Queen of the Night Relief

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The mystery woman

Related images

Fig. 1 - A smaller, similar plaque with a mould - British Museum - [1994,1001.1](https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/W_1994-1001-1)Fig. 2 - A plaque with similar composition - Vorderasiatisches Museum - [VA Ass 01358](http://www.smb-digital.de/eMuseumPlus?service=ExternalInterface&module=collection&objectId=1742862&viewType=detailView)Fig. 3 - The codex Hammurabi -  Louvre Museum - [Sb 8](https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/law-code-hammurabi-king-babylon)

This is the Queen of the Night relief, also called the Burney relief. But who is this woman?

The Queen of the Night relief has long been an object of interest to many people. It was bought by antiquities dealer Sydney Burney in 1935 and ended up in the British Museum in 2002, where it is now part of the permanent exhibition.

The quality and style of the relief strongly matches that of the image on the top of the codex of King Hammurabi (Fig. 3). Therefore, researchers suspect that the Queen of the Night relief dates back to the time period of his reign, between 2000 and 1800 BC. However, this cannot be proven, because the context and finding place of the relief is unknown.Collon, D., 2005. The Queen of the Night. London: British Museum Press. Some specialists even doubt the relief is genuine.

Since the discovery of the plaque, there have been doubts about the identity of the woman depicted. Right now, there are three strong candidates, each with evidence in favor of them and against them.