Iraq hopes to list its ancient Sumerian ruins of Ur, located in the south of the country, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Iraq's Culture Ministry has prepared a comprehensive document that will be sent to UNESCO, which it hopes will lead to the aim, Dhi Qar province's chief archeologist Amer Abdulrazaq told KUNA. Getting the ancient city listed will offer the ruins, which date back to 3800 BC, further protection and extra funding and will support excavations in the site, he said.
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The ancient city of UrUr was an important Sumerian city-state in ancient Mesopotamia located at the site of modern Tell el-Muqayyar in Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate. Once a coastal city near the mouth of the Euphrates on the Persian Gulf, Ur is now well inland, south of the Euphrates on its right bank, 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Nasiriyah.
The city dates from the Ubaid period circa 3800 BC, and is recorded in written history as a City State from the 26th century BC, its first recorded king being Mesh-Ane-pada. The city's patron deity was Nanna, the Sumerian and Akkadian moon god, and the name of the city is in origin derived from the god's name.
Despite Iraq containing over 20,000 historical sites, only four have been listed as World Heritage Sites, and the archaeologist suggested that this was because they were neglected during the rule of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The sites were also affected by the US-led war on Iraq as their air forces were stationed close to the site.
Ur was the capital of the ancient civilisation of the Sumerians in southern Mesopotamia, now modern Iraq. The site is marked by the ruins of the Ziggurat of Ur, which contained the shrine of the moon god, Nanna.
The site contains a set of tombs and ancient Sumerian script which adorn the mud-bricked walls.
In Islam, the site was also once home to the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham).
Browse All UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iraq.