Thursday, April 03, 2003


As of April 1st, the ruins and their caretakers seem to be unharmed.

TELL al-MUQAYYAR, Iraq (AP) - Burrowed in the sweltering desert, U.S. infantrymen ring a stark temple of a moon god and the sand-swept ruins of a city where 6,000 years ago civilization first budded and from which, it is said, three great religions blossomed.

In the opening days of the war, U.S. forces drove through Ur, home to the Biblical Abraham and an ingenious population that irrigated fields, forged agricultural tools and devised the written word.

The fighting, which continues in the nearby southern Iraq city of Nasiriyah, has so far spared the remains of Ur and the two families guarding them, who have worked as guides there for generations.

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