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Andy Lowings

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 253068


The instrument shown here is one of the three original lyres of Ur found in 1929, which are held today in the
Museums of Pennsylvania, London and Baghdad as unplayable models.

It is approximately 4,550 years old and is thought to predate the construction of the Great Pyramid, and even Stonehenge in England.

In April 2003 we formed a charitable group to remake an authentic, playable version of the famous Gold Lyre of Ur which dates from 2,550 BC discovered by archaeologists in Iraq in 1929.

This is an extremely early stringed instrument, perhaps the earliest in the world.

It comes from one of the earliest human civilisations, Sumer in Mesopotamia. Yet it is an instrument which connects us all even today. Similar lyres are still played around the world.

We decided to recreate the instrument completely authentically, using only the correct original adhesives, correct “Sumerian region” wood and the correct gold quality and thickness.

The skills needed for re-making this harp exist in the world today and we asked only the very best craftsmen to assist, by donating their work. Many people helped build it.

We are always aware of the importance that this old, well-loved, artefact means to the people of modern day Iraq.




People from all over the world have helped re-make the instrument and now completed, it can tell its own story which connects us all.

We play it around the world and tell the story of how it was made and of the times of early Iraq.



We are a non-political and not-for-profit charity.


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Material and photographs on this website © Lyre of Ur Project
and may not be reproduced without express permission