Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ancient Iraqi Harp Reproduced By Liverpool Engineers

Date:
August 1, 2005
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
A team of engineers at the University of Liverpool has helped reproduce an ancient Iraqi harp -- the Lyre of Ur. Engineers from the University's Lairdside Laser Engineering Centre (LLEC) employed revolutionary laser technology to engrave authentic designs onto Gulf Shell (mother of pearl) -- the original material used to decorate the body of the harp.

Sir Leonard Woolley with the original Lyre at the excavation site.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Liverpool

Liverpool, UK (28 July 2005) -- A team of engineers at the University of Liverpool has helped reproduce an ancient Iraqi harp -- the Lyre of Ur.

Engineers from the University’s Lairdside Laser Engineering Centre (LLEC) employed revolutionary laser technology to engrave authentic designs onto Gulf Shell (mother of pearl) – the original material used to decorate the body of the harp.

Dr Carmel Curran, who carried out the work at the LLEC, commented: “This is the first time we have laser processed this type of material and the results are remarkable. It is fantastic to be involved in the recreation of such a piece of history.

“The shells we engraved came from the Indian Ocean. The laser techniques we used to engrave the shell are normally applied to materials such as plastics, metals, fabric and wood.”

The lyre was discovered in a mass suicide grave in the ancient city of Ur in Iraq by British archaeologist, Sir Leonard Woolley. Uncovered in 1929, the remains were kept in a museum in Baghdad until they were destroyed during the recent war in Iraq.

The original gold lyre – nearly 5,000 years old - belonged to the Sumerian Royal family and was found with three other musical instruments alongside 74 bodies in the grave of Queen Puabi, who died around 2,600 BC.

On hearing the lyre had been destroyed, a British harp enthusiast decided to replicate the unique golden lyre so it could be played at harp festivals around the world.

Andy Lowings, project co-ordinator and harp enthusiast, said: “The Lyre of Ur is one of the world’s most unique instruments – the remains of only two similar originals found by Sir Leonard still exist but are unplayable. It is fantastic that the harp has been reproduced using original materials and can now be played and enjoyed by music lovers worldwide.”

The lyre has been played by musicians from around the globe at several high profile events including the Live 8 Eden Project concert and the Edinburgh International Harp Festival.

Volunteers from several organisations teamed up to help recreate the Lyre, which is made of gold, cedar wood, lapis lazuli and pink limestone.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Ancient Iraqi Harp Reproduced By Liverpool Engineers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050731231728.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2005, August 1). Ancient Iraqi Harp Reproduced By Liverpool Engineers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050731231728.htm
University of Liverpool. "Ancient Iraqi Harp Reproduced By Liverpool Engineers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050731231728.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couple Finds Love Letters From WWI In Attic

Couple Finds Love Letters From WWI In Attic

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A couple found love letters from World War I in their attic. They were able to deliver them to relatives of the writer of those letters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Erotic Art Offers Glimpse of China's 'lost' Sexual Philosophy

Erotic Art Offers Glimpse of China's 'lost' Sexual Philosophy

AFP (Apr. 16, 2014) Explicit Chinese art works dating back centuries go on display in Hong Kong, revealing China's ancient relationship with sex. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Historians Fight to Save Iconic La Samaritaine Buildings

French Historians Fight to Save Iconic La Samaritaine Buildings

AFP (Apr. 15, 2014) Parisians and local historians are fighting to save one of the French capital's iconic buildings, the La Samaritaine department store. Duration: 01:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins