Calcite disc of Enheduanna, daughter of Sargon of Kish and high priestess of the moon god at Ur.
Four figures adorn the front of the disk, all facing left and approaching an altar or ceremonial basin. Behind the basin is a stepped construction that resembles a wedding cake. This is probably meant to represent the ziggurat itself, on top of which would be the all-important temple to the moon god. Only the edge of this stepped object was preserved, the rest has been restored making it perhaps too rounded and wedding-cake-like. The first (left-most) of the approaching figures is a shaven-headed male priest whose outstretched arm holds forth a jug from which he pours libations (liquid offerings) into the basin or onto the altar. Behind him stands a figure a bit taller than the others and resplendent in her flounced robes, long braided hair, and hat. This is the high-priestess Enheduanna herself, overseeing the ceremony with raised hand. Behind her stands another priest, again shaven as was the practice of priests, waving something that Woolley believes is a fly whisk to keep the great lady comfortable. Just behind him is another priest.
Museum Object Number: B16665
In case you’re tempted NOT to click “Keep Reading”, let me add this to encourage you to do so:
Neil Gaiman observing the Disk of Enheduanna, the first identifiable author/editor in the world, 4300 years ago.