Old Babylonian Humbaba Plaque, 1950-1651 BC
A terracotta plaque with high-relief image of Humbaba, facing with hands to the abdomen, legs spread.
Humbaba appears in the Epic of Gilgamesh as the guardian of cedar forest. He is described as a giant protected by seven layers of terrifying radiance and was eventually killed by Gilgamesh and Enkidu. He is depicted with a human body, lion’s claws and paws, a monstrous face, long hair and whiskers. In the Old Babylonian Period clay plaques depicting Humbaba were used for divination purposes and were hung on walls as protective amulets.