Munthandel G. Henzen LID VAN DE NVMH


Archeologie > Prehistorie en Vroege Culturen
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ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBJECT - NEOLITHICUM - ANATOLIA - Polished stone axe, 6th / 3rd millennium BC

height circa 35mm. ; weight 16,51gr.
found in south-east Anatolia
grey stone


ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBJECT - NEOLITHICUM - ANATOLIA / MESOPOTAMIA - Polished stone amulet, 5th / 3rd millennium BC

height circa 71mm. ; weight 29,42gr.
ex. A.v.L. Private collection, since 1962 in Utrecht.
grey stone


NEAR EAST - INDUS VALLEY - BALOCHISTAN - MELUHHA CIVILIZATION - Terracotta fertility idol, circa 3000-2500 BC

length 10,8cm. ; weight 41,27gr.

Seated Mother Goddess; stylized female idol with mask-like head.
Narrow waist. In a sitting position, arms parallel to body and legs.
Mehrgarh style, terracotta, Balochistan (Pakistan)

provenance : old private collection from France.
Acquired on the art market in the 1970s/1980s.


The name "Balochistan" is generally believed to derive from the name of the Baloch people. Since the Baloch people are not mentioned in pre-Islamic sources, it is likely that the Baloch were known by some other name in their place of origin and that they acquired the name "Baloch" only after arriving in Balochistan sometime in the 10th century. Johan Hansman relates the term "Baloch" to Meluḫḫa, the name by which the Indus Valley Civilisation is believed to have been known to the Sumerians (2900–2350 BC) and Akkadians (2334–2154 BC) in Mesopotamia. Meluḫḫa disappears from the Mesopotamian records at the beginning of the second millennium BC.

Indus Valley Civilization:

The Indus Valley Civilization was rediscovered in 1920-21 when engraved seals were unearthed in the Punjab province of Pakistan at a site called Harappa, a name which is often used to describe the civilization as a whole. Subsequent excavations at Harappa revealed the size and complexity of this ancient city. Other sites were unearthed as well along the banks of the Indus River, including the equally large city of Mohenjodaro. Through archaeological and historical research, we can now say for certain that a highly developed urban civilization flourished in the Indian subcontinent over five thousand years ago. Though the Indus Valley script remains undeciphered, the numerous seals, statuary, and pottery discovered during excavations, not to mention the urban ruins, have enabled scholars to construct a reasonably plausible account of the Indus Valley civilization.

Some kind of centralized state, and certainly fairly extensive town planning, is suggested by the layout of the great cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro. The same kind of burnt brick appears to have been used in the construction of buildings in cities that were several hundred miles apart. The weights and measures also show a very considerable regularity, suggesting that these disparate cities spread out across a vast desert shared a common culture. The Indus Valley people domesticated animals, and harvested various crops, such as cotton, sesame, peas, barley, and cotton. Indus Valley seals have been excavated in far away cities such as Sumer, suggesting that a wealthy merchant class existed, engaged in extensive trading throughout the subcontinent and the Near East.

Other than the archaeological ruins of Harappa and Mohenjodaro, these seals provide the most detailed clues about the character of the Indus Valley people. Bulls and elephants appear on these seals, but the horned bull, most scholars agree, should not be taken to be congruent with Nandi, for the horned bull appears in numerous Central Asian figures as well. The women portrayed on the seals are shown with elaborate coiffures, sporting heavy jewelry, suggesting that the Indus Valley people were an urbane people with cultivated tastes and a refined aesthetic sensibility. A few thousand seals have been discovered in Indus Valley cities, showing some 400 pictographs: too few in number for the language to have been ideographic, and too many for the language to have been phonetic.

Considering the size of this civilization, it is puzzling that no monumental art remains, glorifying the names of the powerful rulers or wealthy merchants who could have afforded to construct such memorials. Instead, we find an emphasis on small, elegant art and sophisticated craft technology. Three- dimensional representations of living beings in the Harappan world are confined to, with a few exceptions, small terracotta figurings. Ranging in size from a few inches to a foot in height, the anthropomorphic and animal terracotta figurines from Harappa and other Indus Civilization sites offer a rich reflection of Harappan life in the Bronze Age. Traditionally, the terracotta figurines have been described as toys. Other objects such as carts, wheels, and cots discovered alongside the figurines has only reinforced this notion. However, whether these figures were idols meant to be worshipped or merely charming representations of daily life meant to entertain children remains debatable.

Indus Valley terracotta human figurines:

Anthropomorphic and male and female human forms have been excavated from several sites associated with the Indus Valley Civilization. These are subset of the various figurines that were made of fired clay or terracotta that contained sand, shell fragments, mica particles, and vegetable material. Despite variations in size, most are similar in size to the Indus Valley terracotta animal figurines and range from approximately 6 centimeters up to 30 centimeters, they have overarching similarities in compositional characteristics with specific differentiators based on their period and region of origin.

