The Ziggurat of Ur and Abraham

The Ziggurat of Ur and Abraham

In the annals of ancient history, few figures loom as large as Abraham, revered as the patriarch of three major monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. According to biblical accounts, Abraham hailed from the city of Ur, a prominent Sumerian urban center located in Mesopotamia.


The Ziggurat of Ur

 Biblical reference of "Abraham from Ur"

Genesis 11:31, it is written: "Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there."


Who was the Judeo-Christian figure of Abraham?

Abraham's significance as the "father of faith" stems from his unwavering trust and obedience to the one God, as demonstrated in various biblical narratives, including his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. His journey from Ur to Canaan symbolizes a pilgrimage of faith, setting a precedent for believers to trust in divine providence.


Abraham visited by three angels

The Sumerians and The Ziggurat of Ur

The city of Ur, situated in present-day Iraq, was a thriving metropolis during the third millennium BCE, renowned for its monumental architecture and sophisticated urban planning. At the heart of Ur stood the imposing Ziggurat of Ur, a towering terraced temple dedicated to the moon god Nanna (or Sin). Discovered in the 19th century by British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley, the Ziggurat of Ur dates back to the Early Bronze Age, with construction likely beginning around 2100 BCE.

Measuring approximately 64 meters in length, 45 meters in width, and 30 meters in height, the Ziggurat of Ur was a monumental structure that served as the focal point of religious and ceremonial activities. Its tiered platform, accessed by a grand staircase, supported a temple dedicated to the deity worshipped by the inhabitants of Ur.

Excavations at Ur have provided valuable insights into the civilization that thrived in this ancient city. The Sumerians, credited with the development of writing, mathematics, and early forms of governance, built Ur into a prosperous urban center. They adorned the Ziggurat and other structures with intricate artwork and inscriptions, reflecting their religious beliefs and cosmological worldview.

Ur's association with Abraham adds a layer of historical and religious significance to the city's legacy. While archaeological evidence directly linking Abraham to Ur is scarce, the biblical narrative and the discovery of the Ziggurat of Ur offer tantalizing glimpses into the ancient world inhabited by the patriarch. Whether the Ziggurat of Ur was a site frequented by Abraham and his contemporaries or a symbol of the cultural milieu from which he emerged, its grandeur and antiquity continue to captivate the imagination, inviting us to delve deeper into the mysteries of our shared human heritage.

Picture 1: The "Lamassu" is a statue found at Khorsabad Palace. The Lamassu is a celestial being from ancient Mesopotamian religion bearing a human head. This statue is currently located at the Louvre Museum.

Picture 2: Assyrian princes with swords statue found at Khorsabad Palace; Reign of Sargon II, 721 - 705 BC. This statue is currently located at the Louvre Museum.

Picture 3:  A Mede King relief found at Khorsabad Palace. This statue is currently located at the Louvre Museum.

A Mede King relief found at Khorsabad Palace. This statue is currently located at the Louvre Museum.

Mesopotamian artifacts

Mesopotamian artifacts which comprise most physical evidence of the Sumerian civilization were discovered in the village of Mosul inside the Khorsabad Palace. The village of Mosul is located in Northern Iraq, only 175 miles from the City Of Ur, located in Tell el-Muqayyar in Southern Iraq.


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