Severe drought has exposed a 3,400-year-old Mitanni city near the Tigris River

(ORDO NEWS) — A severe drought has lowered the level of the Mosul Reservoir in Iraqi Kurdistan, allowing archaeologists to explore the ruins of the ancient city of the Mitanni Empire for the second time.

The drought poses a serious threat to the people of Iran, but benefits archaeologists by providing a glimpse of the ruins of an ancient city.

The drought in southern Iran proved to be extremely problematic for the inhabitants of the country, but at the same time gave archaeologists a chance to look at the ancient city again.

First drought and exploration of the city

During a previous drawdown in the Mosul Reservoir, a German-Kurdish team of explorers discovered a large palace with surviving frescoes on the walls.

The palace was located 20 meters from the eastern bank of the Tigris River and was clearly the center of power of the Bronze Age. According to historians, this city could be the city of Zakiku, mentioned in sources 3800 years ago.

However, heavy rainfall later returned the reservoir to its previous level, flooding the city.

New drought and new excavations

This year, the drought has returned and the city has again become accessible to archaeologists.

Researchers have already managed to map some of the buildings that were located next to the palace. These include huge fortifications and what looks like a warehouse complex and factories.

According to scientists, a large amount of goods brought there from all over the region could be stored in the warehouses.

Despite the fact that the reservoir has flooded the city for the past 40 years, the mudbrick walls are surprisingly well preserved.

Archaeologists attribute this to an earthquake in 1350 BC that destroyed the upper walls and protected the lower ones.

One of the most interesting facts is that the team also discovered several ceramic jars containing over 100 unfired clay tablets. Their subsequent translation can provide important information about the life of the city.

Severe drought has exposed a 3400 year old Mitanni city near the Tigris River 2

The Mittani Empire lasted from about 1600 BC. to 1260 BC and at its peak covered most of modern Syria and northern Iraq – a huge territory by ancient standards.

Unfortunately, almost nothing remains of it, and archaeologists are clinging to any opportunity to learn more details about this empire.


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