Human Statuette


Location: On Display in the Middle East Galleries

From: Iraq | Ur

Curatorial Section: Near Eastern

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Object Number B16229
Current Location Middle East Galleries - On Display
Provenience Iraq | Ur
Archaeology Area From Gipar-ku, Room C.22.
Period Early Old Babylonian Period
Date Made 1953-1935 BCE
Section Near Eastern
Materials Diorite
Iconography Priestess | Enanatumma | Ningal
Inscription Language Sumerian Language

Statue of priestess Enanatumma dedicating her statue to the goddess Ningal. Heavily reconstructed.

CBS Register: diorite statue of the goddess Ningal. Part of the base, skirt, elbows, right shoulder, lower part of head are restored. Inscript. of Eaannatum.

UE VII: Diorite statuette of Ningal, fragments of.The goddess is seated on a chair, wears a flounced and pleated garment reaching from the neck to the feet; her hands are clasped below her breast, her feet are bare. The head is missing, as are both shoulders and upper arms, the whole of the left leg and the drapery from the right knee to the skirt, and most of the left foot. The workmanship of the drapery is careful but lifeless, that of the hands and feet very much finer. The panels of the chair are solid and covered with a long inscription by En-ana-tuma, daughter of Isme-Dagan, dedicating the statue of Ningal. U.E.T. I, No. 103; C. Zervos, L'art de la Mesopotamie (Paris, 1935), P1. 114 (where the figure is wrongly classified under En-ana-tuma of Lagash and wrongly assigned to the British Museum); H. Frankfort, Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient (London, 1954), pp. 55-6, P1. 57 (where the statue is reproduced in restored form).

Statuette of a seated lady wearing a flounced garment and with her hands clasped together at her midriff. The panels of her chair are covered with an inscription in cuneiform.

The statuette was found badly broken in the temple of Ningal at Ur. It has been heavily restored, with the missing head and parts of the body replaced, based on similar statues. Originally thought to be a depiction of the goddess Ningal, original parts of the headdress were found and they are not the headdress of a goddess, but of a priestess. The inscription on the chair shows that the statuette was dedicated to Ningal by Enannatuma, high priestess at Ur and daughter of King Ishme-Dagan. Since the headdress represents a priestess, the statue is likely meant to represent Enannatuma herself, a powerful woman at Ur who also ordered a rebuilding of the Ningal temple.

Credit Line British Museum/University Museum Expedition to Ur, Iraq, 1926
Other Number U.6352 - Field No SF | 431 - Cast Number | P270014 - CDLI Number

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