Season 1

The first season at Ur led by Sir Leonard Woolley.  1922-1923

Objects: 01: 1922-1923 Export: JSON - XML - CSV

Object U Number Museum Number (UPM Date Reg Number) Museum Number (BM Registration Number) Museum Number (UPM B-number) Description (Catalog Card)
72 (none) (none) B15192 Clay mask. The eyes are pierced right through and filled with paste, originally blue: there is a hole at the top for suspension. [drawing 1:1] [Annotated] Phil
73 (none) (none) (none) Bronze arrowhead. three-edged type. [drawing 1:1]
74 (none) (none) (none) Clay cone. Inscribed. Upper part. Lower part broken off in antiquity. [Annotated] Duplicate of U.4. [Annotated] Ur Texts I: R.1.106 [Annotated] Placed in IN/No.5.
75 (none) (none) (none) Bronze funerary urn. frg. of very much broken up and oxidized. It contains human bones all broken up small, but shewing no signs of burning. [drawing] Bottom of urn set about 0.015 above the lowest edge of the walls
76A (none) (none) (none) [A-BQ] 64 tablets and fragments of tablets, numbering in all 15-20 tablets of the contract type, Persian period, mostly dated in the reign of Ataxerxes. A single hoard in burnt stratum near surface, near a large pot. [BR-BX]+7 tablets and fragments of the same hoard in the small box. [BY]+1 fragment from the same hoard placed in the small box
78 (none) (none) (none) Clay tablet. Inscribed. [Annotated] Sumerian list, period Third Dynasty of Ur, date broken, begins MU.EN.NINGAR (Nannar)
80 (none) (none) (none) Cylinder seal. Greenish white steatite. Subject, god seated rt. A minor deity introducing a worshipper: inscr. in 2 columns [drawing of inscription] 3rd Dynasty
81 (none) (none) (none) Cylinder seal. Paste. Poor condition. Simple criss-cross design. [drawing 1:1]
82 (none) (none) (none) Clay figurine. fr. of horses's head and neck. [drawing 1:1]
83 (none) (none) (none) Clay pot. Greenish drab clay, wheelmade. Type III.
84 (none) (none) (none) Clay pot. Drab clay, wheelmade. Type III.
85 (none) (none) (none) Clay pot. Coarse drab clay, clumsy wheelmade ware. Most of rim missing. Type XXXV.
86 (none) (none) B15390 Clay pot. With wheel-turned grooves on shoulder. Much of rim missing. Type XXXVI. [Annotated] Phil
87 (none) (none) (none) Clay vase. Greenish drab ware, wheelmade, with wheel-turned grooves round shoulder. Type XII.
88 (none) (none) (none) Clay pot. Pinkish drab clay, wheelmade. Type XI.
89 (none) (none) (none) Clay pot. Red clay with fine hematitic engobbage. Wheelmade. Much decayed by salt. Type I.
91 (none) (none) (none) Clay pot. Drab clay, wheelmade, with fine cramy white engobbage. Most of rim missing. Type I.
92 (none) (none) (none) Clay pot. Miniature. Rough, handmade, of red clay. Neck pierced with 2 holes for suspension. Type XXVII. [Drawing 1:1]
93 (none) (none) (none) Clay cone. fr. of = Inscribed [Annotated] TTB Neo-Babylonian
95 (none) (none) (none) Bronze pin. rectangular section. Broken into 3 pieces. [drawing 1:1]
96A (none) (none) (none) [A-B] Two Pebbles. pierced to be worn as amulets. [drawing 1:1]
96B (none) (none) (none) [A-B] Two Pebbles. pierced to be worn as amulets. [drawing 1:1]
97 (none) (none) (none) Clay cup. Rough reddish drab clay, hole pierced through base. Type XXIV. [drawing 1:1] [Annotated] Cards used Vol VI
98 (none) (none) (none) Veined agate fragment. Inscribed with a dedication to Nannar.
99 (none) (none) (none) Fragment of Clay Cone. Duplicate of one found by Taylor with an inscription recording a dedication to the Sun-god by Enannatum, a priest of the Moon-god, for the life of Gunguau, King of Ur (and Larsa).

