located in an ancient Mesopotamian
city with the modern name of Tell Brak
. It was excavated by Max Mallowan
in the 1930’s and dates to the Uruk Period
, 4000-3100 BCE.
The Eye Temple is named for the odd sculptures found inside. Over 300 statues of various sizes were found. Most of them were made of alabaster, but some were also made in limestone. These statues were called Eye Idols because they had very large eyes. In fact, their heads seem to be only composed of two large eyes. The rest of the body was often depicted in basic square or rectangular shapes, placing the emphasis only on the eyes. These votive sculptures represent a person looking upon the god in reverence. They were commissioned for people and placed in front of a statue of the god or goddess to pray on behalf of the owner. For this reason, the eyes were very large. We see this important motif repeated often in Uruk Period artwork.