Woolley, Sir Charles Leonard

Woolley, Sir Charles Leonard,

1880–1960, English archaeologist. His early work included excavations at CarchemishCarchemish
, ancient city, Turkey, on the Euphrates River, at the Syrian border, c.35 mi (56 km) SE of Gaziantep. It was an important Neo-Hittite city and was prosperous in the 9th cent. B.C. before it was destroyed by the Assyrians.
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 (1912–14) and the Egyptian site of Tell el AmarnaTell el Amarna
or Tel el Amarna
, ancient locality, Egypt, near the Nile and c.60 mi (100 km) N of Asyut. Ikhnaton's capital, Akhetaton, was in Tell el Amarna. About 400 tablets with inscriptions in Akkadian cuneiform were found there in 1887.
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 (1921–22). He was then chosen to direct the joint British Museum and Univ. of Pennsylvania expedition at UrUr
, ancient city of Sumer, S Mesopotamia. The city is also known as Ur of the Chaldees. It was an important center of Sumerian culture (see Sumer) and is identified in the Bible as the home of Abraham. The site was discovered in the 19th cent.
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 in Mesopotamia (1922–34), where his findings did much to further the study of the Sumerian civilization in the 3d millennium B.C. Woolley oversaw the excavation of the prehistoric cemetery at Ur, which included 16 royal tombs with treasures of gold and lapis lazuli and evidence of large-scale human sacrifice. Later excavations led by him were those of the Syrian sites of Al-Mina (1936) and Tell Atchana (1937–39 and 1946–49). His writings include The Sumerians (1928), Digging Up the Past (1930), Ur of the Chaldees (1938, rev. ed. 1952), A Forgotten Kingdom (1953, rev. ed. 1959), and Excavations at Ur (1954).
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