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    Ram in a Thicket and Headdress

    прим. 2600 -2400 гг. до н.э.

    Головной убор и украшения из золота, ляпис-лазури и абсидиана.
    III Раннединастический период, около 2600 гг. до н.э.

    Headdress and necklace of gold, lapis lazuli and cornelian

    From Grave 800, the Royal Cemetery of Ur, southern Iraq
    Early Dynastic III, about 2600-2400 BC

    Dug outside the walls of the city, the so-called 'Royal Cemetery' at Ur was built over by the walls of Nebuchadnezzar's larger city about 2,000 years later. Some 1,840 burials were found, dating to between 2600 BC and 2000 BC. They ranged from simple inhumations, with the body rolled in a mat, to elaborate burials in domed tombs reached by descending ramps. Seventeen of these early burials Leonard Woolley, the exacavator, called 'Royal Graves' because of the rich grave-goods and the bodies of retainers, apparently sacrificed.

    This jewellery comes from one of the richest tombs at Ur. It was the burial place of Pu-abi, her name recorded on a fine cylinder seal of lapis lazuli. She lay on a wooden bier, a gold cup near her hand, the upper part of her body entirely hidden by multi-coloured beads. She wore an elaborate headdress. Buried with her were the bodies of 25 attendants, laid out in rows, and oxen which had been harnessed to vehicles. An adjacent tomb with no principal occupant had 65 attendants. Even more bodies were found in the tomb known as the Great Death Pit, which was occupied by six servants, four women harpists and 64 other women, dressed in scarlet and adorned with gold, silver, lapis lazuli and cornelian. The attendants may have voluntarily taken poison and were buried while unconscious or dead.

    Останки из гробницы царевны Пуаби.

    The 'Ram in a Thicket'

    From Ur, southern Iraq, about 2600-2400 BC

    This is one of an almost identical pair discovered by Leonard Woolley in the 'Great Death Pit', one of the graves in the Royal Cemetery at Ur. The other is now in the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia. It was named the 'Ram in a Thicket' by the excavator Leonard Woolley, who liked biblical allusions. In Genesis 22:13, God ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, but at the last moment 'Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son'.

    The 'ram' is more accurately described as a goat, and he reaches up for the tastiest branches in a pose often adopted by goats. Goats and sheep in the Near East were among the earliest animals to be domesticated. They were an everyday feature of agricultural life and are regularly depicted by artists in many different ways.

    The figure had been crushed flat by the weight of the soil and the wooden core had perished. Wax was used to keep the pieces together as it was lifted from the ground, and it was then pressed back into shape. The ram's head and legs are covered in gold leaf, its ears are copper (now green), its twisted horns and the fleece on its shoulders are of lapis lazuli, and its body fleece is made of shell. Its genitals are gold. The tree is covered in gold leaf, with golden flowers, the whole supported on a small rectangular base decorated with a mosaic of shell, red limestone and lapis lazuli.

    The tube rising from the goat's shoulders suggests it was used to support something, most likely a bowl.

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