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Iraq, to the origins of history. Archaeologically speaking. An Italian archaeological mission is investigating the sites of ancient Mesopotamia.

We are in southern Iraq, in Ur. A handful of kilometers separating us from Nasiriyah and 16 kilometers from Abu Tbeirah.

This is the ancient Mesopotamia, the land the cradle of civilization where a group of archaeologists brings to light important finds of the third millennium B.C. … This is the ancient Mesopotamia, the land the cradle of civilization where a group of archaeologists brings to light important finds of the third millennium B.C. .. Ur is one of the Mesopotamian sites of major archaeological interest, one of the most important cities of the Sumerian period, a vast open-air museum where you can admire the testimony of the first civilization, one that “invented” writing. It is at that moment that is made to coincide the birth of history.

Since 2011 Ur houses the archaeological mission of the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, the first foreign mission to be allowed into Iraq after the Gulf wars. 

Ur every morning archaeologists, waking up when it is still night, crossing a short section of Nasiriyah and arrive on a flat clay and desert in which are emerging important and valuable findings of the Sumerian period: Abu Tbeirah. In the distance separating Ur from Abu Tbeirah meets another Iraq, where the war there and varying cultures can meet. The heritage of antiquity is a memory retrieval and desire for a new time, a time when begin rebuilding as a tangible and intangible legacy.

The work focuses in Abu Tbeirah, a site you do not know the original name, the remains of which date back to 2400-2150 BC, certainly linked to the ancient city of Ur, which is about 16 km. The archaeological mission has unearthed a major building that probably acquitted in administrative functions. This mission is the result of a collaboration with the Iraqi authorities of the University of Dhi Qar and the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and the Archaeological Heritage.

The ruins of Ur. The site, one of the first settlements of lower Mesopotamia, was investigated in the twenties of last century British archaeologist Charles Leonard Woolley, who brought to light precious testimonies of the Sumerian. There he found inspiration for his novel Agatha Christie There is no escape (Murder in Mesopotamia), during one of the trips that accompanied the archaeologist husband Max Mallowan.

Ur. Cleaning of a vessel of the third millennium BC clay lodged in its interior. Often the ceramics found intact part of funerary objects.

The Ziggurat of Uruk, Sumerian other site northwest of Ur, dedicated to An, the god of heaven and father of the gods. Uruk was the most important Sumerian settlement in southern Mesopotamia, today’s Iraq. At Uruk, it is now housed the German archaeological mission.

At Uruk a millennium and a half before Homer were written the first epic poem of the history of literature, the protagonist Gilgamesh, the legendary king of the city.

It statuettes clay in Nasiriyah antiquity museum. Cultural heritage is a valuable resource here, a force from which to start. The discovery of the ancient world is the discovery of an everyday life that makes us look at Iraq with new and different eyes.

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To open the video click on the image, good view from your Alessandro Brizzi.



Iraq, to the origins of history. Archaeologically speaking.