David A. Loggie

Woman at Window

This carved ivory woman at the window probably represents a sacred prostitute, Ishtar, or a related goddess. The image is found in almost identical form at several sites in the Near East and Cyprus. Characteristically, the female head, with shoulder-length hair and a badge or phylactery on her forehead, overlooks a balustrade formed by columns. Usually five columns make up the balustrade; in this five-inch-long ivory, c. eighth century B.C., there are only four. The scene typically is enclosed by three or more recessed frames.