From Ur, southern Iraq
About 2600-2400 BC
Found in the 'Queen's Grave'
This gold cup was one of four vessels (including an electrum vessel) found on the floor of the pit of the Queen's Grave in the Royal Cemetery at Ur. They were lying alongside the sacrificial victims.
There are no deposits of gold in Mesopotamia, and the metal would probably have been imported from Iran or Anatolia (modern Turkey). However, the vessel itself was almost certainly manufactured in Mesopotamia.
Beer and wine were drunk in Mesopotamia. The 'Peace' panel on the Standard of Ur shows the kind of banquet during which a cup like this might have been used.
D. Collon, Ancient Near Eastern art (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)
R.D. Barnett, Fifty masterpieces of Ancient (London, The British Museum Press, 1969)
C.L. Woolley and others, Ur Excavations, vol. II: The R (London, The British Museum Press, 1934)