Stone statue of a woman

From Ur, southern Iraq, about 1900-1800 BC

This broken figure was originally set up in a temple to pray, symbolically, on behalf of the donor. Votive figurines of worshippers provide many of the surviving images of woman from Mesopotamia. They may be depicted alongside a man or, as here, as a separate figure.

She wears a flounced garment which is often seen on figures depicted on cylinder seals of this period. Traces of red and black paint show that the statue was originally painted. There is a dowel hole at the base, presumably to fix it to a lower portion and the back of the head is cut as if for an attachment. The eyes are separately made out of a whiter stone than the figure and inserted in the eye sockets; the eyeballs, which were also separately made, are lost.

The exact find spot of the statue is unknown since it was picked up early on the twentieth century by a visitor to the site of Ur. The British Museum acquired it in 1956.

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More information


J.E. Reade, Mesopotamia (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)


Height: 14.920 cm
Width: 11.270 cm

Museum number

ME 132101



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