When someone talks about the planet’s oldest cities, the first name that comes to our mind is the Mesopotamian towns of the Middle east. Ur was one of them. Every heritage lover knew about the ancient city of Ur.
The ancient Sumerian Ur was a significant city in early Mesopotamia. The city was situated in modern nation Iraq’s Tell el-Muqayyar, Dhi Qar province. In ancient times, this was a coastal city on the Persian Gulf. In the present day, due to climate changes, the coastline was shifted away from the Ur. So, Now the City of Ur is an inland site. The nearest river is the mighty river of Euphrates.
Around 4000 years ago, the ancient Ur was habituated by indigenous people of northern Mesopotamia. Archaeologically, its period is known as the agricultural culture-based Chalcolithic phase. That habitation was ended due to the flood.
Historically, the city-state of Ur belongs to the Ubaid Era (3800 BCE). According to the inscriptions, Ur was as old as the 26th century BC and the Earliest ruler of Ur was Mesannepada. The chief god of the Ur was Nanna. The meaning of Ur is the house of Nanna.
The archaeological site of Ur comprises moderately restored Ziggurat remains. It also has a shrine of Nanna. The Nanna’s temple was constructed by Ur-Nammu in the 21st century BC. The temple was re-erected by the Nabonidus in the 6th century BCE. He was the last ruler of Babylon. This Mesopotamian city-state of Ur saw its disintegration after the fall of the 3rd Dynasty. The main reason was the change in the political equations.
The site of Ur was first documented in the 17th Century CE by Pietro Della Valle. He saw the antique things like the bricks impressed with odd symbols, emblazoned fragments of black marble. The earliest archaeological excavations were done in 1853 by the British Museum under the supervision of John George Taylor. He excavated the Ziggurat of Ur and an arch later that is now known as Gate of Judgment. The first scientific and precise excavations at Ur were done in the 1930s by the British Museum with the help of the University of Pennsylvania.
In the 21st century, the NPO Global Heritage Fund is preserving and conserving the archaeological site of Ur from erosion, terrorism, war, etc. They are also bound in the field of archaeological and cultural research regarding the Ur. Recently Pope visited Ur for a religious meeting.