added by archaeologs Tell site 80 km south of Baghdad, excavated by an Iraqi team in the early 1940s. These excavations uncovered a settlement of the Ubaid period and a temple of the Uruk period. This temple has a tripartite plan and is very similar to the White Temple in the Anu sanctuary at Uruk itself. It is distinguished by the occurrence of fíne polychrome wall paintings with human and animal figures. Fish offerings suggest that this temple might have been dedicated to Enki. A small subsidiary chapel, later in date that the temple itself, contained a fine collection of pots of Jemdet Nasr style and four clay tablets inscribed with pictographic symbols of the kind in use in the Jemdet Nasr period. [modern Tell el-Muqqayr]. One of the most important cities of Sumer, situated in the south of the country west of the Euphrates River, its walls enclosing c60 hectares. Ur was excavated by a joint expedition of the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania under Sir Leonard Woolley between 1922 and 1934. The earliest occupation of the site belonged to the Ubaid period, perhaps c5000 bc, and the most flourishing period for the city was the Early Dynastic period (¿30002400 bc). To this period belong the celebrated tombs of the Royal Cemetery with their wealth of goods made of gold, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, and their evidence of the sacrifice of human attendants of the dead kings and queens. After a period of decline, Ur flourished again in the time of the Third Dynasty of Ur in the 21st century bc, which saw the final flowering of Sumerian achievement. The founder of this dynasty, Ur-nammu, built a great ziggurat to the city’s patron deity, Nanna, the moon god. The city continued to thrive in the Babylonian period and the Bible claims Ur as the home of Abraham before he left for the west. Later the city declined and was finally abandoned in the 4th century bc.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983