Excavations

Area 1

The entire Area 1 has been the subject of a depth research,which allowed to unearth alarge istitutional building connected to productive activities,during the first five years of excavations: a huge building of 600 sqare metres,rich in finds that are enabling to re-interpret customs and technology of the inhabitans of Sumer. This is a wide and complex construction with an administrative function,specialized in various economic activities.

Even the vast cemetery that was built on top of the building as this was no more visible,is expanding our vision about the burial’s rituals of the period. In particular, it was possible to unearth three tombs,which date back to the last phase of occupation of the site.

The Tomb 1, located in the South-East,contained a body lying on a cane mat,in a fetal position,with the head turned towards the West,and a kit consisting of a conical bowl, two circular base jars and a vase of limestone.

Tomb 2, due to a looting,was deprived of the skeleton and the trousseau. In situ, only a part of the terracotta sarcophagus was found,while in the sifted ground a lapislazzuli bead was found,evidence of the richness of the burial.

The grave of the Tomb 3 is very rich,composed of glasses,jars and bowls,while the only preserved part of the deceased is the skull. It has been possible to observe that,next to each tomb,there were traces of hearths,certainly connected with the burials. Based on the stratigraphy,these three tombs dated to the Akkadian period,while the period of the Proto-Dinastic Akkadian transition belong to the other two tombs (tomb 4 and Tomb 5) found in the level below.

At the bottom of Tomb 4, mud bricks were brought to light,perhaps as a basis for the deceased. Inside, there were two different groups of kits, containing the tomb probably two inhumations. The two equipments were distinguished by a different quantity of ceramic vases being infact the second richest. The first group of objects was placed next to was what supposed to be the body of a young man whose age was estimated at around 15 years. Considerably richer is the Tomb 5 outfit, consisting of 131 drinking vessels,large and medium sized jars and a plate with base. These sensational discoveries, such as the rich ceramic kits,the buried bodies in terracotta sarcophagi,the multiple burials, the evidence of successive rituals at the first burial (as parts of the separately buried body)are just a small example of the information that today wealth we are able to derive from findings of these excavations.

The data that the scientific analysis of osteological remains are providing us, reveal aspects still little known or even unkown to the sumerians: their power,the strenous work that leave trace on bones,diseases,the causes of death and so on.

Area 2

The north-east area of the site is a craft area,occupied by a series of large housing cut by several later activities. On the surface,the presence of a group of copper fragments could reveal an infant burial,with an estimated age of one year,in a square space of 5x5 m.

The tomb contained seventy ceramic containers,copper vases,three carnelian beads,a copper dagger,an earring and a set of utensils for dressing tables. The tomb was cut into a large,deep sub-circular pit,filled with pottery shards,animal bones and bitumen. The discovery of a complete donkey skeleton was probably of great interest,probably sacrificed ,given the unnatural position of the animal's head. Three beads of long-reed carnelian,of fine workmanship,have been found between the north- west edge of the tomb and the eroded surface. These are miniaturs artifacts that recall the same carnelian beads found in the tombs of the royal cemetery of Ur.

Area 3


This area, located in the north-eatsern part of the Tell, corresponds to a stratigraphic trench constructed by exploiting a deep pit made by Iraqi militans to accomodate an antiaircaft location.

Area 4

The activity in this area began in 2016 and brought to light a series of late burials and a large building still being excavated,dating back to the Acadian or later Ur III.