House-shaped stand: Evoking childhood fantasies, such pottery stands rise as high as three stories. Often the smaller upper story was set back to allow room for an offering bowl on top of the lower story, as we see in this three-foot-high stand from Ashur. Dating to the middle of the third millennium B.C., the fenestrated stand displays oblong and triangular apertures imitating doors and windows. Elaborate ornaments decorate the whole structure. Serpents wind their ways up the sides as well as across the base at the front of the stand, seeming to stalk the molded birds that rest above and below the horizontal beams in both stories.

An architectural variation of a house stand, with the second story directly above the first, occurs in the stand shown on the front cover of this issue.