The Royal Standard of Ur

The Royal Standard of Ur

Date ca. 2600 BCE

Movement Ancient Near Eastern | Sumerian

Medium Wood inlaid with shell, limestone, and lapis lazuli

Dimensions tallest height 8″

Provenance The Royal Cemetery of Ur, Muqaiyir, Iraq

Housed at The British Museum, London


Found alongside the Goat in Thicket. The “war” panel of this standard depicts a war procession, in which a leader (clearly marked by hierarchical proportion, his figure even breaking the frame) leads his army and enemy captives over the deceased and wounded to a banquet (featured on the “peace” panel). The storyline has been made intentionally easy to decipher, given the lack of overlapping figures and a clear contrast with the background.