from the First Temple Period (8th or 7th C. BCE) are made out of ivory. These materiele suggests something about luxury and decoration, the power and influence of ancient Judea, at the time a vassal to Assyrian empire which is where these things might have come from. They are also very pretty, which is worth keeping in mind and actually important, not just because of what they tell us about the past, but because they are nice to look at now. They would form a part of a philosophy of ornament relating to a feel for nature and life.

Regarding the Assyrian motifs, as per here: Indeed, the Jerusalem ivories show many similarities with other ivories produced in Assyria. The plaques are decorated with incised rosettes that frame a stylized tree in the center. Others are adorned with lotus flowers and geometric patterns, all of which were popular symbols within Mesopotamia and are found among the ivories discovered in Samaria and Assyria.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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1 Response to First Temple Period Ivory (Ornament)

  1. dmf says:

    sort of primitive in a folksy way.

    interesting conversation around assimilation/identity

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