Sumerian Stone Plaque of Nammum

£ 950.00

A finely carved Sumerian stone mask of a female’s face, probably depicting the Mesopotamian mother goddess Nammum, approximately dating to the Late Uruk or the Early Dynastic period. Her facial features have been sensitively carved in an idealised manner, including an arching brow, almond-shaped eyes, a prominent nose and thin lips. Her eyes are hollowed, two inlays with painted irises might have been placed inside. The head features a flattened forehead, with two drilled holes at each side, in which there was probably once an inserted material functioning as her hair, or mantle. A deep, hollowed recess is at the back of the object, indicating it might have been attached to a flat surface and intended as a votive offering.

The measurement in height includes the head only.


Date: Circa 3500-2330
Period: Late Uruk to The Early Dynastic Period
Provenance: Ex Family Collection, London. By descent pre 1992
Condition: Very fine condition, with minor chipping to encrusted surface. The piece has been mounted on a custom made stand, ideal for display.


SKU: HL-10 Category:

In the Uruk Mesopotamia (circa 4000 to 3000 BC), numerous dedicatory stone heads and statuettes of a deity or a worshipper have been found in the city Ur (an important Sumerian city in Mesopotamia, located in modern-day Iraq) and the peripheral areas, for example, Mari (an ancient city in northern Mesopotamia). Fashioning alabaster or hard stone with deities’ representations was a typical Sumerian and Akkadian practice prevalent in the Early Dynastic Period (circa 2900-3220 BC). Mesopotamian stone executions with Nammum’s representations are comparatively rare among the entire genre of votive stone materials portraying the gods and goddess worshipped by the Sumerians and Akkadians. Nammu was the mother goddess in the Sumerian world, and she was believed to have given birth to the senior gods and created humanity. Her images on the Sumerian stone sculptures are often taken as a representation of a secular female worshipper.


Weight 68.43 g
Dimensions W 9.2 x H 9 cm



Time Period

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