Ancient 3500 years City reemerges in Iraq after extreme drought

Published 3 months ago

Historical Bronze Age city reemerges from Iraq river after extreme drought the historical town was portion of the Mittani Empire

When a severe drought prompted a 3,500-year-old city to reemerge from a reservoir on the Tigris River in northern Iraq, archaeologists hurried to uncover it before the water returned.

The Bronze Age city, at an archaeological site named Kemune, is a reminder of the Mittani Empire (also named Mitanni Empire), a historical kingdom that dictated portions of northern Mesopotamia from back 1500 B.C. to 1350 B.C. Researchers have long recognized of the prevails of the town, but they can merely examine them during droughts.

Archaeologists somewhat discovered Kemune in 2018 and found out a missing fort with 22-foot-high (7 meters) walls and chambers adorned in painted murals. This time, researchers mapped maximum of the town, comprising an industrial complex and a multistory storage structure that possibly held goods from all over the area.

Kemune is the solely recognized urban center from the Mittani Empire placed directly on the Tigris River, indicating the town regulated crossings at this portion of the waterway and may have furthermore been a significant connecting point for the empire.

An earthquake possibly demolished much of the town in around 1350 B.C., but some of its ruins are retained underneath deteriorated walls. Humans surged the location with water during the formation of the Mosul Dam in the 1980s.

Researchers rediscovered Kemune in 2010, however they weren't able to dig until the reservoir's water level was low enough during a prominent drought in 2018. They had a second chance to evaluate the town in 2022, because Iraq required to utilize the reservoir's water to prevent harvests from drying out and dying during another drastic drought. Iraq is heavily influenced by climate change, so the water level was low enough again.

Kurdish and German archaeologists put together a squad within days of agreeing on to investigate Kemune and functioned shortly at the area in January and February, unsure of when the water would return. Among the Mittani ruins, the squad excavated additional than 100 clay tablets from the middle Assyrian period (from around 1365 B.C.). 

After the Mittani Empire moved toward an end, the Assyrians constructed a new colony at Kemune and their tablets may comprise scripts about this shift of empires. 

Some of the archaeologists' pits restored with water as the reservoir rose in February. They positioned plastic sheets on the buildings and wrapped the sheets in sand to defend the town from further erosion. Kemune is presently once again entirely submerged and researchers don't know when they'll be able to return. 

It is totally uncertain when the territory will reappear. It could come up as early as this summer or as late as a few years from now.