Ancient site unearthed in Iraqi home of AbrahamTHE Associated Press | April 05,2013BAGHDAD — British archaeologists said Thursday they have unearthed a sprawling complex near the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq, home of the biblical Abraham.
The structure, thought to be about 4,000 years old, probably served as an administrative center for Ur, around the time Abraham would have lived there before leaving for Canaan, according to the Bible.
The compound is near the site of the partially reconstructed Ziggurat, or Sumerian temple, said Stuart Campbell of Manchester University’s Archaeology Department, who led the dig.
“This is a breathtaking find,” Campbell said, because of its unusually large size — roughly the size of a football pitch, or about 260 feet on each side. The archaeologist said complexes of this size and age were rare.
“It appears that it is some sort of public building. It might be an administrative building, it might have religious connections or controlling goods to the city of Ur,” he told The Associated Press in a phone interview from the U.K.
The complex of rooms around a large courtyard was found 12 miles from Ur, the last capital of the Sumerian royal dynasties whose civilization flourished 5,000 years ago.
Campbell said one of the artifacts they unearthed was a 3.5-inch clay plaque showing a worshipper wearing a long, fringed robe, approaching a sacred site.
Beyond artifacts, the site could reveal the environmental and economic conditions of the region through analysis of plant and animal remains, the archaeological team said in a statement.MORE IN Wire NewsBOSTON — The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish... Full StoryOKLAHOMA CITY — Lawyers for a couple challenging Oklahoma’s ban on gay marriage and the clerk who... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Flood watch in effect for Rutland County, developing El Nino shaping up to be extreme this year, Don DeLillo on the season's warming trend and Veena catches digital sniffles, all in today's minute.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Dramatic river rescue in Southern Vermont, Castleton moving ahead on sale of old town office building, Passover celebrated in Woodstock.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Woodstock Ave. lane reconfiguration trial will go forward despite resistance, Rutland city engineer decamps for greener pastures in flatlands, technology changes the way many people file tax returns.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Gulf wildlife still dying from 2010 BP oil spill, Veena in Cabo San Lucas, Gertrude Stein on family living, all in today's minute.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Police officer identified in deadly Brattleboro shooting, school consolidation boosters silent on savings, lawmakers nix legal marijuana for PTSD and scrap yard helps solve half-ton heist.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Coyotes are true American survivors, Veena on Narragansett Pier, Vladimir Nabokov in Paris.