Method of Construction

Constructed by: Stacey Rolland

The process of reconstructing the bull lyre proved a difficult and time-consuming job, and given the lack of detailed textual information, I relied heavily on pictures of the lyre housed in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Art. The reproduction is about 25 inches long, four inches wide, and stands 30 inches tall. It is made of oak shelf boards that have been cut into long strips and have had the finish removed. The pieces were then glued together and cut into shape with a bandsaw. The pegs and crossbar were made from dowels and the strings are fishing line. Since the original lyre had no tuning pegs and there is little information on how the lyre was tuned once the strings were sufficiently taut, I have developed a system where each string has its own bridge. By moving the bridge up or down the string along the sound box, the pitch becomes higher or lower in response to the change in the length of the string.

Sources, Resources and Links

Wooley, C. L. Ur Excavations: The Royal Cemetery. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1934.

View the Original, displayed as part of a slide list for a UCLA Art course.

Also, a number of related images are available at the website for the course History of Art 522: The Royal Cemetery of Ur, offered by the History of Art Department in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

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