Locations: 01: 1922-1923 Export: JSON - XML - CSV

Location Context Title Context Description Description (Modern)
Ehursag | HT The excavation area abbreviation HT stands for Hall's Temple because H.R. Hall had excavated parts of it in 1919. Hall called it Area (or Building) B and he found inscribed bricks in the paved floors of the building which indicated it was the ehursag, the house of the mountain, which was purported to be Shulgi's palace. Woolley, in his first season, found inscribed bricks in the walls that mentioned Ur-Namma's temple of the moon god, and he concluded the building was actually a temple, dubbing the excavation area HT. He believed the actual ehursag palace to be located somewhere else within the temenos. Many of his subsequent excavation abbreviations attest to his search for the building, but he eventually agreed that HT was the ehursag itself. In his fourth season, Woolley cleared the remaining extents of the building. He had already explored parts of the terrace wall on which it stood and came to find that this was part of the Ur III temenos wall. Along this wall near the ehursag Woolley found a deep well, at the bottom of which (13 meters down) were many inscribed clay cones. (none)
TTB TTB is shorthand for Trial Trench B, one of two trenches excavated in Woolley's first season at Ur in 1922. This one was about 4 meters wide by about 60 meters long and ended up almost entirely within the e-nun-mah, a building that went through many forms over the centuries. The trench was expanded to reveal the building and extra abbreviations were added to it to indicate portions, roughly in directional notation from the main trench. The trench cut the building close to the west corner and TTB.W became the abbreviation for this area beyond the trench itself. TTB.SS and TTB.ES covered the larger area to the south and east. The abbreviation ES was then used in later seasons to refer to the majority of the building and a small portion of the area to the south of it. The enunmah itself was a complicated structure that seems to have changed function from storeroom (originally called the ganunmah) to temple through its long history. Woolley began assigning room numbers within the abbreviation TTB, but these excavation room numbers do not correlate precisely with the published room numbers. (none)
TTA TTA is shorthand for Trial Trench A, one of two exploratory trenches excavated in Woolley's first season at Ur in 1922. This one was about 4 meters wide by about 40 meters long as revealed by an aerial photograph taken at the end of the 1922 season. The trench encountered a few scattered finds of jewelry and materials that led Woolley to suspect they were from a graveyard, but he felt his team of local diggers was not yet ready to excavate such sensitive contexts. Thus, he decided to concentrate on TTB for the first few seasons, according to his various publications. One of the primary reasons for concentrating on TTB initially, however, may have been that Woolley discovered no architecture in TTA but had struck the enunmah building in TTB. Woolley returned to TTA in season 5, when he expanded with new trial trenches and eventually opened up the entire area of the Royal Cemetery. No individual graves are reported in TTA and any that might have been encountered did not receive PG numbers. Those in the following trial trenches expanding TTA (TTE, TTF, TTG) did receive these numbers and gave their abbreviation (PG) to the entire Royal Cemetery area. (none)
Temenos Wall | TW The excavation area abbreviation TW stands for Temenos Wall, a wall that surrounded the ziggurat terrace and its extended sacred space in the northern central portion of the city of Ur through much of its history. The wall may have begun in the Early Dynastic period, as Woolley found some indication of what he believed to be its earliest foundation. There was clearly an Ur III period version that ran south of the giparu and then further southeast to encompass the ehursag. This was the general line of the wall through the Isin-Larsa/Old Babylonian and into the Kassite period, though the Kassites made some changes in the northern portion. Finally, the Neo-Babylonians changed the wall greatly, expanding the area encompassed to the north and south and adding several gateways. The foundations of this later, quite massive, wall often destroyed earlier remains. Woolley explored parts of the temenos wall in many seasons and frequently used the TW abbreviation for the wall in any of its building periods. Other excavation area abbreviations include parts of the temenos, particularly NCF, PDW and BC. The temenos wall built by Urnamma was 6 meters thick and built of mud brick with a baked brick facing. Most of the baked brick had been removed, probably for later building. The Nebuchadnezzar and Nabonidus temenos wall had chambers within it and sported six gates into the temenos area. This area was known as e-gish-nu-gal (Woolley read this e-gish-shir-gal). At least one later interpretation conflates TW with the phrase Town Wall, but the wall surrounding Ur was always referred to as the city wall, (CLW). (none)
Diqdiqqeh | DQ Essentially a suburb of the ancient city, this area is located about 2 km to the northeast of the ziggurat of Ur. The precise extents of Diqdiqqeh were never defined, but Woolley referred to it as the low ground between the main railway line and the branch that went to Nasiriyeh. The train lines no longer run in the same place they did in Woolley's day, but Corona images allow us to recreate their paths. This makes the general boundaries west, south, and east somewhat known but how far it stretched north is not completely clear. From the first season workers walking across this area picked up surface finds and brought them to Woolley. At that time the location did not have a fixed name in Woolley's mind and thus first season references sometimes say 'near the railway' or 'near Munshid's water engine.' In the second season Woolley decided to investigate more systematically, but after two days of excavation he decided there was not enough remaining architecture to reward further work. Instead, he continued to allow the workers to gather finds over the next ten seasons, and many later catalog cards state "brought in: Diqdiqqeh" The finds from Diqdiqqeh indicate that the ancient suburb played a role in manufacturing and perhaps in commerce. Canals seem to have met in the area and boats may have unloaded goods here. Many figurines, tools, moulds and other crafting items are among the finds, suggesting that Diqdiqqeh may have been an industrial area away from the main habitation. The so-called Treasury of Sin-Iddinam was also excavated in this general area in season 5. In the Antiquaries Journal of January 1925, Woolley described Diqdiqqeh as follows: “A mile and a half NE. of the ziggurat, between the main railway line and the Nasiriyah branch, there is a patch of low-lying ground, occasionally cultivated, which the natives call Diqdiqqeh... a happy hunting-ground for treasure-seekers, and I took advantage of this fact to collect from the natives the scattered antiquities which they might bring to light.” (none)
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Media: 01: 1922-1923 Export: JSON - XML - CSV

