Stone jar and lid

From Ur, southern Iraq
Early Dynastic period, about 2600-2400 BC

This stone jar was found in the tomb of 'Queen' Pu-abi, one of the best preserved in the Royal Cemetery at Ur. The four holes through the sides of the jar below the rim are roughly equidistant, and may have been for securing the lid with strings through the hole in the middle of the lid.

At the time of his excavation of Ur, Leonard Woolley suggested that Egypt had influenced the production and forms of stone vessels in early Mesopotamia. His theory was challenged straight away. More recent excavations have provided a better understanding for the sources of Mesopotamian stone vessels. Outcrops of limestone, calcite and gypsum are found in southern Mesopotamia and north of Baghdad along both the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Generally however, stone is rare in southern Mesopotamia and had to be imported, either as raw material or as finished products.

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Stone jar and lid

  • 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

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

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

Dimensions

Diameter: 11.000 cm (rim)
Diameter: 11.000 cm (rim)

Museum number

ME 121696

WCO24768

Location

Find in the collection online



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