Stone mould

From Sippar, southern Iraq
End of the Early Bronze Age, about 2250-1900 BC

A 'portable trinket factory'

This mould could be used for casting female figurines, pins, pendants and amulets. It is a type widely used in the Near East over a long period of time. Although this example was found in southern Iraq, many of the images correspond to Anatolian styles. This suggests that the owner of the mould may have originated in the north.

The dowel-holes and the pour-channels indicate that this was a closed mould. The missing half must have had corresponding holes which would have permitted it to be dowelled tightly against this surface while the metal was poured in and allowed to solidify. Study of objects which were probably cast in similar moulds suggests that the metal used was lead.

Moulds such as this have been described by J.V. Canby as 'portable trinket factories', and were perhaps used by travelling smiths.

Find in the collection online

More information


J.V. Canby, 'Early bronze 'trinket' moulds', Iraq-4, 27 (), pp. 42-61

K. Emre, Anatolian lead figurines and t (Ankara, 1971)


Length: 8.960 cm
Width: 6.100 cm
Height: 2.070 cm

Museum number

ME 91902



Find in the collection online

Related objects

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore