Ur of the Chaldees

A virtual vision of Woolley's excavations

Project leaders

Department of the Middle East 


  • Penn Museum

Supported by

  • Leon Levy Foundation

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Excavation at Ur

This ambitious project will digitally reunify the remarkable finds from the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur in a new online resource.

The Ur project is a collaboration between the British Museum and the Penn Museum, and in the future hopefully also the Iraq Museum. The project teams are photographing and describing all objects discovered in the city. Cuneiform tablets are being translated, and the original excavation photographs, archives, plans, and other documents, are being scanned and indexed. All of this data will be made freely available in an open database.

The unification of this information in a single resource, from photographs of Agatha Christie, to excavation diaries and find spots of individual objects, will enable research previously not possible. The website will also provide engaging contextual information on one of world's most enigmatic ancient cities, and one of the world's most fascinating archaeological excavations.

Excavation at Ur

Leonard Woolley excavating the silver lyre

Project information

Full project team