Middle East

3,400-year-old city discovered in northern Iraq

Ancient city dates back to Mittani Empire

Bekir Aydoğan   | 31.05.2022
3,400-year-old city discovered in northern Iraq

DUHOK, Iraq

Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient city dating back to the Mittani Empire around 3,400 years ago in the Tigris River in Duhok province, Iraq.

"We found a 3,400-year-old ancient city in Semel district of Duhok dating back to the Mittani period,” Bekes Birifkani, director of historical artifacts and culture in Duhok province, told reporters Monday.

He pointed out that the area used to be inhabited until 1985, before the Mosul Dam was built in 1990 and left the area submerged under water.

Noting that more than 2,000 historical sites have been discovered in the city so far, Birifkani said this year's excavations also yielded important results.

"Despite the thousands of years that have passed, its walls and structures that are a few meters high have not been destroyed," he said.

Hassan Ahmed, head of the Cultural Heritage Protection Agency of Iraq’s northern Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), said they have intensified their work since the beginning of the year due to the receding of the water from the Tigris River.

"We are carrying out excavations here with the help of Germany's Tubingen and Freiburg universities. There are remains of many buildings in this ancient city from the Mittani Empire period. The ancient city we found is called Zahiko,” he said.

“Despite thousands of years, its walls and several-meter-high structures have not been destroyed."

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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