In the 1920s, Leonard Woolley was exhuming the 2,500-year-old city of Ur when he came upon objects much older. The older items were tagged and numbered by someone who had come before him. Eventually he realized he was in an archaeological museum, where artifacts from more than 7,000 years ago had been preserved for the wondering eyes of the "modern" civilization of 2,500 years ago. A Babylonian priestess named Ennigaldi-Nanna organised, translated and catalogued hundreds of artifacts from excavations across Mesopotamia.
Read more from Ben Thomas writing at Aeon