Where is the city of UR –

Ur It was a city of ancient Mesopotamia and is currently in the region of Iraq. In this article we will talk about its location, its history and the royal tombs of Ur; so we propose a historical tour of this place that has been declared by UNESCO as a Mixed Heritage of Humanity.

What is the city of Ur

To talk about the city ​​of ur we have to move to 2,000 or 3,000 years before Christ, located in an area near the Euphrates River, in the Persian Gulf. You may have read or heard about this ancient city in southern Mesopotamia because it is described in the Bible as the place where Abraham was born.

Until relatively recently, it has not been possible to clarify that Ur was actually in Iraq. Thanks to the different expeditions of archaeologists, the discoveries found in that place and the restoration work, it has been possible to clarify that it really is this biblical city.

Specifically, they found inscribed clay tablets that, after its translation and interpretation, it was verified that it spoke of the King Ur Nammu. This fact facilitated all the work of historical location since it was known that Ur-Nammu was crowned king of Ur around the year 2112 BC. In turn, it also encouraged future archeology work.

History of the city of Ur

Ur is considered one of the oldest cities in all of Sumer. Within its history there are four different periods that we will address below:

Archaid dynastic period

This is one of the periods for which less direct information is available, but it has been possible to investigate through external texts about the city.

With regard to the information that has been found, there is talk of conquests of the city of Ur, assignments of royalty and the possibility of a certain hegemony of Ur in this period.

In turn, it has been possible to know the names of two kings who would be the dynasty I of Ur, Aanepada and Meskiaga-nuna, whose names belong to Akkadians. Later, in the 2nd dynasty of Ur there was the conquest of the city of Ur, among others in southern Mesopotamia, by King Umma Lugalzagesi, who declared himself king of Kish.

akkadian empire

Shortly after declaring himself king of Kish, Sargon I of Akkad began his conquests and included Ur under his dominions, thus becoming part of the Akkadian Empire.

From the XXIII century a. C, under the reign of Naram-Sin (grandson of Sargon), a writing of a priestess of Ur has been found, Enheduanna, which is authentic. In turn, there is also a relief of herself next to the god Nannar. In the writing Enheduanna she tells that she has been expelled from Ur and it is believed that she could have to do with the fact that she could be the daughter of Sargon.

During this time, in turn, many Akkadian cities revolted but were subdued by Naram-Sin. It was not until the reign of his son that Ur got its independence.

The Third Dynasty of Ur

A few years after the fall of the Empire, it is believed that the city of Lagash maintained some kind of power over U and, in the 22nd century BC, Ur-Nammu chose the city of Ur as the capital of the kingdom and from there originated the III dynasty of Ur. With him came the Sumerian renaissance and a great stage of splendor for Mesopotamia.

Today, the remains of buildings that can be seen date from this time, such as Ziggurat of UrAlthough it is not in the same conditions, its majesty can be seen and allows one to dream of the dimensions of this construction, which today measure 15 meters.

Around 2003 BC came the fall of the III dynasty. Numerous nomads were arriving and gaining importance, the cities wanted their independence and finally, after several kings, everything was lost. The city was razed and looted, leaving the city under the rule of Ishbi-Erra.

From this period is the famous poem Ur’s Lamentationswhich is the most outstanding text of this period.

After the 3rd dynasty

After the end of the dynasty, the city of Ur came under the rule of the cities of Isin and Larsa. Still, it would not be until Nebuchadnezzar II that would acquire a certain splendor again with the reconstruction of the temples of Ur.

Finally, it would lose its brilliance again when the Persian Empire conquered Nesopotamia and spelled the end.

The royal tombs of Ur

The royal tombs of Ur are considered one of the most amazing discoveries in this city. The name of this cemetery can give rise to error, since it is called a royal cemetery, but in it they have found more than 1800 graves and most of those buried were people without political or royal positions.

16 or 17 tombs have been found that are built with other, more solid and consistent elements, which are what have been called royal tombs of ur, as they were built in the Archaic Dynastic period. Inside these royal tombs was the deceased with other companions and a multitude of riches and precious objects of great value. After finding the inscriptions of the names, it was possible to finish concluding that they were the tombs of the royalty of Ur.

As an example of what was found in these royal tombs and the burial procedure, one of the queens found was accompanied by five armed men and ten women. Among the precious objects was a Puabi, Harp of Ur made of gold, a chariot, jewels, cloaks, a headdress of leaves, a gold cup, etc.

Among these pits and tombs was found the Standard of Ur, which dates from the 26th century BC, and is a wooden box that is made with the inlaid technique, typical of Sumerian and Akkadian art, which consisted of embedding precious stones – such as lapis lazuli – and shells. In each of the faces you can see a representation of Sumerian life, which has provided much more information about the wealth and life of that time.