Yesterday we received a new artifact in the lab: this terracotta lion relief from Nippur, Iraq.
Some may argue that this object could be a candidate for the Ugly Object of the Month club. Well, we like him, and one of our conservators pointed out that he looks a lot like one of these wonderful characters from William Steig’s Rotten Island.
This relief was excavated in the University of Pennsylvania’s Babylonian Expedition to Nippur in 1899. Like the Nippur slipper coffin currently on display in the Artifact Lab, it was previously repaired with metal staples and (at least one type of) adhesive, likely around the same time as the slipper coffin.
Getting this relief ready for exhibition in the Middle Eastern Galleries will not only require significant conservation treatment, but also a custom mount so that it can be displayed safely. We will provide updates as we work on this.