Home > Terminology


Under this tab we will include pages that describe various names and terms likely to be encountered in the letters and especially the notes that may not be well understood in non-specialist circles and thus difficult to recognize or transcribe.

Names of people involved with Ur will help in reading signatures, names of Babylonians and Sumerians who might appear in the notes will help in recognition and spelling. Woolley also had a code for his excavation areas. He tended to assign two letter designations (though as many as four were sometimes used) and these are imporant for sorting the notes by area of excavation.

In some cases, archaeological jargon is used in the notes, and perhaps a mention of Woolley's typologies (usually incorporating abbreviations such as RC for Royal Cemetery). And of course, the letter U (sometimes looking like a V) is often used to designate Ur, such as in field numbers of objects and photos. Woolley also excavated Tell al-Ubaid in the second season, that site tends to get the abbreviation TO.

This is a work in progress: we do not yet have all the troublesome terms laid out in pages. Please bear with me. And if you have questions, just note them in brackets or in the discussion page and I'll try to get to them and correct the bracketed transcription.