Sunday, May 17, 2009

The “Ram” in the Thicket

I have been going through some very old photographs that I took twenty to twenty-five years ago. Some have seen their colors begin to fade and I am scanning them to try and preserve them.

Some of the photos were of objects found by Leonard Woolley in has excavations of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur. The photo in this post is of the “Ram” in the Thicket (more properly a goat, not a ram). The statue is one of two found by Woolley in the 1928 – 9 season and is currently in the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia. The mate of this statue is in the British Museum.

The two statues were found in the “Great Death Pit” at Ur. Originally they were of wood covered with gold foil and inlaid with a semi-precious stone called Lapis Lazuli. When found, the wood had decomposed and the gold foil had been flattened by the soil it was buried in. A support at the rear of the statue may once have supported a bowl or some other object (for offerings to be made?).
C.L. Woolley and P.R.S. Moorey, Ur of the Chaldees, revised edition, Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, (1982).
Information on some conservation work done on this object can be found here.

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