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Panel component for inlay with sacred tree flanked by human-headed winged bulls
Centimetres: 4.2 (height), 0.7 (depth), 10.8 (width)
800-700 BC
Iron II; Ziwiyeh Phase; 9th to 8th century BC
Area of Origin: Ziwiyeh; Iran; Persia
Area of Use: Ziwiyeh; Iran

Description: Ancient furniture designed for palaces and temples was often ornately decorated with themes appropriate for those settings. Gold and ivory were the richest of these ornaments. The gold designs were created by hammering sheets of gold over a soft base, to produce an image in relief (repoussé technique). The gold sheeting was then applied over the wooden form of the throne or chest.

A scene commonly depicted was a sacred Tree of Life flanked by guardian spirits. In this fragment of a gold breastplate, the spirits are represented as human headed winged bulls that also guarded palace gates.

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