Evidence suggests that some early Indus figurines (excavated mostly from the Mehrgarh and Nausharo sites), date as far back as c. 7000 BC, prior to the Early Harrapan Phase. The large hoard of figurines excavated from the Harappa and Mohenjo-daro sites in Pakistan suggest that their production reached a peak during the Mature Harappan Phase of the Civilization. The diversity in the compositional aspects of the figurines from both phases also alludes to possible trade and movement of people between present-day India and Iran.

Although there is an overarching compositional continuity between these depictions and those from earlier periods, the newer figurines exhibit much greater diversity and distinctiveness in terms of their subject matter and style. Those from the Early Harappan Phase and earlier commonly featured seated females with wide hips, conical or disc-shaped breasts, joined feet and simple, unarticulated faces (such as the figure above). Leading up to the Mature Harappan Phase, however, there was a transition from seated to standing postures, with generic anthropomorphic and male figurines featuring more prominently,though less so than female figurines.

Scholars have classified the female figurines from the mature phase into two broad categories: the early classic form and the later, figure-eight form. The early classic figures typically feature flat bodies adorned with attached ear ornaments and neck ornaments, such as chokers and necklaces, embellished with beads or pendants. The figure-eight forms are more rounded and lack ear ornaments and mouths.

These two categories, although differing in their overall form, bear several common characteristics. The standing females are usually depicted holding an infant or with their elbows arched outwards and their hands on their hips. Also typifying this group of figurines are conical breasts and mostly uncovered torsos that are girded at the hips with a decorative belt and a short skirt-like piece of clothing that covers the genitalia. The most notable features, however, are the elaborate hairstyles and the distinctive fan-shaped headdresses, which has been of particular interest to scholars. In contrast to most hairstyles and headwear that were typically devoid of decoration, the fan-shaped headdresses, the real-life equivalents of which were thought to have been fashioned out of textiles or even hair, were multiform due to the application of various decorations like cones, flowers, ropes, tiaras, panniers and double-voluted ornaments.

These figurines were hand modeled, likely using three techniques: pinching, used to create sharper ridges for facial features; appliqué, used to attach clay shapes, for eyes, eyebrows, lips, breasts and jewelry, to the main figure; and incision, used to produce designs and patterns by carving into wet clay. Interestingly, the figurines typically had flattened backs and uneven feet, possibly an intentional feature, which rendered them unable to stand unsupported and allowed only frontal viewing.

Differing interpretations of this group of terracotta objects, particularly the female figurines, offer different attributions. Some scholars propose a cultural or ceremonial significance and others cite religious symbolisms, some claiming the figurines to be representations of a Mother Goddess cult. As with so many other cultural artifacts uncovered from the Indus Valley sites, the purpose and meaning of the terracotta human figurines remains a mystery, in large part due to the fact that the Indus script has not yet been fully deciphered.

Figurines of women are perhaps the most plentiful of the figurines in the Indus Valley. The reason for this is unknown, but some researchers have proposed that women were particularly revered in that society, perhaps relating to their roles as mothers. Studies of burial sites at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa have shown that a man was often buried with his wife′s family. The female figurines are easily distinguished by a curving, pear-shaped body with large protruding breasts. The effect of these female figurines is two-fold: it emphasizes the beauty, and sexual nature of the female; but at the same time, cherishes the nurturing, motherly nature of the female. The figurines of the women tend to also be heavily ornamented.


ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBJECT - EARLY CULTURES OF THE NEAR & MIDDLE EAST- Phallus pendant made of grey stone, 2nd millennium BC

Length 45mm. ; weigth 1,36gr.
Very interesting and rare object.


ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBJECT - LATE BRONZE AGE - LURISTAN - Luristan Bronze Finial with Two Ibexes, circa 1200 - 800 BC

length circa 14,5cm. ; weight 86,60 gram

Very finely worked attachment with two ityphallic male ibexes standing on their hind legs and holding to each other with their forepaws. The bodies slender and tubular, the head with round eyes, a cylindrical snout with chin beard and long, burled horns. Both with stumpy tails. There is a circular opening where the animals′ legs are touching each other, where possibly a wooden (ceremonial) staff ran through.

provenance; German private collection. Acquired on the Munich art market in the 1990′s
very attractive dark green patina


ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBJECT - LATE BRONZE AGE - LURISTAN - Bronze Cloak Pin with poppy finial, circa 1000 - 600 BC

length circa 15,5cm. ; weight circa 58,88 gram

A bronze cloak pin cast via the lost wax (cire perdue) technique. Present with a slender body, a trio of nodules protruding from above recessed ringlets, a compressed spherical body resembling a poppy plant with incised grooves, and a spool-shaped cap. Such elaborate fashion articles were used to fasten the clothes of the ancients prior to the development of fibulae (brooches).

provenance; Dutch private collection. Acquired on the Dutch art market in the 1970/1980′s

very attractive dark patina


ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBJECT - LATE BRONZE AGE - LURISTAN - Bronze short sword, circa 1200 - 900 BC

