The Royal Tombs of Ur, dating from approximately 3000–2700 BCE, are among the most famous and impressive archeological discoveries of the twentieth century. Excavated between 1922 and 1934 under the direction of Leonard Woolley, this site is one of the richest sources of information we have about ancient Sumer—however, many mysteries about the society that produced these tombs remain. Based on primary research with the Ur materials at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, and paying particular attention to the iconography found in what Woolley referred to as the “Seal Impression Strata of Ur,” this book works to reconstruct the early history of Sumer. What was this society like? What social structures did this society build? What were its institutions of authority? The answers Petr Charvát proposes are of interest not only to archeologists, but to anyone fascinated by early human history.
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