Sophia's Peace Work

Friday, October 18, 2013

Trip to Ur - 18 October

We travel to Baghdad tomorrow but today, those of us that are left from the Flotilla Team, did a trip to the ancient Sumerian city of Ur.

The archaeological site of Ur is a dry and dusty place.  Hard to believe that Ur was once a coastal city near the mouth of the Euphrates on the Gulf.  The river left the city long ago and that's likely when the city was abandoned.  Established in the Ubaid Period (3800 BC), its first recorded kind was Mesh-Ane-pada and the city's patron deity was Nanna, the Sumerian moon god.

The site contains the ruins of the Ziggurat of Ur (once holding the shrine to Nanna), that was originally excavated in the 1930s, but also the foundations of other temples, a palace and burial areas.

After a brief stop by a house near the site that is being used by an Italian archaeological group, we headed the Ziggurat with the local interpretive guide and took in the views from the top.

Ancient head in a bucket (recently excavated)

J and the interpreter

Playing around with my keffiyeh

View from the top of the Ziggurat

R strikes a Sumerian pose

World's oldest arch

Outside the tomb

V and J in the tomb

Back in the 1990s, the Pope was supposed to visit Iraq and Saddam had a building made on the site that he called "Abraham's house" (Abraham is said to have come from Ur) as an attempt to impress the Pope.  We walked in and on top of the walls of this poor attempt at ancient reconstruction and had a slight incident with a brick ...


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