Electrum vessel

From Ur, southern Iraq
about 2600-2400 BC

Found in the 'Queen's Grave'

This goblet comes from the Queen's Grave in the Royal Cemetery at Ur. It was one of four vessels (including a gold cup) found together on the floor of the pit where most of the sacrificial victims lay. They lay close to the remains of a large wooden box. It seems this chest, with inlay mosaic decoration, had been used to cover a hole made to loot a tomb immediately below this one.

The vessel is made not of gold but electrum (a naturally occurring alloy of silver and gold). It contains green eye paint like the gold imitation shells found in 'Queen' Pu-abi's tomb chamber. The upper part is made of a double layer of metal and the foot is joined to the bowl by brazing (hard-soldering).

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Electrum vessel

  • Reconstruction of the burial shaft, showing the queen's retinue and the ox drivers (1928)

    Reconstruction of the burial shaft, showing the queen's retinue and the ox drivers (1928)

 

More information

Bibliography

C.L. Woolley and P.R.S. Moorey, Ur of the Chaldees, revised edition (Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, 1982)

P.R.S. Moorey, Ancient Mesopotamian materials (Oxford, 1994)

D. Collon, Ancient Near Eastern art (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)

C.L. Woolley and others, Ur Excavations, vol. II: The R (London, The British Museum Press, 1934)

Dimensions

Diameter: 10.160 cm (max.)
Height: 8.890 cm
Weight: 295.000 g

Museum number

ME 121345

WCO24803

Location

Find in the collection online



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