Baghdad Museum

Omega shapes, similar to First Temple-period tomb headrests (see photograph), appear in a Babylonian terra-cotta. The 19th-century B.C. terra-cotta shows a Mesopotamian goddess, the “mother of mankind,” holding a suckling child. To her right and left are two elongated omega-shaped symbols enclosing circles, and below them are gaunt, crouching figures that may be aborted fetuses. Heads emerge from the goddess”s shoulders—additional attributes of her life-producing powers. The tomb headrests and the omega shapes in the terra-cotta, says author Keel, symbolize the womb of mother earth.