String of beads

Near Eastern, Mesopotamian, Sumerian
Early Dynastic Period
2900–2334 B.C.


Length (doubled): 29 cm (11 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Lapis lazuli

On View

Ancient Near East Gallery (Gallery 110)


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Restrung necklace composed of 110 biconical lapis lazuli beads excavated at the Royal Cemetery of Ur. Lapis lazuli was mined in what is today northern Afghanistan and shipped overland twelve hundred miles to Mesopotamian markets.


By 1985: The Astarte Gallery, London; 1985: purchased by the MFA from the Astarte Gallery, London (said to have come from the excavations of the University Museum-British Museum at the Royal Cemetery of Ur [1928]; sold on consignment by a member of Sir Leonard Wooley's family), February 5, 1985.

(Accession date: June 26, 1985.)

Credit Line

Florence E. and Horace L. Mayer Fund