Detail of the War Scene of the Standard of Ur

Illustration

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
by
published on 06 April 2018

This is a detail of the so-called "War Scene" of the Standard of Ur. This detail is the middle part of the top and middle registers. At the center of the upper register, a male figure, taller than all others (his head projects beyond the upper frame), stands and faces right. This is probably the king. He holds a long object in his hand. He wears a leather head cap and a long garment. Behind him, his bodyguards stand, wearing flounced skirts, and holding spears and axes. In front of him, a group of prisoners of war is being led by soldiers. On the left side lower register, Sumerian soldiers, fully attired in leather head caps and cloaks as well as flounced skirts, parade a group of prisoners of war. The prisoners are naked, bound, held, and fallen. There are wounds on their bodies with blood gushes. The artist was successful in delivering the scene of their humiliation and defeat. The depictions, in mosaic, were made using lapis lazuli, red limestone, and shell set in place with bitumen. The Standard of Ur is a (reconstructed) hollow box and its precise purpose is unknown. Early Dynastic Period, circa 2500 BCE. From the Royal Cemetry of Ur, Ur, Sothern 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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