Media Media Title Title Label Author Omeka Label
Season 1 Field Report Season 1 Field Report (none) Woolley, Leonard (none)
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People: 01: 1922-1923 Export: JSON - XML - CSV

People Full Name Biography
Charles Leonard Woolley Prominent British archaeologist whose excavation work includes digs at Roman Corbridge, Carchemish for the British Museum, Ur, and Al Mina and Tell Atchana in Syria. Knighted in 1935 for his contributions to the discipline of archaeology. , Trained as an archaeologist at Oxford University and excavated in Roman Britain (Corbridge) briefly, then in the Sudan under British-born American archaeologist David Randall-MacIver, who was a curator at the Penn Museum. Woolley then conducted excavations at Carchemish near the current Syrian/Turkish border from 1911-1914. In World War I, Woolley's knowledge of the Middle East was extremely valuable and he worked for British Intelligence. Even before the War he was essentially spying on the German railroad that was under construction near Carchemish (the Berlin-Baghdad Railway). Relatively early in the war, however, Woolley was captured and spent two years in a Turkish POW camp. Woolley was chosen to lead the expedition to Ur as early as 1920 when the two museums began to discuss the details of a joint excavation. He began work at the site late in 1922 and completed excavations in 1934, working long hours and accomplishing a great deal. He was knighted in 1935 for his work at Ur. He went on to run excavations at Al Mina and Alalakh in Syria. In his lifetime he gave many lectures and wrote many articles and books but never held an academic position. He died in 1960 and was lauded by generations of scholars around the world for his contributions to the field of archaeology., Leonard Woolley was the third of eleven children of a Church of England clergyman, George Herbert Woolley, and his wife Sarah. He attended St John’s, Leatherhead, and New College, Oxford where he studied Classics and theology. It was the warden of New College, W.A. Spooner, who advised him to take up archaeology after graduation. In 1905 Woolley was appointed assistant to Arthur Evans, Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, in Oxford. Woolley’s early career took him to Nubia in 1907–11, and after that he went as director of the Carchemish expedition sponsored by the British Museum. One of his assistants was T.E. Lawrence (better known as “Lawrence of Arabia”). Woolley and Lawrence collaborated in assisting the Palestine Exploration Fund in its programme of making a definitive map of the Holy Land. This work was published in 1915 as The Wilderness of Zin. After the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Woolley was posted to Cairo where he acted as an intelligence officer. He was promoted to the rank of major in 1916 before being captured by the Turks and imprisoned at Kastamonu. He tried to return to Carchemish after the War but the political situation was too unsettled. In 1921, he excavated at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt with T.E. Peet, sponsored by the Egypt Exploration Society. In 1922, Woolley was made director of a joint expedition at Ur funded by the British Museum and The University of Pennsylvania Museum. It is with this site that his name will always be associated. He spent twelve years there, until 1934. Within two years of his arrival, Gertrude Bell had established the Iraq Museum in Baghdad which had a statutory right to first choice of all objects excavated. So rich were the finds from the site, however, especially from the Royal Cemetery, that both the British Museum and Penn Museum also contain fabulous objects from Ur in their collections. Woolley’s strengths were his painstaking approach to excavation; for example, excavation of the Royal Cemetery was delayed until he believed his local workforce was sufficiently well-trained to tackle the intricate disclosure of these opulent tombs. He also monitored and instructed his own staff, in particular Max Mallowan who early on acquired the habit of keeping careful field notes, making drawings, preparing monthly reports for sponsors, and most important, publishing in full each season’s work and finds as soon as possible after the season’s end. Woolley had a way with words and both his non-specialist books and lantern slide lectures were very popular with the public. His weakness was a familiarity with the Old Testament which led to unfounded connections between it and the work in hand, as for example, his belief that Ur was the birthplace of Abraham. Woolley also believed he had found evidence of The Flood. After Ur, Woolley moved to Tell Atchana in northern Syria, digging there before the War in 1937–39, and after it, from 1946¬–49. He was knighted for his services to archaeology in 1935. During the Second World War, Woolley worked for the Military Intelligence Directorate to assess and protect art and museum collections throughout Europe. He reported to Winston Churchill personally. In this work he was most ably assisted by his wife Katharine. After Katharine’s death and the end of his active archaeological career at Atchana, Woolley retired to Ashford in Kent. After an unsuccessful relationship, he retired to Dorset where he was looked after by a devoted housekeeper and her husband, thus enabling him to write up his archaeological work.
Iraqi Workers (none)
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