Solid Gold Mesopotamian Dagger Nov 15, 2013 10:27:47 GMT
Post by Jack Loomes on Nov 15, 2013 10:27:47 GMT
The ceremonial dagger is Sumerian and from the Early Dynastic III period, c.2600-2500 BC, from Ur (grave PG 580).
It weighs c. 34 oz (950 g). The length of the dagger is c. 10 in (25 cm).
The double-edged blade is made of gold. The hilt is made from lapis lazuli gemstones decorated with gold. The intricate geometric design of the sheath is remarkable.
This exquisite dagger most likely belonged to the Sumerian Queen Pu-Abi (died around 2500 BCE), and she carried it on her eternal journey to the afterlife. The dagger was excavated from her burial site in the Royal Cemetery at Ur, Iraq.
Copy of a gold dagger (WA 119296) and it's decorative sheath.
Ur was an ancient city of the Sumerians in southern Mesopotamia, located near the mouth (at the time) of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers on the Persian Gulf and close to Eridu. Because of marine regression, the remains are now well inland in present-day Iraq, south of the Euphrates on its right bank, and named Tell el-Mukayyar, near the city of Nasiriyah south of Baghdad.
The Royal Cemetery of Ur was excavated by Leonard Woolley in the 1920s and 1930s, although there is no direct evidence to indicate that the men and women in the tombs were Kings or Queens. The tombs held a mass of finely crafted goods; harps and lyres, drinking cups, gaming boards and jewellery in gold and silver. Also found was the 'Standard of Ur' a two-sided sounding box with scenes of war on one side and peace on the other and decorated with Carnelian, Shell, red limestone, and Lapis Lazuli. The elite bodies were surrounded by other bodies, possible indicating a ceremonial sacrifice of retainers but later burials in close proximity to the elite burials is equally possible.