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North Syrian Ivories And Tell Halaf Reliefs: The Impact Of Luxury Goods Upon "Major" Arts

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Chapter Summary

Ivories of North Syrian type have actually been found in fragments at Tell Halaf itself, and at various other sites: Nimrud, Hama, Zincirli, and Hasanlu, to name the most well known. A number of factors can be adduced in support of the original hypothesis. This chapter offers brief notes as a tribute to the extraordinarily sensitive visual observations and historical perceptions of Helene Kantor. The arguments that support the view that ivory carvings of North Syrian style were the source for the reliefs from Tell Halaf include: (1) the known mobility of these ivories in this period; (2) the identity, not just similarity, of specific stylizations and motifs; (3) the wholesale transfer of certain stylizations, like the flame-shaped markings on haunches, to animals where they do not belong, thus suggesting ?copying" on the reliefs; and finally, (4) the shared general chronological range for the two media.

Keywords: Assyrian period; Helene Kantor; Nimrud; North Syrian Ivories; Tell Halaf reliefs



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