Lyre Fragment



Location: On Display in the Middle East Galleries

From: Iraq | Ur

Curatorial Section: Near Eastern

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Object Number B17694A
Current Location Middle East Galleries - On Display
Provenience Iraq | Ur
Archaeology Area PG 789
Date Made ca. 2450 BCE
Section Near Eastern
Materials Shell | Bitumen

Plaque from the Great Lyre.

CBS Register: Bull's gold head, and shell inlay plaques. Harp of the king. Reconstructed. PG 789

(A is the Plaque, B is the Head)

Shell inlayed plaque found just beneath the gold bull's head in grave 789 of the Royal Cemetery at Ur. This plaque was also affixed to the original wooden lyre and its imagery appears to depict the sequence of decent into the underworld. The upper register displays the hero struggling with mythical beasts; below this, animals serve a funerary feast while in the next register other animals play music (notably, one plays a bull-headed lyre). Finally, there is a depiction of the scorpion man who is thought to guard the underworld itself.

Length 31.5 cm
Width 11 cm
Depth 1.5 cm
Credit Line British Museum/University Museum Expedition to Ur, Iraq, 1928
Other Number U.10556 - Field No SF

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