Ancient site unearthed in Biblical home of Abraham

Excavation near the biblical site of Ur, once home to AbrahamBAGHDAD – British archaeologists said Thursday (March 4, 2013) they have unearthed a sprawling complex near the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq, home of the biblical Abraham.

The structure, thought to be about 4,000 years old, probably served as an administrative center for Ur, around the time Abraham would have lived there before leaving for Canaan, according to the Bible.

The compound is near the site of the partially reconstructed Ziggurat, or Sumerian temple, said Stuart Campbell of Manchester University's Archaeology Department, who led the dig. "This is a breathtaking find," Campbell said, because of its unusually large size -- roughly the size of a football field, or about 260 feet on each side. The archaeologist said complexes of this size and age were rare.

PHOTO CAPTION: March 31, 2013: Excavation in progress at Tell Khaiber, Iraq, where a British archaeologist says he and his colleagues have unearthed a huge, rare complex near the ancient city of Ur that was the Biblical home of Abraham. (AP Photo/Stuart Campbell)