Stone statue of Kurlil

From Tell al-'Ubaid, southern Iraq
Early Dynastic period, about 2500 BC

Found next to the Temple of Ninhursag

This limestone statue was excavated in 1919 besides the ruins of the temple at Tell al-'Ubaid dedicated to the Sumerian fertility goddess Ninhursag. A very damaged sculpture was found alongside it, with only the upper part of the body surviving. A cuneiform inscription identifies it as Kurlil, an official in the city of Uruk who had dedicated the image to the goddess Damkina at Tell al-'Ubaid. A cuneiform sign on the right shoulder of this statue, though very worn, can be identified as part of Kurlil's name. The figure is therefore probably another donation by him.

The statue is typical of figurines set up in a temple to pray on behalf of the donor, though Kurlil's cross-legged pose here is unusual.

An inscription tells us that Kurlil was responsible for building work on the Temple of Ninhursag.

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Stone statue of Kurlil

  • Detail of head

    Detail of head

  • ¾ view from front

    ¾ view from front


More information


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

D. Collon, Ancient Near Eastern art (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)

H.R. Hall and C.L. Woolley, Ur Excavations, vol. I: Al-Uba (London, Oxford University Press, 1927)


Height: 37.500 cm

Museum number

ME 114207 (1919.10-11.2607)


Excavated by H.R.H. Hall


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