Lyre with Bearded Bull's Head and Inlaid Panel, Royal Cemetery, Ur, southern Iraq, Early Dynastic III, 2550-2450 BCE, Wood, lapis lazuli, gold, silver, shell, bitumen, H. 35.6 cm. Penn Museum.
Detail of the inlay panel of the lyre. According to the Penn Museum, "The front panel of the lyre tells the story of the funeral ritual itself. At the top, the nude hero grapples with two rampant human-headed bulls, representing royal control over nature. Beneath are three scenes that show the ritual with otherworldly actors. A hyena carries butchered meat on a table. Behind him is a lion, holding a jar and a pouring vessel identical to ones found in the graves. The third register depicts music-making: an equid (an ass or onager) plays a lyre while a bear supports it, nearby a small animal (hare?) shakes a rattle. The lyre depicted is similar to the very lyre to which it was attached. On the bottom is the last stage of the ritual, where the deceased meets the scorpion man, the guardian of the entrance to the underworld."