Amazing archeological finds in the Kurdistan region of Iraq

Iraq has long been regarded as the nation with more archeological and historical sites than any country in the world. It is easy to conceive this as it was the cradle of civilization. The Kurdistan Region of Iraq is home to many of these sites. Its capital Erbil is the oldest "continuously inhabited" city in the world and the world’s oldest known bridge and aqueduct ruin is Jirwana less than an hour from Erbil. One of most important Neanderthal sites is Shanidar Cave where discoveries in the 50’s changed the scientific view of these ancient ancestors. There are numerous biblical sites including 3rd Century Monasteries and the tombs of Old Testament prophets such as Nahum.

The importance of the region’s historic significance has only recently been revealed as prior to 2008 there had been no significant investigation of the regions known “tells” (man made hills indicating the remains of ancient civilizations). Now that Kurdistan has become an autonomous region with a democratically elected government intent on discovering and preserving its heritage there has been one significant find after another such as those detailed in the following  press releases.

Universität Leipzig in Germany

Archeologists have now documented a ca 3000 year old kingdom previously unknown called Idu. Excerpt: “When Idu was an independent city, one of its rulers, Ba'ilanu, went so far as to boast that his palace was better than any of his predecessors'. The palace which he built he made greater than that of his fathers," he claimed in one translated inscription.

Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, Lyons2 University. France

Qasr Shemamok (Kurdistan, Iraq), a large site covering more than 70 hectares, is well-known in the landscape of Iraqi Kurdistan. It is situated about 30 km southwest of Erbil, close to the village of Tarjan on the road to Gwer and to the Tigris bank. Formed by a steep tell, an acropolis more than 30 meters higher than the plain, and a lower tell limited by urban walls, it is surrounded by a much larger anthropic surface marked by different ancient occupations (Fig. 2). In the 19th century, after the visit of this region by Layard, the site was identified as the remains of the ancient city of Kakzu (or Kilizu/Kilizi).

Harvard University

Excerpt: “After nearly a century away, Harvard archaeology has returned to Iraq. Jason Ur, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, earlier this year launched a five-year archaeological project — the first such Harvard-led endeavor in the war-torn nation since the early 1930s — to scour a 3,200-square-kilometer area around Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region in northern Iraq, for signs of ancient cities and towns, canals, and roads. Already, Ur said, the effort is paying massive dividends — with some 1,200 potential sites identified in just a few months, and potentially thousands more in the coming years.”

DUHOK University

Excerpt: “Kurdistan region 'Iraq' - The archeological director in Dohuk province (the Kurdistan Region) said his office has discovered over 100 historic pieces, some of them dating back to 200,000 years ago.”