Sumerian


Standing female worshiper,
Sumer was home to some of the oldest known cities, supported by a focus on agriculture.

Sumer, an introduction


Warka (Uruk) Vase, Uruk, Late Uruk period, c. 3500-3000 B.C.E., 105 cm high (National Museum of Iraq)
One of the most precious artifacts from Sumer, the Warka Vase was looted and almost lost forever.

Warka Vase





, The Standard of Ur, 2600-2400 B.C.E., shell, red limestone, lapis lazuli, and bitumen (original wood no longer exists), 21.59 x 49.53 x 12 cm, Ur © Trustees of the British Museum
Intentionally buried as part of an elaborate ritual, this ornate object tells us so much, but also too little.

Standard of Ur






Cylinder Seal
Instead of signatures, the Ancient Near East used carved beads to press unique impressions into clay documents.

Cylinder seals