Foundation Figurine of King Ur-Nammu

Iraq: Nippur, E-kur Court, S gate, SE tower; Third Dynasty of Ur; Reign of Ur-Nammu, ca. 2111-2095 B.C. Bronze. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1955-6. "King Ur-Nammu rebuilt and enlarged one of the most important temples in ancient Mesopotamia - the E-kur of Enlil, the chief god of the pantheon. This figurine, which was buried in a foundation box beneath one of the temple towers, represents the king at the start of the building project - carrying on his head a basket of clay from which would be made the critically important first brick. The foundation deposit also contained an inscribed stone tablet; beads of frit, stone and gold; chips of various stones; and four ancient date pits found perched atop the basket carried by the king."

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