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“The figure of the curvaceous naked woman was originally painted red… The figure could be an aspect of the goddess Ishtar, Mesopotamian goddess of sexual love and war, or Ishtar’s sister and rival, the goddess Ereshkigal who ruled over the Underworld, or the demoness Lilitu, known in the Bible as Lilith.” —British Museum catalog

Standing on two male lions and flanked by two owls Ishtar—or whoever she is—is nude, winged, with bird’s talons, and crowned by a four-tiered headdress of horns. She’s wearing a broad, beaded necklace above her breasts, and three bracelets on each wrist. She’s holding a rod and ring symbolizing justice and her divinity. Babylonian deities knew how to accessorize.

I 3D scanned the original at the British Museum in 2012.