Re: [Ancientartifacts] More questions about Syro hittite figures

Hi Tim,
I have several artefacts that have been ritually broken. They are both Celtic, A sword blade and a peice of decorated chest armour. The piece of armour shows traces of how it was deliberately broken up. If you think they would be any interest to you let me know and I can post some photos.
Best Wishes Robin
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, June 07, 2008 7:08 PM
Subject: Re: [Ancientartifacts] More questions about Syro hittite figures

I have seen the same suggestion applied to shabtis - that tomb robbers broke them to avoid the curse of the mummy - but to the very best of my knowledge, this is nothing but fantasy.
Personally, with the likely exception of weapons deliberately spoiled at the death of their owner to prevent theft of grave goods, I have always believed that 'ritually broken' was just a dealer-excuse for poor quality merchandise. 
Can anyone point to a reliable, non-commercial source which dicusses 'ritual breakage'?
----- Original Message -----
From: S M
Sent: Friday, June 06, 2008 4:56 PM
Subject: [Ancientartifacts] More questions about Syro hittite figures

Thanks to all for the help and guidance you provide.


Rolf, I was aware that many people believe that the syro hittite female fertility figures (astarte?) were ritually broken. I tend to accept that theory, but were any of these figurines made out of metal? If so, I am sure they were not meant to be broken.


Did they also ritually break the horsemen? Is the figure on the horse a male god (possibly baal - or his equivalent?).


Are the merhgarh female idols related to the syro hittite idols in that they represent the same fertility goddess (Astarte or Asherah etc.)


Many of the Tel Halaf idols I have seen also have a bird face - can they also be placed in the same category? Do the artifacts from Tel Halaf suggest that they were ritually broken? 


I have seen some Tanit figurines for sale recently - they do not seem to have been ritually broken. I realize they are Phoenician, but it seems possible that ritually breaking idols was somewhat of a common practice in ancient times - to release the 'mana' or powers locked within the idol.


Is it probable that the Tel Brak 'eye idols'  were also ritually broken? I have noticed that many of the stone idols have been broken at the neck (if terracotta - one of the 'eyes' are usually broken). Could the breaks be due to structural weakness - the long body of the 'Astartes' and the thin necks of the 'eye idols'?






--- On Thu, 6/5/08, rolf5568 <> wrote:

From: rolf5568 <>
Subject: [Ancientartifacts] Re: dougie9350 - questionable syro hittite horse
Date: Thursday, June 5, 2008, 12:57 PM

Hi Tony,

Genuine Syro-Hittite votive figures which are intact can probably be
counted on one hand: these figures were made to be ritually broken
and distributed as offerings in fields for fertility or under
building foundations - the likelihood of one appearing on ebay and
not being fiercely bid upon by dealers such as myself is improbable
though of course not impossible. The reason I wouldn't personally bid
on this example is that I know there are many fakes of this type in
circulation and that the appearance of the surface is consistent with
the fakes which I've seen and handled in person.

Newsflash: genuine items on ebay! I noticed a sale via fleabay-live
which seems to be offering genuine antiquities - Estates Unlimited
Inc. - I only looked at the Classical pieces but they looked pretty
good and many appear (I think) to have come from Howie Nowes who's a
perfectly straight and proper dealer in my opinion.

Rolf Kiaer
www.heliosgallery. com

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