Length circa 50,6cm.
provenance; German private collection



Ø circa 10,5cm. ; weight circa 78 gram

A nice heavy bronze bracelet; the crescent-shaped body is formed by a single thick rod of bronze, with a rich incised decoration. Smooth light brown patina; superb condition.

provenance; German private collection. Acquired on the Munich art market in the 1990′s




Length 15,7cm. ; weigth circa 162 gram

In a wonderful condition with green patina.

provenance; German private collection




circa 28x25mmx19mm. ; weight 11,90 gram
reddish brown limestone
Pierced along the entire length, to be able to wear on a cord

stamp image: standing person (Kinnaru) with Lyre, behind a standing bird,
in front a v-shaped object with protruding antennae, which symbolizes
the sacred tree

This seal type belongs to the so-called Lyre-Player Group seals. These are related to the Divine Kinnaru, originally an Ugaritic god from the Mesopotamia / Near East region, who functioned as the deification of a string instrument, most likely the lyre. It is sometimes assumed that a mythical king of Cyprus mentioned in the Iliad, Kinyras, was derived from him. This god was widely worshiped in Mesopotamia, eastern Anatolia, Syria and the Levant, and is depicted on seals such as this one.

Such seals have been found in Cilicia, which can be dated to the 8th century BC and should be connected with the traditions allying Kynyras to Cilicia. Such a geographical association should be surprising neither for Kinyras himself, not the seals′ imagery, given the influence of several factors: the existence of Kinnaru of Ugarit and probably other regional Syrian cognates; the Syro-Hurrian adstrate in Cilicia/Kizzuwatna; the persistence of Hittite royal ideology in Neo-Hettite states; and Phoenician influence in Cilicia. The Lyre-Player Group was first identified by Christian Blinkenberg in 1931, who described 14 specimens from Lindos (Rhodos) and another 31 images from various collections; he rather acutely detected a blend of Cypriot and ′late Hittite′ elements, and made several observations still generally accepted; the seals were the product of a single workshop operating over a limited period in the eighth century BC. Because initially most specimens were found on Rhodes, it was assumed that they were produced there. Later, however, more specimens were found in Cilicia, so that production is now suspected in the area Cilicia/Northern-Syria, what used to be the neo-Hittite principality of Que (or Hiyawa/Adanawa).

reference literature;
- Franklin John Curtis;  Theios Aoidos. A New Reading of the Lyre-Player
Group of Seals. In: Gaia : revue interdisciplinaire sur la Grèce Archaïque,
numéro 18, 2015. pp. 405-418
- Serrano, L., Gonzales de Canales, F., Llompart, J. and Montano, A. 
Scaraboid seal of the “Lyre-Player Group” at the Huelva Museum

Provenance: German private collection. Acquired on the German
art market in the 1980′s / 1990′s

Highly interesting and rare seal stamp.


ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBJECT - EGYPT - LATE PERIOD 26th TO 30th DYNASTY, CIRCA 664-332 BC - Bronze figure of Osiris

weight circa 328gr. ; height 13,00 cm (placed on wooden base of 4,80cm)
The mummiform figure holding the crook and flail
and wearing the atef-crown and frontal uraeus.

This magnificent bronze votive sculpture represents Osiris, god of fertility, king of the dead, and ruler of eternity. Many centuries ago, it might have been found inside a temple, placed as an offering to the mighty deity. He is depicted wrapped as a mummy, holding a crook and flail. These two attributes act as scepters symbolic of his divine authority over the forces of nature. He wears the double plume headdress and a false braided beard with a curved tip. This type of beard is a symbol of divinity while the headdress associates the god with the ruling pharaohs. The legend of Osiris states that his brother Seth, overcome by jealousy, murdered him and tore his body into fourteen parts, scattering them across Egypt. Isis, the faithful wife of Osiris, traversed the land and gathered all the parts of his body. She then cast a spell that resurrected her deceased husband for one night, during which their child, Horus, was conceived. Thus, Osiris was the central figure of Egyptian religion, the god who had triumphed over death and therefore offered the hope of rebirth and resurrection to all men. This striking image of the god in his royal mummiform speaks of a universal mystery, the unanswered questions for which no living man has a sure answer.

Provenance: French private collection, acquired in the 1970′s on the Paris art market.
Wonderful piece of art, with an attractive dark brown patina.



Made of faience with Turkish blue glaze; height 65mm. - weight 8,02gr.

In Egyptian mythology, Imset (also transcribed Imseti, Amset, Amsety, Mesti, and Mesta) is a funerary deity, one of the Four sons of Horus, who are associated with the canopic jars, specifically the one that contained the liver. Because the Egyptians saw the liver as the seat of human emotion, the depiction of Imset was, unlike his brothers, not associated with any animal but always depicted as a mummified human. Isis is considered his protector, and is himself considered patron of the direction of the south. In ancient Egypt, the liver was thought to be the seat of emotion. A broken heart or death due to excess of emotions was associated with the deity. Thus the name of this deity became "The kindly one", which is "Imset" in ancient Egyptian.

provenance: old German private collection


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