Leonard Wolley

a) Research the work of the archaeologist
- Focus on one major excavation
- Indicate where the work was carried out
- What artifacts were found in the excavation
Sir Leonard Woolley was a British archaeologist renowned for his discoveries between 1922 and 1934. His excavations at Mesopotamia put the ancient civilization of Sumerians on the ‘map of the ancient world’ Due to his theological background he was drawn to the Bible lands of what is known as modern day Iraq. Accompanied by a British team Woolley led an expedition to excavate the site of Ur, an ancient city of Sumer. In 1923 he determined the area the trenches would be dug which was near a ruined ziggurat, and by 1926 excavation of a burial ground was underway. His particular excavation of the ‘Royal Cemetary’ became one of the great technical achievements of Middle Eastern archaeology and now represents one of the most spectacular discoveries in ancient Mesopotamia
Woolley unearthed a great cemetery (known as the Royal Cemetary) on the outside walls of the town under a 12 metre mound of household rubbish. 1840 graves were uncovered in total incurring over 2000 people a period of 5 centuries. 2 kinds of burial were revealed; those of common people in common graves or ‘death pits’ and the tombs of kings.
Dated back to the beginnings of Ur’s development (3000-2700 BCE) The Royal tombs were found to contain over 2,000 people interred over 5 centuries. The tombs were not simple pits but burial chambers constructed using sophisticated structural forms (dome, vault and arch) with an entry ramp and often with several rooms.They held the bodies of as many as 75 people in addition to central figure surrounded by spectacular objects, known as grave goods.
These opulent grave goods were of every imaginable object supposedly needed for the afterlife. This included warfaring objects (helmets, daggers, spears, chariots), personal belongings (cups, vessels, lamps, carved jars) and exemplars of...