As reported in the Christian Science Monitor, archaeologists have uncovered what appears to be the ancient ruins of Ur, once the dwelling place of the ancient prophet, Abraham. The dig is progressing at Tell Khaiber, Iraq, directed by Stuart Campbell of Manchester University’s (UK) Archaeology Department. A sprawling building complex that may have been the administrative center of the city, appears to be about 4,000 years old.
The ruins are near the site of the partially reconstructed Ziggurat, or Sumerian temple. The complex is about 260 feet on every side and consists of a complex of rooms around a central courtyard. Artifacts have been found at the site, including “a 9-centimeter (3.5-inch) clay plaque showing a worshipper wearing a long, fringed robe, approaching a sacred site.” The archaeologists will analyze plant and animal remains to gather hints regarding the environment of the ancient city.
The dig is a very recent project due to continuous unrest in Iraq.
Abraham, who is important to Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide, left Ur at the command of God in order to move to Canaan. There had been a famine in the land, and Abraham’s father, Terah, was an idol worshiper. In Mormon scripture (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the Mormon Church), we can learn more about Abraham. The Book of Abraham was translated from ancient Egyptian papyri by Prophet Joseph Smith, with the help of revelation. It contains revelations experienced by Abraham regarding pre-mortal life, as well as more of Abraham’s personal story—he aspired to hold the priesthood of his prophet-fathers, his most noble forbears. He was meant to be a sacrifice to the Egyptian gods, and only escaped death through the intervention of the Lord. (Read more from the Book of Abraham.)