Iraq history on display in Philadelphia

UNIVERSITY CITY - October 27, 2009

"Iraq's Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur's Royal Cemetery." That is the name of the exhibit at Penn's Museum of Archaeology.

The exhibit includes artifacts discovered during the excavation of an old, old, old burial ground in what is now southern Iraq.

"These artifacts are not just dusty objects sitting in a curio cabinet museum," Richard Zettler, the curator, told Action News. "These are artifacts that still have plenty to say to us."

The excavation of the Ur Cemetery took place in the 1920s. The items the archaeologists found, some of which are now at the Penn Museum, date back to 2,600 B.C. That's more than 4,600 years old.

"You should know that this is one of two museums in the whole United States that has legitimate material from Mesopotamia," said Professor Donny George, Director of Iraq Museum in Baghdad.

That is why the University of Pennsylvania believes this collection is so special. And it's also why the curators hope people will come to Philadelphia's University City section, and peer into what we have learned about the cradle of civilization.

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