Iraq Tour Guide: Ur of the Chaldees

Iraq Tour Guide: Ur of the Chaldees Last updated on Tuesday 20th April 2010

Situated near the town of Nasiriya, about 370km south-east of Baghdad, this is one of Iraq's most imposing ancient sites.

In former days it stood on the banks of the Euphrates, until the river changed its course. The earliest buildings date from 4000BC, and there is an impressive ziggurat (pyramid-shaped tower), as well as some royal tombs in a good state of preservation. These tombs are thought to date from about 2600-2000BC.

Ur of the Chaldees is mentioned in the Bible as the birthplace of Abraham, although there is no real evidence to support this statement. On a surer footing, it was the capital of the ancient civilization of Sumeria, and was first excavated in 1922-34 by Sir Leonard Woolley.

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