Chaplet (beads)

A ‘chaplet‘, or string of beads (the former term somewhat inappropriately derived from the Catholic rosary or prayer beads), is sometimes carried as an attribute by a goddess within Mesopotamian religious iconography. The goddess Ištar, for example, sometimes carries a chaplet in her hand on cylinder seals of the Neo-Assyrian period. Similarly, a goddess depicted within the sculpted reliefs from the Nimrud palace of Assurnasirpal II (883 – 859 BCE) also carries a chaplet of alternate flat and round beads.

Sometimes the ‘ring’ of the rod and ring attribute carried by the more important deities might closely resemble a beaded chaplet – within the Maltai reliefs of Sennacherib (704 – 681 BCE) for example, male gods carry the rod and ring whilst female goddesses bear only a ring or chaplet.


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