Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Necklace

Period:
Early Dynastic IIIa
Date:
ca. 2600–2500 B.C.
Geography:
Mesopotamia, Ur (modern Tell al-Muqayyar)
Culture:
Sumerian
Medium:
Gold, lapis lazuli
Dimensions:
L. 22.5 cm
Classification:
Metalwork-Ornaments
Credit Line:
Dodge Fund, 1933
Accession Number:
33.35.47
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 403
This choker adorned one of the sixty-eight women or young girls laid out in the so-called Great Death Pit at Ur, which was probably part of a royal tomb. The bodies were all ornamented with the most splendid jewelry made of gold, lapis lazuli, and carnelian.

The collar consists of alternating triangles, twelve of lapis lazuli and eleven of gold. Each gold triangle is made from a diamond-shaped and corrugated piece of sheet metal that has been folded back on itself to create seven horizontal tubes. The surface of the lapis lazuli triangles is also corrugated, making it look as if they too have seven horizontal perforations, but in fact there are only three perforations through the stones, so that the collar was held together by three rather than seven threads. Collars like these are too short to have fully encircled the neck. They may have been worn as separate items like chokers, extended by cloth straps around the back, or they may have been attached to jackets.
1928-1929, excavated by Sir Leonard Woolley on behalf of the Joint Expedition of the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania and the British Museum; ceded to the University Museum in the division of finds; acquired by the Museum in 1933, purchased from University Museum.

“The Art of the Jeweler: A Selection from the Collections of the Museum,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, November 20, 1940–March 9, 1941.

“Archaeology: Exploring the Past,” The Junior Museum of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, September 22, 1962–June 30, 1966.

Dimand, Maurice S. 1933. "Notes: Sumerian Jewelry." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 28, p. 114.

Woolley, C. Leonard. 1934. The Royal Cemetery: A Report on the Predynastic and Sargonic Graves Excavated between 1926 and 1931. Ur Excavations, Vol. II. London, pp. 67, 560, pl. 29-35.

Dimand, Maurice S. and H.E. McAllister. 1944. Near Eastern Jewelry, a picture book. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, fig. 1.
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