The Ashmolean

Iraq: Navel of the World

Palace Life [6]

Piety has always been an important element of good kingship. This foundation inscription in the shape of a nail commemorates the rebuilding of a temple in the 21st century BC. Ur-Namma, king of Ur in southern Iraq, dedicated the temple to the moon-god Nanna, the divine patron of his city. The nail was hammered into the wall of the temple so that its inscription was hidden for future generations to discover.

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