ABSTRACT

The work of excavation which had produced the original hoard of statuary had begun at one corner of the building and had been carried on not quite to its central point, when the diggers had encountered and partly cut into a particularly solid mass of mud brick. We started at this point and, following up the brickwork-with some difficulty, for it showed no true face-found that it was one side of a staircase projecting at right angles from the main building; the treads, ofwhich a number were preserved at the stairs' foot, were great slabs of white limestone, the first example of the use of stone for building that had been noted in the south of Mesopotamia except for a similar flight of stairs leading up to the staged tower of Abu Shahrein, a ruin about 12 miles south of Ur. Further examination proved that the building itself was a solid mass of brick, a platform approached by the flight of steps, and only the substructure of a building which itselfhad completely disappeared [Plate I4b].