The Great Fatted Bull
Tablet #36
Sumerian Images
Sumerian History
The Royal Tombs of Ur
The Standard of Ur:  War
The Standard of Ur:  King
The "Standard" of Ur?
Vulture Stele Translation
Sumerian War Chariots
War Chariot Deconstructed
Gudea Translation
The Face of Gudea
The Face of Ur-Ningirsu
The Face of Lugal-agrig-zi
Ur-Namma Translation
The Face of Ur-Namma
Face of Ur-Namma, part II
I am Ur-Namma
The Face of Shulgi
Who Were the Sumerians?
Other Sumerian Kings
The Princess Wife
The Great Fatted Jackass
Sargon's Victory Stele
Helmet: the King of Kish
The Standard of Mari?
Mesopotamian Clothing
The Invention of Writing
Adventures in Cuneiform
The Sumerian Scribe
A Masterpiece
Site Map

The flared hat (headdress):

Early Dynasty banquet sceneEnlarge.

On the right, two lords simultaneously drink beer through long straws from a communal pot, while one of them passes an absurdly large fish to the other, presumably for eating. A dog crouches beneath the chair. Although this bas relief is commonly ascribed to be Sumerian, it is actually Akkadian because the skirts and the flared hats match those of the Kish inlay shown below. The same flared hat is worn by some of the soldiers on the Standard of Mari, who have the same long hair as the lords at the banquet.

Kish inlays showing a soldier escorting a bound prisoner. He is identifiable as an Akkadian because he carries the broad-bladed battleaxe favored by the soldiers of Kish, like those seen on Sargon's victory stele. It is also seen on the victory stele of Naram-Sin. The Sumerians,
on the other hand, used a narrow bladed battleaxe. This soldier has the same kind of skirt
shown above. It looks as if it has one leg exposed, which would seem ridiculous, but the skirt
is shown in profile to show its shape. It is actually short in the front and long in the back. The soldier wears a flared hat like those on the Standard of Mari. The hat is Akkadian in origin
and it is symbolic of rank.

Sumerian bas relief showing a religious ceremony (see the rest of the plaque). The naked priest pouring libations from a spouted pitcher is typically Sumerian. The king or nobleman on the right, however, seems to wear the same flared hat shown above and he also has long hair on the back of his head. This could mean that he is actually an Akkadian king or perhaps a Sumerian king under the suzerainty of an Akkadian overlord.

Cloaks and sashes: 

The Sumerian soldiers on the Standard of Ur wear a spotted cloak.

An Akkadian soldier wearing a sash. This soldier is from a later period, but the sash is similar to those worn by the soldiers on Sargon's victory stele. Sargon is circa 2350 B.C., which is only about a hundred years after the Standard of Mari, so it is reasonable to assume that Akkadian soldiers in the ED III period also wore sashes.

The uniform of the soldiers on the Standard of Mari is a combination of the Sumerian and Akkadian styles. It has a spotted sash:

See a line drawing of this mosaic.

A Mari soldier carries his prisoner's skirt draped over his spear. It seems that the prisoner is a fellow Akkadian because his skirt is short, split in front, and has an angled fringe, which is typical Akkadian attire. It could be argued that it is two skirts, rather than one split in the middle, because the belt does not go all the way across the top. However, a similar mosaic shown below has a split front and a single belt.

Many shell inlays were found in Mari, like the one below, which shows a man carrying an unidentified item:

He wears a Sumerian skirt and Akkadian hat. Is he an Akkadian wearing a Sumerian skirt? Or is he a Sumerian wearing an Akkadian hat?