The royal tombs that have been discovered at Ur this winter are remarkable not only for their contents but for their construction, and for the light they throw on Sumerian funeral customs unguessed hitherto.
We have dug some nine hundred graves in this cemetery and the types are well established. There are a certain number of clay coffins; they form a small proportion of the whole and tend to be commoner in the late than in the early period, but do occur even in the earliest time. The normal grave is a rectangular shaft measuring little more than 1½ metres by I metre; the bottom of this may be lined with matting and the body, wrapped in a mat, simply laid in it, or there may be a coffin, generally made of wickerwork with wooden stays, occasionally of wood: it contains the body and the more personal ornaments, while the rest of the offerings are deposited by the side of it in the grave-shaft.
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