Erich Lessing

One victim of beheading was Huwawa (also called Humbawa), the monstrous guardian of the Cedar Forest in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The hero Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu kill Huwawa, decapitate him and bring back his skull to the Sumerian city of Uruk. The head of Huwawa is depicted on this 2.5-inch-high terracotta amulet, dating to the early second millennium B.C. The Huwawa amulet was probably used to ward off disease and facilitate magical rituals (compare with photo of relief from the palace of king Assurnasirpal).