Queen Puabi

Puabi is commonly labeled as a "queen" but her status is somewhat in dispute. Several cylinder seals in her tomb identify her by the title "nin" 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.


In early Mesopotamia, women, even elite women, were generally described in relation to their husbands. The fact that Puabi is identified without the mention of her husband may indicate that she was queen in her own right. If so, she probably reigned prior to the time of the First Dynasty of Ur.


read here more about ......The Role of Women in Ancient Sumer


Queen Puabi - InfoRapid



when? First Dynasty of Ur ca. 2500-2600 BCE ...... where? Ur - Sumer - Ancient Mesopotamia


British archaeologist Leonard Woolley 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, but also because her tomb had been untouched by looters through the millennia.


A cylinder seal was excavated bearing the name of Puabi. The skeleton in the grave chamber of Puabi lay on a stretcher with his head to the west and placed his hands on his belly. The Queen wore a golden headdress. To her left was probably her wig. The examination of the skeleton Puabi showed that she has reached the age of about 40 years. The grave also contained a threshing sledge chamber and much pottery.


She was 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 (seeLyres of Ur), complete with the golden and lapis-lazuli encrusted bearded bulls head; a profusion of gold tableware; golden, carnelian, and lapis lazuli 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.



Queen Puabi (Penn Museum)


more information: books, films etc.

Books: Wooley, Leonard (1934). Ur Excavations II, The Royal Cemetery. London-Philadelphia. p. 73 & ss.


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