BAR 33:02, Mar/Apr 2007
Muscular and menacing, though only 4 inches tall, this statuette of a “scar-faced devil” from the Oxus civilization that lived in Bactria in eastern Iran in the third to second millennia B.C. consists of three separate pieces: the torso, the skirt and the legs. It is made of chlorite (black) and calcite (white).
The bearded creature is covered in scales, indicating a serpent-like character, and has a deeply incised scar running the length of his face. A hole in his forehead may have held horns; small holes in his upper and lower lip suggest that his lips may have been bound, making him mute; and a hole at his back suggests he once boasted wings.
The lower lip and one eye have evidence of being encrusted with sea shells, and he holds a vessel under one arm, both of which indicate a connection to water. …