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Museum skeleton: Museum's 'skeleton in the closet' find hails from Biblical city

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A museum in Philadelphia was literally cleaning out their storage closets when they discovered the rare skeleton of a man thought to be over 6,000 years old. The ancient human remains were rediscovered by the curator-in-charge of the anthropology section at the Penn Museum, part of the University of Pennsylvania.

Reports The Associated Press via MSN News on Monday: “Museum officials said the complete human skeleton had been stored in a coffin-like box but with no trace of identifying documentation. Skeletons of the same time period, particularly complete remains, are extremely rare, the Penn researchers said.”

The skeleton was imported from southern Iraq in 1930, museum officials reported. The remains are of a five foot, nine inch man, at least 50 years old. The skeleton was unearthed in modern-day Nasiriyah – the ancient site of the Biblical city of Ur.

Ur was a city in Mesopotamia where the ancient patriarch Abraham was born. According to the book of Genesis, God appeared to Abraham and directed him and his family to leave Ur, a city known for Babylonish idolatry, and head for Haran.

Writes the AP report:

Dr. Janet Monge, the curator-in-charge of the anthropology section of the Penn Museum, had known the skeleton was in storage, but researchers weren't able to determine its significance until a records digitization project was undertaken, officials said.

The burial that produced the skeleton was cut into deep silt, indicating that the man had lived after an epic flood, leading Penn researchers to nickname their re-discovery “Noah.”

William Hafford, manager of the Ur digitization project, called it a “mystery skeleton” that the museum had not been able to identify for the past 30 years. “We went and found the crate, opened it up and compared it to the field notes and the field photographs and we had a match [with the museum’s records],” Hafford says.

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