- Museum number
- Object: The Standard of Ur
"The Standard of Ur", decorated on four sides with inlaid mosaic scenes made from shell, red limestone and lapis lazuli, set in bitumen. One side shows a war scene; a Sumerian army with wheeled waggons and infantry charges the enemy; prisoners are brought before a larger individual, who is accompanied by guards and has his own waggon waiting behind him. The reverse shows scenes of men are bringing animals, fish etc, possibly as booty or tribute; at the top the same large individual banquets with other men; they are entertained at the right by a singer and a man playing a lyre. The triangular end panels show other scenes; the object was found crushed but has since been restored, and samples retained.
- Production date
- 2500 BC
Height: 21.70 - 22 centimetres
Length: 50.40 centimetres
Width: 11.60 centimetres (end; base)
Width: 5.60 centimetres (end; top)
- Curator's comments
- A number of the lapis lazuli tesserae have a groove cut on the polished face with a rough surface below, suggesting they were cut with flint blades and split (Tosi & Piperno 1973).
- On display (G56/dc17)
- Exhibition history
2019 15 May-9 Sept, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2015-2016 20 Sep-11 Jan, Kobe City Museum, Kobe, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2015 14 Jul–6 Sep, Kyushu National Museum, Dazaifu, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2015 18 Apr–28 Jun, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2012 24 May-30 Sep, London, BM, 'The horse: from Arabia to Royal Ascot'
2010-2011, London, BM/BBC, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2010 29 May-15 Oct, USA, Kentucky Horse Park, 'A Gift from the Desert'
2003 5 May-17 Aug, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 'Art of the First Cities'
2001-2002 8 Nov-24 Mar, London, BM, 'Agatha Christie and Archaeology'
1991 9 Mar-7 May, Japan, Osaka, National Museum of Art, 'Treasures of the British Museum', cat. no.11
1991 5 Jan-20 Feb, Japan, Yamaguchi, Prefectural Museum of Art, 'Treasures of the British Museum', cat. no.11
1990 20 Oct-9 Dec, Japan, Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum, 'Treasures of the British Museum', cat. no.11
1990 28 Jun-23 Sep, Australia, Melbourne, Museum of Victoria, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat no.5
1990 24 Mar-10 Jun, Australia, Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat no.5
- Formerly crushed and fragmented; since restored
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Excavation/small finds number: U.11164 (excavation number)