Which Ur is Abraham’s Ur?

Everyone knows where Abraham’s hometown of Ur is, right? We’ve all been taught that it is in southern Iraq. It is common for Bible teachers to present a biblical explanation or interpretation as if it were an undisputed fact. Often this is because they do not know there are any other explanations. One reason this blog exists is to inform Christians about information and plausible alternative interpretations debated among scholars which somehow never filters down to the person in the pew.

Sometimes these sequestered ideas are very consequential to our faith, and others are mere curiosities. One such example of a disputed “fact” that falls in the curiosity category is the location of “Ur of the Chaldees.” 

Have we erred about Ur?

Until the 1920’s there was general consensus among Christians, Jews, and Muslims that Abraham’s Ur was in northern Mesopotamia in what is today southern Turkey. In the 1850s, British archaeologists identified Tell el-Muqayyar as the ancient Sumerian city-state of Ur. Tell el-Muqayyar is in southern Iraq about 150 miles northwest of the Persian Gulf. A tell (aka tel or tall) is a word meaning “mound.” Ancient cities were usually elevated above their surroundings.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Genesis