Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Mithra statuette, National Museum Of Armenia, Yerevan

Below is my rendering from my sketch of a clay statuette, 1 of 9 on display in the National Museum Of Armenia, Yerevan, said to be of the god Mihr (Mithra).

All of the statuettes were about 150 mm in height, with no paint remaining on them, if they ever were painted.

The statuettes were stated to have been found at various sites in Armenia, from the cities of Artashat (Artaxata), Armavir and Vagharshapat.
The date given was 200 A D, though it is obviously a rough guess for a date.

The god Mihr, a Parthian equivalent to the Avestan  god Mithra, never gained as much popularity in ancient Armenia as the god Vahagn (Avestan: Verethragna) had.
And he, along with other deities, Urartuan, Semetic and Avestan (with their Hellenic equivalents) were worshipped long before 200 A D.

The body and the head are combined from two fragments, though all of the statuette heads wore this "hood".
A few of the statuette were riding a horse that was rearing up, whilst the god had his head turned to the right, facing and smiling.
On those statuettes the costume seemed to be a type of loose silk garment with many folds.
On those and the few statuettes of him standing, he wears this "hooded-coat".

The sleeve of the coat, I am not sure if it is a complete sleeve or a long flap, as seen in the traditional male costumes of Armenia and Georgia.

Also of note, the sword is positioned in the Roman Legionary manner, on the right hand side of the belt.

This type of cloak is seen in Median art, such as in the tomb of Cyaxares, (585 B C) in the autonomous district of Kurdistan, Iraq.

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