Female Lizard Figurines, terracotta, Ur (Ubaid culture), first half of the fourth millenium BCE, h: 14cm
From the Ubaid - Southern Mesopotamian Period, 5000 BCE - 4000 BCE
Found in Ur
The Ubaid culture succeeded the Halaf at the end of the 6th millenium BCE in southern Iraq, then spread throughout Mesopotamia. Ubaid culture is known for painted pottery; large houses of tripartite plan for extended families; and lizard-headed figurines of both male and female gender. Figurines such as the above examples are typical. The figure on the right holds a baby on her hip and suckles it. It has been suggested that the brown-painted dots and lines found on some of the figurines represent tatoos, and the clay pellets scarring. It is unknown if the shape of the skulls represents actual head-binding. Similar Lizard-headed figurines have been found at Eridu.
Strommenger, Eva. 5000 Years of the Art of Mesopotamia. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1964, pl 10.