Puabi
Overview
 
Puabi also called Shubad in Sumerian
Sumerian language
Sumerian is the language of ancient Sumer, which was spoken in southern Mesopotamia since at least the 4th millennium BC. During the 3rd millennium BC, there developed a very intimate cultural symbiosis between the Sumerians and the Akkadians, which included widespread bilingualism...

, was an important person in the Sumer
Sumer
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

ian city of Ur
Ur
Ur was an important city-state in ancient Sumer located at the site of modern Tell el-Muqayyar in Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate...

, during the First Dynasty of Ur (ca. 2600 BCE). Commonly labeled as a "queen", her status is somewhat in dispute. Several cylinder seal
Cylinder seal
A cylinder seal is a cylinder engraved with a 'picture story', used in ancient times to roll an impression onto a two-dimensional surface, generally wet clay. Cylinder seals were invented around 3500 BC in the Near East, at the contemporary site of Susa in south-western Iran and at the early site...

s in her tomb identify her by the title "nin
NIN (cuneiform)
The Sumerian word NIN which can denote a "queen" or a "priestess".. Many goddesses are called NIN, such as DNIN.GAL "great lady", DÉ.NIN.GAL "lady of the great temple" or DEREŠ.KI.GAL, DNIN.TI....

" or "eresh", a Sumerian word which can denote a queen or a priestess. The fact that Puabi, herself a Semitic Akkadian, was an important figure among Sumerians, indicates a high degree of cultural exchange and influence between the ancient Sumerians and their Semitic neighbors.
British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 archaeologist Leonard Woolley
Leonard Woolley
Sir Charles Leonard Woolley was a British archaeologist best known for his excavations at Ur in Mesopotamia...

 discovered the tomb of Puabi, which was excavated by his team along with some 1800 other graves at the "Royal Cemetery of Ur" between 1922 and 1934.
Encyclopedia
Puabi also called Shubad in Sumerian
Sumerian language
Sumerian is the language of ancient Sumer, which was spoken in southern Mesopotamia since at least the 4th millennium BC. During the 3rd millennium BC, there developed a very intimate cultural symbiosis between the Sumerians and the Akkadians, which included widespread bilingualism...

, was an important person in the Sumer
Sumer
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

ian city of Ur
Ur
Ur was an important city-state in ancient Sumer located at the site of modern Tell el-Muqayyar in Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate...

, during the First Dynasty of Ur (ca. 2600 BCE). Commonly labeled as a "queen", her status is somewhat in dispute. Several cylinder seal
Cylinder seal
A cylinder seal is a cylinder engraved with a 'picture story', used in ancient times to roll an impression onto a two-dimensional surface, generally wet clay. Cylinder seals were invented around 3500 BC in the Near East, at the contemporary site of Susa in south-western Iran and at the early site...

s in her tomb identify her by the title "nin
NIN (cuneiform)
The Sumerian word NIN which can denote a "queen" or a "priestess".. Many goddesses are called NIN, such as DNIN.GAL "great lady", DÉ.NIN.GAL "lady of the great temple" or DEREŠ.KI.GAL, DNIN.TI....

" or "eresh", a Sumerian word which can denote a queen or a priestess. The fact that Puabi, herself a Semitic Akkadian, was an important figure among Sumerians, indicates a high degree of cultural exchange and influence between the ancient Sumerians and their Semitic neighbors.

Tomb of Puabi

British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 archaeologist Leonard Woolley
Leonard Woolley
Sir Charles Leonard Woolley was a British archaeologist best known for his excavations at Ur in Mesopotamia...

 discovered the tomb of Puabi, which was excavated by his team along with some 1800 other graves at the "Royal Cemetery of Ur" between 1922 and 1934. Puabi's tomb was clearly unique among the other excavations; not only because of the large amount of high quality and well-preserved grave goods
Grave goods
Grave goods, in archaeology and anthropology, are the items buried along with the body.They are usually personal possessions, supplies to smooth the deceased's journey into the afterlife or offerings to the gods. Grave goods are a type of votive deposit...

, but also because her tomb had been untouched by looters through the millennia.

She was also buried with 52 attendants — retainers who are suspected to have poisoned themselves (or had been poisoned by others) to serve their mistress in the next world. The amount of grave goods that Woolley uncovered in Puabi's tomb was staggering: a magnificent, heavy, golden headdress made of golden leaves, rings, and plates; a superb lyre (see Lyres of Ur
Lyres of Ur
The Lyres of Ur or Harps of Ur are considered to be the worlds oldest surviving stringed instruments. In 1929, archaeologists discovered pieces of three lyres and one harp in Ur, located in what was Ancient Mesopotamia and is contemporary Iraq...

), complete with the golden and lapis-lazuli encrusted bearded bulls head; a profusion of gold tableware
Tableware
Tableware is the dishes or dishware , dinnerware , or china used for setting a table, serving food, and for dining. Tableware can be meant to include flatware and glassware...

; golden, carnelian, and lapis lazuli
Lapis lazuli
Lapis lazuli is a relatively rare semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense blue color....

 cylindrical beads for extravagant necklaces and belts; a chariot adorned with lioness' heads in silver, and an abundance of silver, lapis lazuli, and golden rings and bracelets.

The excavated treasures from Woolley's expedition were divided between the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

 and the National Museum in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

. Several pieces were looted from the National Museum in the aftermath of the Second Gulf War in 2003. Recently, several of the more spectacular pieces from Puabi's grave have been the feature of a highly successful Art and History Museum tour through the United Kingdom and America.

External links

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