intercourse between a woman and a man on a terra cotta plaque from Mesopotamia,
early 2nd millennium BCE (photo credit: The Israel Museum).|
4,000-year-old erotica depicts a strikingly racy ancient sexuality. By Ilan Ben Zion. The Times of Israel, January 17, 2014.
Julia Assante website.
Sex, Magic and the Liminal Body in the Erotic Art and Texts of the Old Babylonian Period. By Julia Assante. Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, Actes de la XLVIIe Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (Helsinki, 2-6 July 2001). Edited by Simo Parpola and Robert M. Whiting. Helsinki, 2002.
Style and Replication in “Old Babylonian” Terracotta Plaques: Strategies for Entrapping the Power of Images. By Julia Assante. Ex Mesopotamia Et Syria Lux: Festschrift für Manfried Dietrich. Edited by Oswald Loretz, Kai A. Metzler, and Hanspeter Schaudig. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2002.
Bad Girls and Kinky Boys?: The Modern Prostituting of Ishtar, Her Clergy and Her Cults. By Julia Assante. Tempelprostitution im Altertum. Edited by Tanja S. Scheer. Berlin: Verlag Antike, 2009.
The Lead Inlays of Tukulti-Ninurta I: Pornography as Imperial Strategy. By Julia Assante. Ancient Near Eastern Art in Context. Edited by Jack Cheng and Marian H. Feldman. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2007.
Undressing the Nude: Problems in Analyzing Nudity in Ancient Art, with an Old Babylonian Case Study. By Julia Assante. Images and Gender: Contributions to the Hermeneutics of Reading Ancient Art. Edited by Silvia Schroer. Fribourg, Switzerland: Academic Press Fribourg, 2006.
Museums are often misconstrued as dusty and lifeless — the least likely place to find something hot and steamy. But the Ancient Near East section in The Israel Museum’s Archaeology Wing features rare erotic art from the land between the rivers (Tigris and Euphrates), which predates India’s Kama Sutra by over 1,500 years. Such astonishingly intimate works reveal a side to the ancient Near East that contrasts sharply with the modesty prevalent in the modern Middle East.
Babylonian clay plaque on display at The Israel Museum depicts a couple having
sex. (photo credit: The Israel Museum).|
of Canaanite scarab from Tel el-Far’a|
shows a man approaching a woman from behind.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Dr. Daphna Ben Tor,
curator of Egyptian Archaeology at The Israel Museum).