Cylinder Seal

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Object Number:30-12-2
Current Location: Middle East Galleries
Currently On Display
Provenience: Iraq
Archaeology Area: PG 1237 | Old Body #16, New Body #7
Locus: Pg 1237/16
Period: Early Dynastic IIIB
Date Made: 2500-2340 BCE
Early Date: -2500
Late Date: -2340
Section:Near Eastern
Materials:Lapis Lazuli
Height: 4.5 cm
Outside Diameter:1.5 cm
Credit Line:British Museum/University Museum Expedition to Ur, Iraq, 1930
Other Number:U.12374 - Field No SF
B17721 - Old Museum Number
P270232 - CDLI Number


CBS Register. Ur 1928-9, Season VII. Cylinder Seal. lapis. Dumu kisal. Symposium, harp. PG 1237. Body 16 crossed out of for Body 7. Belongs to group nos. 703 to 709.

This seal was found under the body of "individual no. 7," who was collapsed in the corner of the death pit near the cluster of three magnificent lyres - one of gold, one of silver, and one a large bull effigy lyre of mixed materials. In addition to the seal, the victim was rather sedately adorned, wearing only gold earrings, hair wires, a gold pin with a fluted lapis lazuli ball head, three gold fingers, a "dog collar" necklace of gold and lapis lazuli, and a lapis lazuli bead necklace. The seal is a finely carved double-register banquet scene that carries an inscription giving a title and personal name Dumukisal. Combining elements of other banquet seals, here three seated celebrants are show in the upper register: two face each other and drink through tubes from a large vessel; the other raises her hand in a gesture to a standing servant. Curiously, the inscription is placed between these two figures, without regard for their obvious narrative coherence. Across the lower register is an elaborate scene of dancing, singing, and musical performance. From the left, a man carrying a staff over his shoulder is preceded by two females clapping cymbals. This group faces a woman playing a bull lyre. Beneath the instrument, two small figures dace; their diminutive size had been interpreted either as a portrayal of dwarfs or as an attempt to show the figures in front of the musical instrument. Facing the performers is a group of three additional female figures with cymbals.

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Ancient Mesopotamia: The Royal Tombs of Ur (1983 - 1998) View Objects in Exhibition
Five Thousand Years of Vanity (06 Jan 1944 - 28 Feb 1944) View Objects in Exhibition
Iraq's Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur's Royal Cemetery ( Oct 2009 - Jan 2017) View Objects in Exhibition
Middle East Galleries (21 Apr 2018) View Objects in Exhibition


[Book] Galpin, Francis W. 1937. The Music of the Sumerians and their Immediate Sucessors the Babylonian and Assyrians.. Cambridge University Press. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: Plate II:5View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Catalogue] Horne, Lee C., and Zettler, Richard L. 1998. Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur.. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: Page 79/Figure 19View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] Dorling Kindersley Limited. 2014. History of the World in 1,000 Objects.. London. Dorling Kindersley Limited. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 24View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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