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Jean M
08-09-2014, 07:43 PM
Sometimes the best archaeological discoveries aren’t made in the field. Scientists at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia have re-discovered an important find in their own storage rooms, a complete human skeleton about 6,500 years old.

The mystery skeleton had been stored in a coffin-like box for 85 years, all trace of its identifying documentation gone. This summer, a project to digitize old records from a world-famous excavation brought that documentation, and the history of the skeleton, back to light.

Unearthed in 1929–30 by Sir Leonard Woolley’s joint Penn Museum/British Museum excavation team at the site of Ur in what is now southern Iraq, the skeleton is about 2,000 years older than the materials and remains found in the famous Mesopotamian “royal tombs,” the focus of a Penn Museum signature exhibition, Iraq’s Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur’s Royal Cemetery. According to Dr. Janet Monge, Curator-in-Charge, Physical Anthropology Section of the Penn Museum, a visual examination of the skeleton indicates it is that of a once well-muscled male, about age 50 or older. Buried fully extended with arms at his sides and hands over his abdomen, he would have stood 5′ 8″ to 5′ 10″ tall...

After Woolley uncovered the Royal Cemetery, he sought the earliest levels in a deep trench that became known as “The Flood Pit” because, around 40 feet down, it reached a layer of clean, water-lain silt. Though it was apparently the end of the cultural layers, Woolley dug still further. He found burials dug into the silt and eventually another cultural layer beneath. The silt, or “flood layer,” was more than ten feet deep in places.

Reaching below sea level, Woolley determined that the original site of Ur had been a small island in a surrounding marsh. Then a great flood covered the land. People continued to live and flourish at Ur, but the disaster may have inspired legends. The first known recorded story of an epic flood comes from Sumer, now southern Iraq, and it is generally believed to be the historic precursor of the Biblical flood story written millennia later.

The burial that produced the Penn Museum skeleton along with ten pottery vessels was one of those cut into the deep silt. Therefore, the man in it had lived after the flood and was buried in its silt deposits. The Museum researchers have thus nicknamed their re-discovery “Noah,” but, as Dr. Hafford notes, “Utnapishtim might be more appropriate, for he was named in the Gilgamesh epic as the man who survived the great flood.”

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/08/2014/6500-ur-skeleton-re-discovered-in-museum-collection

Jean M
08-10-2014, 04:07 PM
As Parasar reported on another thread, they will try to extract DNA, but they'll start by getting a CT scan at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to better view the bones.
http://articles.philly.com/2014-08-07/news/52519368_1_skeleton-penn-museum-university-city

Diana
05-29-2015, 05:22 PM
Were they successful in obtaining DNA?