Identity and Adornment in the Third-millennium BC Mesopotamian ‘Royal Cemetery’ at Ur
This article presents a study of the deposition of jewellery on bodies in the third-millennium BC Mesopotamian ‘Royal Cemetery’ at Ur. Four assemblages of adornments are identified and evaluated in relation to burial type, gender, age, privilege, and behavioural role. Aspects of the social and ritual identities of the dead are then interpreted through adornment. While the historic definition of the interred community and the precise nature of their practices are open to speculation, this study begins to clarify dynamics of group and individual identity at this site of human sacrifice.(Received October 12 2005)
(Revised September 6 2006)
Key Words: Royal Cemetery, Ur; Mesopotamian jewellery; ritual identity; social identity.