Sumerian Foundation Cone
An ancient Sumerian clay votive cone with a cuneiform inscription, from a foundation deposit.
Ca. 3rd - 2nd millennium BC.
Cuneiform cones and other votive objects were buried in the walls and beneath the floors of important buildings during construction to sanctify the site and to create a historical memory of the ruler and his achievements. The cones in these foundation deposits usually record the name of the king and the city, and the god to which the building was dedicated.
Cf. I. Spar, Cuneiform Texts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art I: Tablets, Cones, and Bricks of the Third and Second Millennia B.C., (New York, 1988), cones 108-111; p. 154, pls. 116-7.
Formerly in a Connecticut private collection, acquired in the 1960s.