Category Archives: Iraq

National Poetry Month, Week 3

This week highlights two iconic objects from the Iraq’s Ancient Past exhibition:  Ram in the Thicket and Puabi’s Diadem and Headdress.  Here is what the guest interpreters had to say: Ram Caught in a Thicket Shiny A ram, Curious Kicking, Standing, Eating Why did they create this? Stuck by Marley Puabi’s Golden Headdress Pretty Big, […]

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Ur Digitization Project: March 2013

Adze U9339/B16691 : Made of gold? How much gold?

This month we had a week-long visit from archaeo-metallurgists from the Deutches Bergbau-Museum, the University of Franfurt am Main, and the University of Toulouse, Le Mirail. They brought with them some impressive equipment for spot analysis of many metal objects from Ur and will do more in-depth studies of the results back in their home […]

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Ur Digitization Project: February 2013

Ur excavation area EM, domestic architecture: published in UE7 1976, plate 122

Archival documents of the month Spotlight on Maps of Excavated Domestic Areas EM and AH Published in Antiquaries Journal 1927, 1931, and in Ur Excavations volume 7 My last blog post concerned the questions of the standard house in the period most revealed in Woolley’s excavations. Now I want to cover the larger concept of […]

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Ur Digitization Project: January 2013

Watercolor reconstruction of 'typical' house at Ur, No. 3 Gay Street, by A.S. Whitburn, ca. 1930.

Archival document of the month Spotlight on A.S. Whitburn reconstruction drawing of No. 3 Gay Street Early archaeologists often concentrated on temples, palaces and cemeteries, since these were most likely to contain impressive artifacts for museums. Woolley dug his fair share of these areas, but to his great credit, he did not overlook the more […]

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Ur Digitization Project: December 2012

Supervisory staff in front of the improved Expedition house at end of season 1928-29.

Archival documents of the month Spotlight on Field Photo Numbers 0002 and 1365 The Dig House Archaeologist C. Leonard Woolley spent as much as five months (typically November to March) every year in the field, living at a small house he had built near the site of Ur. It was a basic Expedition house for […]

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Ur Digitization Project: November 2012

Field photo number 1617: RAF photo of the Ur ziggurat in 1930

Archival documents of the month Spotlight on Field Photo Numbers 912, 1616, 1617, and 2350) The Enormity of the Task I’ve been on the road most of this month in meetings and conferences in both London and Chicago. At these meetings I and many others involved have been promoting the Ur project and reporting on […]

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Ur Digitization Project: Item of the Month, October 2012

Roll-out in plaster of cylinder seal U.8228, which likely hung from the silver pin B16730.

Artifact of the month Spotlight on Field Number U.8226 (Museum Number B16730) Silver Garment Pin This beautiful pin was found in PG165, a ‘non-royal’ grave in the Royal Cemetery area of Ur. More than 1800 graves were found in this area but only 16 were designated royal; these graves had particular characteristics, most notably a […]

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Ur Digitization Project: September 2012

Current object, U.8190, obviously broken at some time in the past 80 years. Scheduling necessary conservation is an aim of the Ur Project.

This month at the Ur Project has been very busy. We have two major arms of activity ongoing, archival and artifactual (if that’s a word). This blog entry will try to display both through a point of convergence: PG 143. PG stands for Private Grave, a designation Woolley gave to graves in a particular area, […]

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Archaeology: Remembering the Human Element

Within the relative comfort of a 21st century museum, it is easy to forget the sacrifices, challenges, and dedication involved in the discovery of antiquities. All too frequently when we see glamorous vases, sarcophagi glistening with gold, and jewelry enlivened with lapis lazuli, we assume that these objects tell the entire glorious story of both […]

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Ur Digitization Project: Item of the Month, August 2012

Our current Ur digitization database contains all of the known links between museum artifacts and the information gathered in the field, but around 40% of the objects that were excavated at Ur are missing that connection. Time and storage, and even human error both in the field and in later inventories, have stripped away some […]

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