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The "Standard of Ur", southern Iraq, 2600-2400 BCE. Found in one of the largest Royal Tombs in the cemetery at Ur, its function is not yet understood; it could have been carried on a pole, as a "standard"; it could also have been a soundbox for a musical instrument.This is the "Peace"-side, a king banqueting; food is brought in procession. Seated figures wear woollen fleece or frigned skirts; they drink while a musician plays the lyre.

Standard of Ur from the Royal Tombs at Ur (modern Tell el-Muqayyar, Iraq). Wood inlaid with shell, lapis lazuli, and red limestone.

The "standard" of Ur. Mesopotamia c.9000 years ago. Wood, shell, lapis lazuli, and red limestone. One side represents peace, the other, war.

Standard of Ur c. Wood, shell, lapis lazuli, and red limestone. One side represents peace, the other war.