Samarian Ivory Carving

Stag Drinking Water, Samarian, circa ninth century B.C.E. Ivory, Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Photograph by Erich Lessing.

This naturalistic ivory carving of a drinking stag is from the ancient city of Samaria, a center of early Israelite civilization. The open-work carving is typical of the many luxury items archeologists have found in the ruins of Samaria. The low-relief carving shows a stag quietly drinking water. The sculptor beautifully captures the animals’ gentle eyes, antlers, and musculature.

Stag Drinking Water, Samarian, circa ninth century B.C.E.

Relating to or associated with people living in the territory of the northern kingdom of Israel during the divided monarchy, or more broadly describing the biblical descendants of Jacob.

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