Tag Archives: ur

Ram in the Thicket [Object of the Day #125]

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Statuette of a goat standing upright against the branches of a flowering plant. The goat has been identified as a markhor (Capra falconeri), a wild species native to the mountains of Central and South Asia, by its large corkscrew-shaped horns. The statuette is a quintessential example of early Mesopotamian (Sumerian) composite art, with its rich […]

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Ur Digitization Project: November 2012

Field photo number 1617: RAF photo of the Ur ziggurat in 1930

Archival documents of the month Spotlight on Field Photo Numbers 912, 1616, 1617, and 2350) The Enormity of the Task I’ve been on the road most of this month in meetings and conferences in both London and Chicago. At these meetings I and many others involved have been promoting the Ur project and reporting on […]

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Lyre Fragment: Plaque [Object of the Day #105]

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This Fragment was originally found as the front plaque of The Bull Headed Lyre (object #B17694B). The plaque is broken into four panels that tell the story of royalty’s control over nature, funerary ritual, and entry into the underworld. The top panel depicts a nude figure wrestling with two human-headed bulls. This image represents a […]

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Ur Digitization Project: Item of the Month, October 2012

Roll-out in plaster of cylinder seal U.8228, which likely hung from the silver pin B16730.

Artifact of the month Spotlight on Field Number U.8226 (Museum Number B16730) Silver Garment Pin This beautiful pin was found in PG165, a ‘non-royal’ grave in the Royal Cemetery area of Ur. More than 1800 graves were found in this area but only 16 were designated royal; these graves had particular characteristics, most notably a […]

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Foundation Tablet and Statuette [Object of the Day #76]

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  Found in a baked brick box beneath the foundation of the Temple of Enki, at Ur. This statuette and tablet were inside one, of many, baked brick boxes found in the foundations of sites around southern Mesopotamia. They are one of the few that have been well-documented in an archeological context. The objects are […]

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Ur Digitization Project: September 2012

Current object, U.8190, obviously broken at some time in the past 80 years. Scheduling necessary conservation is an aim of the Ur Project.

This month at the Ur Project has been very busy. We have two major arms of activity ongoing, archival and artifactual (if that’s a word). This blog entry will try to display both through a point of convergence: PG 143. PG stands for Private Grave, a designation Woolley gave to graves in a particular area, […]

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Ur Digitization Project: Item of the Month, August 2012

Our current Ur digitization database contains all of the known links between museum artifacts and the information gathered in the field, but around 40% of the objects that were excavated at Ur are missing that connection. Time and storage, and even human error both in the field and in later inventories, have stripped away some […]

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Ur Digitization Project: Item of the Month, July 2012

Photo of the ring showing individual spirals in rope design

Ur Digitization Project Artifact of the month Spotlight on Field Number U.12380 (Museum Number 30-12-553) Gold Ring from the ‘Great Death Pit’ This ring is made of a spiral coil of gold wire, twisted in places to make a cable or rope pattern. The ancient jeweler more than 4,000 years ago soldered the coil together […]

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Archaeology and Empire: The Role of The Great Powers

As a volunteer working on the Ur Digitization Project, I spent time examining and scanning a series of original letters pertaining to the 1922-1934 Ur excavation. As a whole, these historical documents are fascinating; they provide insight into not only Ur, but the political history of the 1920s in the Middle East. One particular letter […]

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Ur Digitization Project: Item of the Month, June 2012

Near the end of May I had the privilege of giving a tour of the Penn Museum Mesopotamian storage to Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods, Anansi Boys, Coraline, and many other excellent books, graphic novels, and stories of all sorts. I asked him what he would like to see and he said anything and […]

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