Ubaid visit and photos - Page 1

Tell al-‘Ubaid
Visited 08.05-09.05, 6 June, 2008
The site lies 6 km west of Ur.

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Tell al-‘Ubaid
Visited 08.05-09.05, 6 June, 2008
The site lies 6 km west of Ur.

Excavations were conducted by H. R. Hall in 1919, C. L. Woolley in 1923-4, and P. Delougaz and S. Lloyd in 1937.

H. R. Hall and C. L. Woolley, Ur Excavations I: Al-‘Ubaid (Oxford 1927); P. Delougaz, “A Short Investigation of the Temple at Al-‘Ubaid”, Iraq 5 (1938), pp. 1-11.

Late Ubaid period (c. 4000 BC) modest houses were uncovered with typical painted pottery. To the south-west of the site an extensive cemetery was revealed; graves date to the Ubaid and Early Dynastic periods (c. 3000-2350 BC). The remains of a mud-brick temple platform and staircase dating from Early Dynastic III (c. 2500 BC) to the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2000 BC) were excavated. The temple had not survived, but decorative elements of the building were found at the base of the platform, including copper lions with bitumen cores and a copper panel showing the lion-headed eagle Imdugud.

The helicopter landed to the south-west of the mound. The tell was extensively damaged by military installations when it was established as an Iraqi command post in early 2003: a four-metre square hollow (now about 1.5 m deep) on the summit of the mound was probably the position of a radar station. Radiating from the base of the mound are up to 10 vehicle bays (measuring approximately 17.5 x 4 m) formed by parallel mounds of earth now about 1.5 m high. There were also numerous other hollows and pits around the mound, presumably dug by the military. There were no obvious signs of looting. The site is fenced but the fence has been broken in at least two places – there is no obvious gate. At least four firing positions facing towards the south-east were identified within the fenced area. A number of vehicle tracks crossed the site. There are no designated guards for Ubaid but guards from Ur protect the site along with SPF personnel. The site was threatened in 2005 by the proposed construction of twelve brick factories to the north. Opposition to this project by the Inspector of Antiquities, Mr A. Hamdani, was ultimately successful but resulted in his imprisonment on trumped-up charges from the end of March to the beginning of July 2006.

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