Photo: Kurdish Archaeology Organization
Photo: Kurdish Archaeology Organization

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Lost Empire: Archeologists Discover Palace From The 14th Century Mittani Empire, As Drought Dries Up Iraq’s Mosul Dam Reservoir

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Published:

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  • Archaeologists have recently unearthed the remains of an ancient city dating back to the Bronze Ages, according to international science news agencies
  • In a press statement detailing the findings, the archaeologists have discovered a city - named  Kemune as  Iraq’s Mosul Dam reservoir dried up suffering severe drought
  • The city including a palace with walls preserved to heights of 22 feet has been unearthed with chambers that had once been decorated with painted murals

Mosul - the former terror base of ISIS has been in the news recently a surprisingly archaic reason. Archaeologists have recently unearthed the remains of an ancient city dating back to the Bronze Ages, according to international science news agencies.

In a press statement detailing the findings, the archaeologists have discovered a city - named  Kemune as  Iraq’s Mosul Dam reservoir dried up suffering severe drought. The city including a palace with walls preserved to heights of 22 feet has been unearthed with chambers that had once been decorated with painted murals, as per archeologists.

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After further study, archaeologists have placed the palace belonging to the Mittani Empire which ruled portions of Syria and northern Mesopotamia from the 15th century to the 14th century B.C. Previous excavations had discovered other sites from this period in the outer reaches of the empire containing Mittani palaces.

This is what sets Kemune apart. It alone provides an understanding of the central administration of the kingdom during the bronze ages.

Murals with remnant blue hues of the Mittani Empire (Photo: Kurdish Archaeology Organization)

Findings of the excavations:

Archaeological surveys conducted by Kurdistan Archaeology Organization (KAO) around the palace ruins, has found that the palace once stood overlooking the Tigris river, with a sloping terrace wall supporting its western side. The city, as per findings, lay to the north of the city. 

The excavations have also brought to light paintings on the palace's plastered walls with remanant vivid hues in red and blue - similar to the Mittani Empire's murals. The team has also found 10 clay tablets inscribed with Mittani cuneiform — one of the earliest forms of writing. Experts are currently busy translating the inscriptions.

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Significance of Kemune and the Mittani Empire: 

Speaking about the significance of these findings, researchers have said that when the Mittani Empire crumbled, the conquering Assyrian ruler Adad-nirari slaughtered inhabitants of Taidu, the Mittani capital city and sowed the ground with salt. Now, archaeologists have found few remnants of the once-great empire. 

This excavation and the discovery of Kemune helps in reconstructing the timeline of this ancient civilization, and is "one of the most important archeological discoveries in the region in recent decades," said Hasan Ahmed Qasim, co-leader of the excavation and an archaeologist with KAO in the statement.
 

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