Erich Lessing

Lions, dogs and other predators viciously attack hapless herbivores on the gold dagger sheath from the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun shown in the previous photo. Similarly aggressive scenes of men hunting beasts and lions preying on griffins and antelopes are found on the busy outer band of a 7-inch-wide, 14th-century B.C.E. gold bowl from Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra, Syria). This gold bowl has all the elements of what author Marian Feldman calls the Late Bronze Age international koiné style: It shows combat scenes with Egyptian violence and Mesopotamian otherworldliness, as well as scenes of animals flanking a “tree of life” (on the two inner bands). Late Bronze Age kings may well have read these images as representing their dual role of maintaining the order of the realm and acting as an emissary to the gods.