Human-Headed Bull in the Standard of Ur

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Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
published on 14 April 2018

This is one of the scenes depicted on one of the sides of the Standard of Ur; this is not part of the so-called "Peace and War Scenes" of the Standard. Here, at the center, there is what appears to be a tall tree, although its surface is damaged. This is flanked by a pair of reclining animals (bulls) having human heads. The human heads are bearded and wear a horned helmet. Behind the bulls, there are parts of a tree (probably a palm with dates). Behind the hind part of the left bull, the head of a felid (probably of a lioness) can be recognized. The Standard of Ur is a (reconstructed) hollow box and its precise purpose is unknown. Shell, lapis lazuli, and bitumen; the wood is modern, as the original wood has disintegrated. Early Dynastic Period, circa 2500 BCE. From the Royal Cemetery of Ur, Ur, Southern Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq. (The British Museum, London).

About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Amin, O. S. M. (2018, April 14). Human-Headed Bull in the Standard of Ur. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Amin, Osama S. M. "Human-Headed Bull in the Standard of Ur." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified April 14, 2018.

MLA Style

Amin, Osama S. M. "Human-Headed Bull in the Standard of Ur." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 14 Apr 2018. Web. 20 Apr 2019.

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