Ur is located 17 km south-east of the city of Nassiriya in the Dhi Qar Province of Iraq. The site extends 1200 metres northwest to southeast, 800 metres northeast to southwest, and rises 20 metres above the plain. Dating back to 3800 BC, Ur served as the former capital of Mesopotamia. It flowered after a long decline under ur-Nammu (circa 2125 BC, 3rd Dynasty) who was responsible for building projects including an oval wall and the Great Ziggurat, which still stands. The city is reputed to be the birthplace of Abraham because of a biblical reference in Genesis (Gen. 12:4-5). The site’s ziggurat, sometimes called Great Ziggurat of Ur, is the first in Mesopotamia and was built during the growth ushered in by ur-Nammu. It was excavated in the 1920s by Sir Leonard Woolley and contained the shrine of Nanna. An attempt at partial reconstruction occurred late in the 20th century and it is considered the best preserved in the territory that was once Mesopotamia. Ur’s Royal cemetery was also excavated by Sir Leonard Woolley beginning in the late 1920s. Here he uncovered 2,000 burials (2600-2100 BCE) and 16 royal tombs (2500 BCE). He also dug beneath the cemetery to learn about the pre-history of the site.