By Capt. Andrew HuthJune 26, 2010
CONTINGENCY OPERATION BASE ADDER, Iraq -Towering in the distance, visible from COB Adder, is one of the world's most famous ancient buildings: the Great Ziggurat of Ur.
The Ziggurat was completed in the 21st century B.C., according to archaeologists, and served as an administrative center for the city of Ur, which some believe was the largest city in the world at one point.
U.S. Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, recently had the unique opportunity to visit the 4,000-year-old structure.
The purpose of the trip was to learn about the history of the area and build camaraderie among the detachment. The visit also gave the Soldiers, who provide security for the Provincial Reconstruction Team, an additional perspective on the region they are supporting.
"Our normal mission is to assist the local government get back on its feet and help them provide for their citizens' needs, but today we get a break from the ordinary and experience a piece of Iraq's history," said Staff Sgt Clint Wilson, of Jerusalem, Ark., detachment platoon sergeant, 3rd Bn., 29th FA Regt.
The Soldiers met with Dhiaf Mahsen, curator of the Ziggurat, to receive a full tour.
"Mahsen explained a little bit about the builders of Ziggurat, as well as the time period and civilization from which it came. He then led us on a tour of the excavated temple, palace and tombs which surround it," said 2nd Lt. David Langdon of Philadelphia, the detachment executive officer, 3rd Bn., 29th FA Regt.
"Even though they will soon be back to long hours on patrol in the blistering heat, they will never forget the opportunity they had to see a major historical site of an ancient civilization," Langdon said. "Most people will never get a chance to see something like this."
(Capt. Andrew Huth is assigned to 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.)