Limestone figure of a bull


British Museum

British Museum

This stone figure was made in the late fourth millennium BC, when cities were developing in southern Mesopotamia. The largest known settlement was Uruk (modern Warka). The remains of monumental temple buildings have been discovered in the centre of the city. Such exotic sculptures may have had a ritual use within the temples. The art works of this period very often emphasize domesticated animals. Similar scenes are depicted on cylinder seals which developed as part of the administration of these major centres.During this period a large number of settlements established in northern and western Mesopotamia shared the same culture as the south. Southerners may have been trading with local people for stones and metals not available on the fertile southern plains.

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  • Title: Limestone figure of a bull
  • Date Created: -3300/-3000
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 23.00cm; Height: 13.00cm; Width: 8.00cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: carved; polished; inlaid
  • Subject: mammal
  • Registration number: 1924,1112.1
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Larsa
  • Period/culture: Late Uruk
  • Material: limestone
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Mocatta, V E