This Statuette of a Wild Sheep or a Ram was carved from a thin stone pebble, which is still partially translucent, despite the current dark and worn appearance of the surface.
Stylistically, this figurine is characterized by simple and slightly naive shapes : the linear and accurate outlines confer a sense of strength and originality to the piece, which has quite few parallels in the panorama of Near Eastern Neolithic sculpture. This formal simplicity is a constant in artworks of such remote times and definitely attracts the modern eye too.
The sculptor used essential expressive means and a fine modeling to represent the animal in a very naturalistic way: the outline of the statuette is formed by a single uninterrupted, sinuous line. There are many anatomical details: the straight head with small holes for the eyes; the bumps on the back that indicate the neck and the croup; the well-rounded thighs and the legs represented by small stumps (the hooves are not indicated). The long, curved horns, carved in relief, descend to the lower neck and recall the horns of rams and wild sheep. Our figurine can be related to a contemporary statuette excavated in Susa, but in the terracotta example the horns are entirely three-dimensional.
All attested zoomorphic representations in the round originating from Near Eastern Neolithic are of small dimensions. The animals represented are not always easy to identify, but the large variety of the bestiary is astonishing, especially for the figural seals: among the most popular are caprids, ovids and bovids, species that were domesticated for a long time already. Their exact destination is often unknown, but it probably varied from case to case: ex-voto, funerary items, toys for children, container,s etc.
In the Neolithic period, when husbandry and agriculture were in their early stages, small livestock (caprids, ovids, pigs) was of paramount importance in the context of economic life (commodity money, production of meat and dairy products, manufacture of fabrics, etc.), what certainly explains its great success in iconography and art.