Revealing a city lost for 3,400 years under the riverbed - NEWS

Revealing a city lost for 3,400 years under the riverbed

In the fall of 2018, the receding waters of the Tigris River in Iraqi Kurdistan uncovered a remarkable archaeological find—the remains of an ancient palace. This Bronze Age palace, part of the ancient city of Kemune, emerged on the eastern bank of the Tigris in the Duhok province, revealing a hidden chapter of history.

The discovery was made possible through the collaborative efforts of German and Kurdish archaeologists from the University of Tübingen, the Kurdistan Archaeology Organization, and the Duhok Directorate of Antiquities. Their excavation revealed thick mud brick walls, some standing over six feet high, and rooms with plastered walls, offering a glimpse into the architectural prowess of the ancient builders.

Dr. Ivana Puljiz, one of the lead archaeologists, highlighted the presence of vividly colored wall paintings within the palace. These intricate artworks suggest a rich cultural and artistic tradition. The palace itself was strategically situated on a terrace overlooking the Tigris Valley, with ruins rising about 23 feet high, signifying its importance and grandeur.

This site was once part of the Mittani empire, an influential realm that spanned parts of modern-day Iraq and Syria from the 15th to 14th centuries BC. The Mittani empire is known for its advanced civilization and contributions to the cultural and political landscapes of the ancient Near East.

The discovery of the Kemune palace provides invaluable insights into the Mittani empire’s architectural and artistic achievements. The findings not only enrich our understanding of the empire’s influence but also underscore the significance of the Tigris River as a cradle of ancient civilizations.

As archaeologists continue to explore and study the site, they hope to uncover more details about the palace and its role within the Mittani empire. This ongoing research promises to shed light on the complexities of ancient Near Eastern societies and their interactions with their environment.

In conclusion, the unearthing of the ancient palace in Iraqi Kurdistan is a monumental discovery that enhances our comprehension of Bronze Age civilizations. This find not only reveals the architectural and artistic sophistication of the Mittani empire but also highlights the importance of preserving and studying our shared human heritage.


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