Iraqi site at Ur could outdo pyramids


The buried antiquities of Ur, the biblical birthplace of Abraham and one of the cradles of civilisation, could outshine those of ancient Egypt, archeologists believe. With Iraq ravaged by war and strife since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, Baghdad’s struggling government has had greater priorities than funding large-scale digs at Ur, where only small teams have been working since 2005. “When the (large-scale) excavations restart, tonnes of antiquities will see the light of day, filling entire museum wings,” enthused Dhaif Moussin, who is in charge of protecting a site that has been prone to looting. “This site will become perhaps more important than Giza,” he added, referring to the plateau outside the Egyptian capital of Cairo where some of mankind’s most treasured antiquities have been unearthed, including the Sphinx and several notable pyramids.