Ancient Sumerian site excavated

Mike Addelman, Press Officer of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Manchester, has been kind enough to provide us with some photos of the recent excavation of Tell Kahiber.

Some of us might easily drive past the ancient mound without realizing that it was an ancient archaeological site. Prof. Stuart Campbell and Dr. Jane Moore, both of Manchester University, and independent archaeologist Robert Killick, first recognized important features of the tell on satellite images.

Early stages of excavation at ancient settlement mound of Tel Khaiber. Photo by Prof. Stuart Campbell, University of Manchester.

Early stages of excavation at ancient settlement mound of Tel Khaiber. Photo by Prof. Stuart Campbell, University of Manchester.

Tell Kahiber is located close to Tell Mugheir, thought by some scholars to be the biblical Ur of the Chaldeans, the home of Abraham (Genesis 11:28-31; 15:7). Historically we know this area to be Sumer. The following map from Bible Atlas shows the general area.

Area of ancient Sumer. BibleAtlas.org

Area of ancient Sumer. BibleAtlas.org

The New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology points out,

There are no direct references to Sumer in the Bible, although it corresponds to the “land of Shinar” mentioned eight times in the OT.

Amraphel is designated as the king of Shinar (Genesus 14:1). Notice a couple of other references.

The beginning of his [Nimrod] kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. (Genesis 10:10 ESV)

And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. (Genesis 11:2 ESV)

One of the most striking finds thus far is a plaque, about 3½ inches high, showing a worshiper approaching a sacred place. He is depicted as wearing a long robe with fringe down the front opening. Images such as this one help us to think of the clothing that may have been worn by Abraham and his family.

One of the most striking finds to date is a clay plaque, 9cm high, showing a worshiper approaching a sacred place. Photo by Prof. Stuart Campbell, University of Manchester.

One of the most striking finds to date is a clay plaque showing a worshiper approaching a sacred place. Photo by Prof. Stuart Campbell, University of Manchester.

This information is being broadcast via several news outlets. You may read the press release from Manchester University here.

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3 responses to “Ancient Sumerian site excavated

  1. Reblogged this on ἐκλεκτικός and commented:
    Excavation of Tell Kahiber

  2. I am excited that the dig season is starting soon. I hope that there are some good finds this year.

  3. Work has been going on at the Iraqi site during March. The season is based on weather conditions at the particular site, even in Israel.

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