Like the great pyramids of Egypt, it looms above a parched, flat and desolate landscape and easily dominates the skyline of this ancient, now long abandoned city. The Great Ziggurat is what most people think about when one mentions the city of Ur. Much more than a single monumental structure, however, Ur was a royal city that contained the public buildings, religious centers, and tombs of a people who, over 4,000 years ago, set the standards for civilizations that followed. It was one of the first great centers of Mesopotamia. Here Abraham, according to the Biblical account, was born and raised. And here, over the many centuries, elements and events, both natural and human, have combined to lay it to waste. It crumbles before our eyes. That is now changing.
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