“By the time Hammurabi took the Babylonian throne, in the eighteenth century BC, Ur was already a place of considerable antiquity. It had already been occupied for something like 3500 years, making it one of the oldest cities in the world.Â
Its inhabitants were Sumerians, the people who ‘invented’ the very notion of cities and civilization. Their ancestors were farmers who had moved into the plains of southern Mesopotamia by the sixth millennium BC.
It was a fertile land, with enormous agricultural potential if only it was not so dry. The Sumerians had mastered the techniques of irrigation, however, and used them to produce huge quantities of grain to feed a rapidly growing population.
Private houses are all of a broadly similar type although the scale and the exact layout might vary. Typical is the house at No. 3 Gay Street. (Woolley named the streets after those he knew well from his student days at Oxford)”….Ur in the Age of Hammurabi, by William Rowbotham