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Cuneiform Tablet

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Cuneiform tablet: Date: ca. 16th–15th century B.C.
Accession Number: 41.160.187 Material: Clay
Media: In the late fourth and third milleniums B.C., people called Sumerians began to develop a writing system called “cuneiform”(wedge shaped), written on wet clay with a sharpened stick or stylus. A series of pictures (pictograms) were used to record information.

Human-Headed Bison Date: ca. 2080 B.C.
Accession Number: 1996.353 Material: Stone
Media: This creature, known as kusarikku and associated with the son god Shamash, wears the horned headdress of a divinity. The sculpture is dedicated to the goddess Nanshe for the life of the Sumerian ruler Ur-Ningirsu.

Kneeling Bull Holding a Spouted Vessel

Date: ca. 3100–2900 B.C.
Accession Number: 66.173 Material: Silver
Media: A small silver bull usually clothed in a garment decorated with a stepped pattern and holding a spouted vessel. The large neck meets human shoulders that taper into arms that end as hooves.

Fragment of a Bowl with a Frieze of Bulls in Relief

Date: ca. 3300–2900 B.C.
Accession Number: 50.218 Material: Stone
Media: This fragment of a bowl is decorated with a procession of bulls moving to the right. Its face is turned to face the viewer. These fragments have been found quite often in religious structures.


Ceremonial Knife

Date: 12th–15th century
Accession Number: 1987.394.216 Material: Copper
Media: This ceremonial knife was created by the Chimu’ people as a ritual item. It has a flat undulating shaft with birds projecting from its sides and a human head at the top of the knife which is wearing a headdress with mushroom shapes.

Copper Ingot

Date: ca. 1450–1050 B.C.
Accession Number: 11.140.7 Material: Copper
Media: Ingots seem to be the unusual shape that copper was transported as to the ports of the eastern Mediterranean. Copper was usually mixed with tin at a nine-to-one ratio to make finished bronze objects.

King Gudea

Statue of Ur-Ningirsu, Son of Gudea

Date: ca. 2080 B.C.
Accession Number: 47.100.86+L.2006.29 Material: Stone
Media: This is the Statue of Ur-Ningirsu, which represents the son of Gudea. It measures 55 c.m. in height and is from the Neo-Sumerian period.

Head of Gudea

Date: ca. 2090 B.C.
Accession Number: 49.26 Material: Stone
Media: The Head of Gudea is from the Neo-Sumerian period, probably from Girsu. It was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1949, when it was purchased by Elias S. David.


Human-Headed Winged Bull and Winged Lion

Date: ca. 883–859 B.C.
Accession Number: 32.143.1–.2 Material: Stone
Media: These Lamassu structures were used to protect and support important doorways in Assyrian palaces. These sculptures had five legs to make them appear as standing firmly when viewed from the front and as if striding forward when viewed from the side.

Marble Grave Stele of a Woman

Date: 425-400 B.C.
Accession Number: 08.258.42 Material: Marble
Media: This is a Greek structure used as a grave marker. The Greeks made elaborate gravestones to honor the deceased’s life.

Striding lions or Lion Gates
God’s Throne Supported by Two Striding Lions

Date: 332–30 B.C.
Accession Number: 23.6.26 Material: Copper Alloy
Media: This throne is intended for a separate statuette of a seated god. The lions forming the sides of the chair represent another god.

Seated Representation of King Gudea
Statue of Gudea

Date: ca. 2090 B.C.
Accession Number: 59.2 Material: Diorite
Media: This is a sculpture of King Gudea who devoted his energies to rebuilding the great temples of Lagash. He is depicted here in the seated pose of a ruler facing his subjects.

Head of an Akkadian man

Head of a Ruler

Date: ca. 2300–2000 B.C.
Accession Number: 47.100.80 Material: Bronze, Copper, or Copper Alloy
Media: This sculpture was used to express political power and pride for the king of the Akkadian empire.

Cylinder Seal
Cylinder Seal with the Name of Pepi

Date: ca. 2289–2255 B.C.
Accession Number: 26.7.10 Material: Granite
Media: These cylinders were usually worn by the owner on the chest like a pendent. They were rolled over pieces of clay or mud to produce the impressions

Cuneiform Tablet
Cuneiform Tablet Case

Date: 1920 – 1840 B.C. Accession Number: 66.245.5b Material: Clay
Media: These Cuneiform Tablet Cases were from the Old Assyrian Trading Colony Period. The Assyrian Tablets describe the exchange of tin and textiles from Ashur for silver from Anatolia as well as detail the specifics of contracts and lawsuits about bandits and other misfortunes.

Note: All pictures and media material has been obtained from the website,

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