Home History This Ancient Sunken City Has Reappeared in Iraq

This Ancient Sunken City Has Reappeared in Iraq

by Enochadmin

Once we hear of sunken cities, photos of stone ruins would possibly come to thoughts — eerie, stunning and ceaselessly trapped in an underwater world. One would by no means think about {that a} sunken metropolis would possibly return to the floor.

But that’s precisely what has occurred in Iraqi Kurdistan, the place a 3,400-year-old metropolis believed to have as soon as been a metropolis of the misplaced Mitanni Empire reemerged throughout extreme drought.

Town, believed to be the traditional metropolis of Zakhiku, has been submerged within the Mosul reservoir for the reason that Mosul Dam was constructed within the Eighties. The misplaced metropolis got here to mild earlier within the 12 months because of the consequences of local weather change in Iraq, which has been experiencing a extreme drought. To fight the drought’s results on crops, authorities started drawing water from the Mosul reservoir in December — and thus introduced the ruins to the floor.

Benefiting from a uncommon historic alternative, a workforce of German and Kurdish archaeologists excavated the positioning and documented their findings from January to February.

“Because of the huge time stress, we dug in freezing temperatures, snow, hail, rain, even storms, in addition to the occasional sunny day, not realizing when the water would rise once more and the way a lot time we’d have,” said project director Ivana Puljiz of the College of Freiburg.

Historic Texts May Reveal Extra Secrets and techniques

The Mitanni empire was a big Indo-Iranian realm in northern Mesopotamia that existed from 1550 B.C. to about 1350 B.C. Its folks established diplomatic relations with the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose IV.  

Along with a palace, researchers discovered that the town accommodates a fortified construction with a wall and towers, an industrial advanced and a large multistory storage constructing, believed to be some sort of warehouse.

“The excavation outcomes present that the positioning was an necessary middle within the Mitanni Empire,” according to Hasan Ahmed Qasim, chairman of the Kurdistan Archaeology Group.

Archaeologists found these ceramic vessels on the website which contained cuneiform tablets. (Universities of Freiburg and Tübingen, KAO)

Apart from the architectural discoveries, the archaeologists discovered one thing much more thrilling: 5 ceramic vessels containing over 100 tablets written in cuneiform, the world’s oldest writing system. The inscriptions, which have but to be deciphered, might reveal the voices of the misplaced metropolis’s inhabitants for the primary time — at the moment, all we learn about Mitanni historical past comes from historic artifacts and what different cultures wrote about them.

The entire artifacts recovered from the positioning, together with the cuneiform tablets, at the moment are being held in Iraq’s Duhok Nationwide Museum.

Earlier than water once more stuffed the reservoir, archaeologists tried to stave off decay and erosion by overlaying the ruins with weighted plastic sheets. After revealing its secrets and techniques for future generations to review, the misplaced metropolis has since returned to its watery grave.

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