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Title / Description: Entrance to the brick vaulted tomb-chamber of Ur-Nammu (Royal Mausoleum of Ur)Commentary: Ur is located in the southern part of the modern country of Iraq, on what was a branch of the Euphrates River. Ur appears in the Bible under the name Ur of the Chaldees, and was Abraham's hometown. (Genesis 11:31, 15:7, Nehemiah 9:7) Ur often gained prominence during its long history (ca. 5th millenium BCE-400 BCE). One of the major finds at this site was the so-called Royal Cemetery, a burial place active for about 500 years (ca. 2600-2100 BCE), and home to roughly 2,000 graves. This picture shows the entrance to the tomb of Ur-Nammu, a ruler of the city during its heyday in the late 3rd millenium BCE. Ur-Nammu's tomb was one of the relatively few tombs in this area of actual royalty, and was likely stocked with exceedingly valuable and fine objects. (most of these tombs were looted before their modern discovery.) Ur-Nammu may also have been buried with a handful of attendants. The construction of the outer tomb itself consisted of a great number of mud bricks, as can be seen in this picture.
Provenance: Ur, Iraq
Object Type: image - architecture
Date: 22 c. BCE
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, vol. 5
Author of Commentary: Adam Mendelson
Source: Phinney, D. Nathan Leander Keck slide collection