Iraq’s drought is causing the 3,400yearold city to reappear in the middle of the Tigre River

Iraq’s drought is causing the 3,400yearold city to reappear in the middle of the Tigre River

Buildings have been found with walls intact, although built of mudbrick and submerged for over 40 years; Researchers believe the location is Zakhiku

Disclosure/Wion/Photo: University of TübingenMissing City in Iraq
Researchers believe it is the city of Zakhiku

Archaeologists have found an approximately 3,400yearold city on the Tigris Iraq. The discovery was only possible due to the drought that ravaged the country and lowered the water level in the Mosul Reservoir. According to Wion News, a team of German and Kurdish researchers were responsible for locating the lost city, which contained a number of large buildings and also a ruined palace. The site is estimated to be Zakhiku, dating to the Bronze Age Mittani Empire between 1550 and 1350 BC. BC.

Iraq is severely affected by climate change. It hasn’t rained in the Kemune region for a long time and the south of the country is suffering from extreme drought. The Mosul Reservoir has been the main water source since December and is used to prevent crops from drying out. The discovery surprised researchers, forcing them to excavate and document parts of the important city before it sank.

A 3,400yearold city that arose from the waters of the Mosul Reservoir has been discovered in Iraq.

The city is believed to have been ancient Zakhiku.@eriknjoka brings you this report

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— WION (@WIONews) June 13, 2022

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, the German archaeologist and professor at the University of Freiburg explained that “based on what they found in 2018, we knew that the site could yield interesting discoveries,” but adds that “we didn’t knew exactly what we were going to find”. Despite the importance of the discovery, the professor shares that “the name of the city has very few mentions in other sources” and that “new knowledge about it is only now being gained”. Hasan Ahmed Qasim, President of the Archeology Organization of Kurdistan, however, assures that “the excavation results show that the site was an important center of the Mitanni Empire”.

To prevent further damage to the site from backflowing water, the excavated buildings, whose walls remained intact despite being made of sundried adobe and having been submerged for more than 40 years, were covered with dense plastic sheeting and gravel as part of an extensive conservation project. Today the city has already disappeared and archaeologists hope that it will one day resurface.