Uruk Warka Collection
The Uruk Warka Collection, which is on loan to Heidelberg University from the German Archaeological Institute, contains more than 7,000 finds from the former metropolis of Uruk (now Warka). Uruk was an important southern Mesopotamian city that is still regarded today - as told by the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians - as the origin of ancient oriental high culture. It is said that not only did the legendary King Gilgameš reside here, but also that writing was invented here on behalf of King Enmerkar. The Uruk Warka Collection is of great cultural and historical importance and contains unique exhibits. It is one of the largest collections of Mesopotamian artefacts in Germany.
The finds collected in Heidelberg come from excavations carried out by the German Archaeological Institute in the 1950s and 1960s in what is probably the oldest Mesopotamian city. They give a idea of the more than six millennia of the history of Uruk's settlement, ranging from the early Chalcolithic period (6th century BC) to the Arab conquest of Mesopotamia in the 7th century AD. Among these highly significant exhibits are sculptures, architectural decorations, ceramics, seals, jewellery and various small finds that reflect the life of the city in the longue durée. The most spectacular exhibits are those that reflect the early urban high culture of the 4th century BC and its monumental temple architecture.
With around 3,000 cuneiform documents the Uruk Warka Collection also contains a unique ensemble of exhibits that illustrates the more than three thousand years old history of writing in the Ancient Near East and is of the highest scientific value. These written records, which include administrative documents as well as royal inscriptions and school texts, are an excellent aid to illustrate the complex history of Mesopotamia.
The Uruk Warka Collection is currently closed due to construction.