Gold strainer for beer or wine


British Museum

British Museum

This strainer comes from the 'Queen's Grave' in the Royal Cemetery at Ur. It contained the body of a woman and two serving ladies surrounded by extraordinary rich material. The main burial was in a rough stone chamber at the bottom of the pit where this strainer was found.There are no gold deposits in Mesopotamia, and the metal would probably have been imported from Iran or Anatolia (modern Turkey). It would have arrived as nuggets or in a semi-processed state. The strainer is a good example of the most common technique of working gold at this time: beating sheets into shape.Beer and wine were drunk in Mesopotamia from at least the fourth millennium BC and it is possible that the strainer was used to remove any debris when serving. Straws were commonly used to help the filtration process.

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  • Title: Gold strainer for beer or wine
  • Date Created: -2600/-2600
  • Physical Dimensions: Depth: 12.00cm; Length: 4.50cm; Length: 18.00cm (total; inc.hndle); Diameter: 4.50-4.75in; Height: 1.50in
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Registration number: 1928,1010.7
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Royal Cemetery
  • Period/culture: Early Dynastic III
  • Material: gold
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Excavated by Woolley, Charles Leonard. Division of Finds Department of Antiquities of Iraq


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