The Burney Relief. Sumerian or Assyrian Terra Cotta Relief.
From the Collection of Norman Colville
|c2,000 to c1950 BCE. It shows a winged woman with owl feet, holding noone knows what in both hands (a ring and a staff is one unlikely suggestion; trumpets is another). Around her are owls. She is trodding on two lions, each facing opposite directions. Lilith is the "She Demon" of ancient Babylonian, Sumerian, Hebrew, and rabbinical myth. She is written of in Isaiah 34:14 as a "screech owl," and is a form of apocalyptic harbinger. Her name means "Night," "Lamb Strangler," "Bone Crusher," and other less than pleasant names. She was Adam's first wife, before Eve came along, but she left him because he was arrogant and domineering (or he left her because she is "shrewish"--- I wasn't there, so I will not choose sides in the dispute).|