salut virtual museum

Discovering Ancient Oman

Bronze snake

Bronze snake from Salut (IMTO archive)

Salut
Salalah, The Museum of Frankincense Land
Bronze; L 23, W 5.5, Th 1.5
Iron Age
 
Bronze snake with a trilobate head and round, slightly protuberant eyes. The sinuous body is decorated along its length with applied spots and tapers at the tail end. Mould cast.
 
The representation of snakes (fashioned in bronze or applied on ceramic vessels) is very frequent at Salut, as well as in other sites of East Arabia during the Iron Age. The snake symbolism evokes numerous meanings and, in our context, appears connected with water management and fertility, and possibly with metallurgy. (AL)