Ancient city unearthed in Iraq after extreme drought dries up Tigris river

  • 11 Jun - 17 Jun, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Archeologists say a 3,400-year-old city was uncovered in Iraq after extreme drought conditions led to decreased water levels along the Tigris River. German and Kurdish archeologists recently scoured the site at Kemune in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq after it appeared in the waters of the Mosul reservoir early in 2022. The Bronze Age city – which "could be" the ancient city of Zakhiku – surfaced earlier this year after "large amounts of water" were drawn from the reservoir "to prevent crops from drying out," beginning in December 2021, according to a press release. Due to "the unforeseen event" archaeologists were "under sudden pressure to excavate and document" what they could of the ruins "as quickly as possible before it was resubmerged," the release stated – and what they found was magnificent. Archeologists uncovered various major sites during excavations between January and February, including "a massive fortification with [a] wall and towers, a monumental, multi-story storage building and an industrial complex," the university said in its release. The lost city, which is believed to have existed from 1550 to 1350 B.C., previously served as an "extensive urban complex" within the Mittani Empire. Also among the group's interesting findings were five ceramic vessels with "an archive of over 100 cuneiform tablets," experts said. Some of the clay tablets were said to still be sealed into their clay envelopes.