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Shell Plaque

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1954A797
Collection:Antiquities - Western Asiatic


This decorated shell ornament is one of only twelve examples known. All are decorated with ring and dot motif and have a hole through the centre. On this example a bronze nail survives through the central hole. This suggests that the shells were attached to something but it is not known what; leather, horse trappings, shields and furniture have all been suggested. Presumably they had a purely decorative function. They are all made from the same species of marine shell, Lambis, which must have come from the Red Sea.

Presented by the British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 1954.

Further Information

Production Period:Neo-Assyrian
Place of Excavation:North West palace, well NN
Nimrud, Iraq


Height:25 mm
Width:67 mm
Depth:28 mm
Diameter:14 mm