Bushel with ibex motifs

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A view of a bushel similar to the one described

The Bushel with ibex motifs, or beaker with ibex motifs, is a prehistoric pottery art work originating from Susa, an important city in the Ancient Near East, located in modern-day Iran.

The piece is thought to have been made during the Susa I period, sometime between 4200 and 3500 BCE.[1] The beaker, made using painted terra cotta, is a large vessel with its dimensions listed at 28.90 x 16.40 cm.[1][2] It was a funerary item among the first inhabitants of Susa.[2] The bushel has been identified as an example of the sources or ancestors of animal style.[3] This style is a decorative approach in art with an emphasis on animal motifs. Accordingly, the beaker itself has various animal motifs; the upper register of the beaker is filled long-necked birds, thought to be a kind of wading water bird seen in the region's plains during the winter.[4] The next register features reclining dogs, thought to be of a saluki or greyhound type, which are hunting dogs typical of the region.[4] Most notably, however, below these dogs are the ibex, or mountain goat, motifs seen on the beaker.[4] The goat is native to the Zagros Mountain range near Susa.[4] The ibex is portrayed in a non-naturalistic way, with the use of simple shapes, such as triangles.[1][2] The horns of the goat arch back over itself, forming a circle over its body.[4] The roundness of the horns and the other various geometric elements of the beaker, have been noted to speak to its cylindrical shape.[1]

The beaker was discovered during a 1906–1908 excavation of a Susian necropolis led by Jacques de Morgan.[1][5] It is currently located in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.[1] The museum has recognized that "relatively few beakers from the Susa cemetery match this one in style or quality of craftsmanship."[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Harris, Beth; Zucker, Steven (March 2, 2014). Bushel with ibex motifs. Khan Academy. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Annie, Caubet; Arnaud, Prévotat. "Bushel with ibex motifs". Louvre Museum. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  3. ^ Janson, Horst Woldemar; Janson, Anthony F. (2004). History of Art: The Western Tradition. Pearson Education. p. 85. ISBN 0-13-182623-9.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Harper, Prudence O.; Aruz, Joan; Tallon, Françoise (1992). The Royal City of Susa: Ancient Near Eastern Treasures in the Louvre. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. pp. 32–33. ISBN 0-87099-651-7.
  5. ^ Aruz, Joan; Wallenfels, Ronald (2003). Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. p. 352. ISBN 1-58839-043-8.