University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Dressing Queen Puabi


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Film Description:Much of what we know of the people and cultures of early Mesopotamia comes from the material uncovered in the Royal Cemetery at Ur by Sir Leonard Woolley in 1922. Inhabited from about 5500 BCE, Ur was finally abandoned around 400 BCE because of difficulties with its water supply. In between, Ur was a politically and economically powerful center on the Euphrates, particularly during the 3rd millennium BCE, with easy access to the Persian Gulf and long-distance sea trade.

Queen Puabi probably reigned prior to the time of the First Dynasty of Ur. Her remains were uncovered in burial PG 800 along with a diverse group of objects includes items from her dressing table, such as her cosmetics. Her name and title are known from the short inscription on one of three cylinder seals found on her person.

In early Mesopotamia, women, even elite women, were generally described in relation to their husbands. The fact that Puabi is identified without the mention of her husband may indicate that she was queen in her own right.

Read more about Queen Puabi on Iraq's Ancient Past website at http://www.penn.museum/sites/iraq/?page_id=61

In this video, the Penn Museum exhibit team, Conservator Lynn Grant, and Near East Section Keeper Katy Blanchard assemble Queen Puabi as she may have appeared 5,000 years ago.
Video Category:Educational
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