As with Egyptian artifacts that depict people: The problem with forgeries, mutilations and modifications is even greater with the artifacts of Mesopotamia. By observation, it appears that there are more bogus artifacts in circulation, than there are legitimate artifacts of Mesopotamia. As with Egypt, the nose always seems to be the target. Note the examples below.
For some strange reason, the figure (Above)
or the figure (Below)
After reconstruction and repair, always winds up looking like the figure on the (RIGHT)
The problem for the "Restorer" (ha): Is that when you are starting with a Wide Nasal Base, and you wish to make a "Pointy" Nose out of it, the result can only come out looking like the ridiculous and completely unbelievable example on the right>>.
The fact that the only time we see people who look like that, is with Bogus or reconstructed figures; (Depictions on legitimate artifacts don't look anything like that), didn't seem to give pause to the "Restorers" at all. They just kept churning them out; by the hundreds, (thousands?).
The wide latitude enjoyed by the re-constructionist is aptly illustrated by the re-construction of a small plaque of the Sumerian demon goddess (or goddess of the spirits) "Lillith" (below). The provenance of the plaque is in doubt.
Needless to say; We do our best to avoid presenting such material, however in some cases, there is no alternative.
The Obelisk of Hammurabi;
This document was unearthed partly in Dec., 1901, and partly in Jan., 1902, by a French team under M. de Morgan, in their excavations at Susa, once the capital of Elam, and later a main city of Persia.
The stele containing the Code is an obelisk-like block of black diorite measuring 7 ft. 4½ in. in height and 6 ft 9½ in. in circumference at the base. It has a large carving on the top of the king hammurabi standing before the sun-god Shamash who is seated upon a throne and holding in his hand the sceptre and ring.
The Obelisk was once convered with forty-four columns (over 3800 lines) of text in the old Babylonian cuniform writing. From the inscription we learn that it was engraved for the temple of Shamash at Sippar, and that another copy stood in the temple of Marduk in the city of Babylon. The discovery of various fragments make it probable that more copies had been set up in different cities.
The Obelisk, now in the Louvre Museum, was carried off from Sippar in about 1120 B.C, by Shutruk-Nahhunte, King of Elam, who set it in his capital as a trophy of his victory. He likely chiseled away five columns of the text to make a place for a record of his triumphs, which were never written.