The civilization of Elam (a word that in the ancient language of Akkadian meant "highland") originated in the local prehistoric cultures of southern and southwestern Iran; it flourished in the southern half of the Iranian plateau from the late fourth millennium BC, until its demise in the fifth century BC. This Elamite statuette of a baboon, shown in a crouching position and holding a container, dates from the third millennium BC. It is made of soft, cream-colored gypsum, with eyes inlaid in steatite. Its provenance has been a topic of scholarly debate, but it seems that the LACMA baboon was imported to the ancient city of Susa or to Elamite regions of southern Iran, and that its place of manufacture may have been eastern Iran or even Afghanistan.More...
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