salut virtual museum

Discovering Ancient Oman

Bronze snake

Flattened bronze snake from Salut (IMTO archive)

Salalah, The Museum of Frankincense Land
Bronze; L 16.9, W 1.3, Th 0.5
Iron Age
Bronze snake made from a flattened strip of metal with a small triangular head and tapering pointed tail. Dot impressed decoration along the body. 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)