Transformations and transitions in the Mesopotamian divine feminine: the glyptic from the Diyala region (3rd millennium B.C.)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The divine feminine was frequently depicted in the material culture of the ancient Near East, namely in Mesopotamia. These representations allow the identification of continuities and disruptions within the religious and symbolic discourses on the notions of the goddesses’ powers and agencies. Thus, the Diyala region, a liminal territory located in the south/center of Mesopotamia, provides rich information regarding the Mesopotamian hybrid religious thought. Additionally, archaeological excavations led by the Oriental Institute of Chicago, in the 1930s, revealed objects exhumed in different contexts (e.g. palatial structures, cultic spaces, and domestic buildings) that permit the exploration of different dynamics between official and personal religiosities.
Simultaneously, the transversal and polyvalent use of the cylinder seals in Mesopotamia, allows for an analysis of different aspects of this civilization. As an object, they have been studied by History, History of Art and Archaeology, with a specific methodology. Following the recent academic proposals and the work I have been developing in the last few years, I propose a combined approach that intertwines the iconographic and material sources to better understand the roles of the divine feminine, at all levels. I will focus on the 3rd millennium BC, given that the religious plurality identified in the Early Dynastic periods finds echoes in the glyptic data.
Period2 Apr 2022
Event titleOxford Postgraduate Conference in Assyriology
Event typeConference
LocationOxford, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational