Talk of the Town - Dig this November 13 2002

Iraq may be on the minds of many Americans at the moment, thanks to the War on Terrorism. And the folks at the Michael C. Carlos Museum have the land of Saddam on their minds, too — well, at least the 4,500-year-old Mesopotamian city of Ur, which existed in what is now Iraq.

The Carlos is the final destination for the traveling exhibit, Treasures From the Royal Tombs of Ur, before it returns to its full-time home at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Chock full of jewelry, sculpture and other artifacts, the exhibit represents only a portion of the treasures uncovered in the 1920s by British archaeologist C. Leonard Woolley. Of the 1,800 burial sites Woolley uncovered, 16 of them were classified as royal, including the tomb of Lady Puabi. Like that of King Tutankhamen, Lady Puabi's tomb was discovered intact, and the identifying seal found on her body is written in Sumerian, the world's first written language. The display also includes elaborate headdresses and an ornate diadem made of thousands of lapis lazuli beads.

To coincide with the exhibit, the museum is offering several educational events, including the screening of Murder in Mesopotamia, a film based on mystery writer Agatha Christie's experiences traveling with Woolley's 1928 expedition party. Dr. Peter Lacovara, the museum's curator of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian and Near Eastern Art, introduces the film, explaining the characters involved and how they were translated to film.

Murder in Mesopotamia screens Sun., Nov. 17, at 4 p.m. Free. Museum hours: Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun. noon-5 p.m. $5 donation. Michael C. Carlos Museum, 571 S. Kilgo St. 404-727-0519. carlos.emory.edu.??