What he unveiled in his lecture caused an international sensation. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Learn how this "land between two rivers" became the birthplace of the world's first cities, advancements in math and science, and the earliest evidence of literacy and a legal system. Museum Hours: The OI Museum is closed … One of the most spectacular and widely publicized archaeological discoveries in Mesopotamia was the cemetery at Ur, excavated in the late 1920s, a monumental site, significant for what it revealed about this ancient culture. A three-tier mass of mud bricks, the structure has been restored several times during its long history. There was also a pit associated with the queen, in which the remains of five armed men, four grooms for a pair of oxen, another three attendants, and twelve female attendants were found. The excavations at the Royal Cemetery at Ur were concentrated on the most elite burials. See the image additionally enlarged. The discoveries came fast and furious. He learnt a great deal about how people lived and what they believed by studying the burials. The Akkadian Empire was an ancient empire that existed towards the end of the 3rd millennium BC. This structure was a stepped pyramid, erected during the third dynasty of Ur, around 2000 B.C. Even though Woolley realized that tombs full of more riches must be located nearby, he refused to let the expedition descend into a mere treasure hunt. During a long evolution, humankind picked up pieces of genetic material from other hominids. It was there, in 1922, that he received the commission to direct the excavation at Ur. As a result of Woolley’s excavation, a cemetery of nearly 2,000 graves was gradually unearthed. Known as the Standard of Ur, this box is held at the British Museum. His discoveries had profound repercussions for the way that ancient Mesopotamia was, and is, regarded. In 1907, a mysterious tomb was discovered in Egypt. (Image: Photographed by Michel wal/British Museum) The Royal Tombs of Ur is a 4,800-year-old Sumerian burial site of around 2,000 graves located in the ancient city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia (in the south of modern day Iraq). In this saga, he came upon an account of a flood that was strikingly similar to that of the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament. It is not known how the box was used or what it may have contained. The book accompanied an exhibition whose aim was to bring together the main pieces of the discoveries of the Royal Tombs of Ur. The front panel, made of lapis lazuli, shell and red limestone, was attached with bitumen (bitumen is "tar" or … Where Sumerian Rulers Lie: The Royal Tombs of Ur The site map of the Great Death Pit. This is the currently selected item. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. 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