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More than 3,400 years old, the historic city of Zakhiku emerged from the banks of the Tigris River in Iraq, which archaeologists believe belonged to the Mitanni Empire (1550 to 1350 BCE). The “miracle” is because of the extreme drought in the Middle Eastern country, Being one of the most affected areas by climate change.
Built on a site mainly inhabited by Kurds, the city was submerged in the 1980s during the regime of Saddam Hussein with the construction of the Mosul Dam. This year, when the river’s water level unexpectedly dropped due to an extreme drought in Iraq, an opportunity arose for a team of archaeologists to begin excavations in January and February.
The ruined city is almost always underwater, although it can sometimes be visible in the summer months, such as November, when the climate is more severe and it is necessary to draw water from the Mussol Reservoir (on the banks of the Tigre River) so that the area Plantations in the area survived the drought. But it has never been so accessible before, given that higher temperatures required more water and there was not enough rain to increase river flow and refill the reservoir.
Not knowing when the water might rise again, Ivana Pulaziz, one of the directors of the archaeological project, wasted no time: she knew the team would have to dig up as much area as possible against the clock. “Due to the enormous pressure of the weather, we dug in with cold temperatures, snow, hail, rain, even storms, and sometimes sunny days, not knowing when the water might rise and how much we had. time is saved”, he tells the company. CNN,
Currently, the city is already under water, but the team managed to map this archaeological site of the empire that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to northern Iraq. and he discovered something that excites him a lot, like Five ceramic vase hundred Cuneiform tablets of raw clay.
“It is almost a miracle that these bullets survived for so many decades under water,” says Peter Pfalzner, one of the excavation directors and professor at the German University of Tübingen.
These artifacts can provide important information about the beginning of the Assyrian rule—another ancient civilization that still inhabited the region centuries after the fall of the Sumerians. For now, the discovered remains of the city of Zakhiku are stored and preserved in Duhok National Museum,
This is not the first time the city has been studied. The palace was already found in the year 2018While it briefly erupted, archaeologist Hassan Ahmed Qasim of the Iraqi Kurdistan Archaeological Organization told the news site, but during the latest excavations additional structures were found “in an important center of the kingdom”. science alert, Now a multi-storey storage building has also been discovered along with the towers and walls. In 1350 BCThe city was hit by an earthquake and part of the upper walls collapsed and structures were covered.
Pulaziz reveals that he looks forward to seeing the results of his study of texts found in artifacts such as the tablets, as he believes it may contain information about the lives of residents after the tragedy.
Aware that the city of Zakhiku may bring unique opportunities to study a cultural matrix that is important to preserve, the team, before disappearing back into the city’s waters, Covered the ruins with plastic and stones, in the hope that they could survive environmental degradation.