Ur Kaśdim - Identifying Ur Kaśdim

Identifying Ur Kaśdim

In 1927 Leonard Woolley identified Ur Kaśdim with the Sumerian city of Ur, in southern Mesopotamia, where the Chaldeans had settled around the 9th century BCE; Ur lay on the boundary of the region called Kaldu (Chaldea, corresponding to Hebrew Kaśdim) in the first millennium BCE. It was the sacred city of the moon god and the name "Camarina" is thought to be related to the Arabic word for moon qamar. The identification with Ur Kaśdim accords with the view that Abraham's ancestors may have been moon-worshippers, an idea based on the possibility that the name of Abraham's father Terah is related to the Hebrew root for moon (y-r-h). The Book of Joshua says "Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods.’"(Joshua 24:2)

One of the traditional sites of Abraham's birth is placed in the vicinity of Edessa — Both Islamic tradition and classical Jewish authorities, such as Maimonides and Josephus, placed Ur Kaśdim at various northern Mesopotamian sites such as Urkesh, Urartu, Urfa, or Kutha.

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