Object Properties



Based on the ears, the goat may be a markhor (Capra falconers). The markhor is a wild goat of central Asia and probably would have been somewhat exotic to the inhabitants of Ur. According to Richard Zettler and Yelena Rakic (1998): 1
Digital Infared Reflective images taken by Penn Museum Conservation: 4
Digital Infared Relfective images taken by Penn Museum Conservation: 1
Digital X-radiography images taken by Penn Museum Conservation: 45
Eyes of head are either Conus or Strombus according to David Reese (2013): 1
Naomi Miller. 2016. The piece clearly exposes a cross section, but mineralization obscures critical fine details—ray width and small pores. The wood cross section was examined under low magnification (up to 60x, but with the Keyence a photograph was taken at 200x. It is a hardwood. It looks like there might be one growth ring, but the border between early and late wood is not clear to me. At 60x magnification, the rays are at least biseriate—two cells wide, clearly visible, and not as thin as uniseriate rays. At 200x magnification, you can see that the piece is diffuse or semi-diffuse porous (i.e., the vessels are of approximately equal size). The pores appear in short radial files, as well is solitary. The following taxa were considered, but discounted: • Willow (Salix) and poplar (Populus) have uniseriate rays. • Two members of the Rhamnaceae, Paliurus and Ziziphus, have pore chains, but the rays are mostly uniseriate (and thinner), and the pores are larger. Were it not for the fact that these woods are spiny and unsuited for hafts, they would be under consideration. • Other kinds of wood, such as oak, apple, pistachio, and exotics like boxwood, have completely different anatomy. Still under consideration are almond or some other stone fruit (Prunus sp.). The wood anatomy of Prunus is quite variable, but some have wide rays and are semi-diffuse or diffuse porous. The Iraqi maple under consideration is Acer monspessulanum. Maple is diffuse porous with wide rays. The pores are sometimes in short radial files or solitary. According to the Townsend and Guest (1980:503), the wood is “hard an does not split; the people use it to make wooden bowls, spoons, ladles, pipes and cigarette-holders.” I am inclined toward an identification of maple, but for now I’d have to say some kind of Prunus or maple. Panshin, A.J. and Carl de Zeeuw. 1979. Handbook of Wood Technology, Volume 1. Structure, Identification, Uses and Properties of the Commercial Woods of the United States and Canada, 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York. Schweingruber F.H. 1990. Anatomie europäaischer Hölzer. Anatomy of European Woods. Bern & Stuttgart. Verlag Paul Haupt. Townsend, C.C. and Evan Guest, eds. 1980. Flora of Iraq, Vol. 4, Part 1. Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, Baghdad. : 1
Shell in fleece is Pinctada margaritifera, shell in eyes is Conus or Strombus according to David Reese (2013): 1
Shell Inlay is Pinctada margaritifera according to David Reese: 1
UPenn Obsidian Sourcing: 11
UPenn Obsidian Sourcing: Elements sorted by amount: Zr, Fe, Pd, Rb, Y, Sn, Nb, Rh, Zn, K, Pb, Mn, Ti, Sr : 1
UPM Obsidian Sourcing: 54
UPM Petrographic Study: 19