Silver jar

From Ur, southern Iraq
About 2600-2400 BC

Found in the 'Queen's Grave'

This spouted silver jug comes from the 'Queen's Grave' in the Royal Cemetery at Ur. It was found on the floor of the pit, behind the remains of a large chest and among a collection of fifteen fluted silver tumblers nested into each other in groups of five. The jug may have been used for serving wine at banquets, as depicted on objects of this period such as a lapis lazuli cylinder seal, also in The British Museum. These banquets may have been like later Greek symposia with important ritual and social meanings.

The silver to make the jug probably came from Iran, or from Anatolia (modern Turkey), brought down the River Euphrates into Sumer (southern Mesopotamia). It may have been exchanged as part of trade in Sumer's agricultural produce and textiles.

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More information


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

T.C. Mitchell, Sumerian art: illustrated by o (London, The British Museum Press, 1969)


Length: 19.050 cm
Diameter: 12.700 cm
Weight: 842.000 g

Museum number

ME 121450



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