Drawing By Keel

With horns unfurling like a banner, a mother cow (shown here, compare with photo of drawing found on pottery fragment) cranes her neck to give her nursing calf an affectionate lick. The motif of the cow with turned neck, shown here on a drawing of a faience relief from the same shrine in Knossos where the goat and kid relief was found, spread widely throughout the ancient Near East. Very similar compositions have also been found in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Israel—a distribution that emphasizes the universality of the theme of the nursing animal mother. In the art of Syro-Palestine, especially among ivory-workers active in the ninth century B.C., the mother turning her head to nuzzle her suckling young became one of the most beloved motifs.