Home / Funny / Viral / Tigris River Drought Reveals Three Thousand Year Old City


Thousands of years ago, some of the earliest civilisations arose along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. These rivers formed a region called the Fertile Crescent, where  trade routes flourished, agriculture flourished, and  cities prospered. Today, these ancient Mesopotamian ruins can be found in Iraq, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries. These regions are currently suffering from severe drought, especially as climate change is increasing temperatures in the region. In Iraq, the retreat of the Tigris River reveals history, revealing a 3,400-year-old  Bronze Age Mittani Imperial palace complex. The Mitanni Empire was a powerful civilisation in northern Mesopotamia. They ruled the area from 1500 BC to about 1360 BC. It then fell to Assyria before falling to the Hittite Empire. Mitanni was a strong player. They wrote on cuneiform tablets, corresponded with Egyptian pharaohs, and built magnificent palaces. The ancient centre on the banks of the Tigris River was called Zahik.

The city may have reappeared. The Tigris River was dammed in his 1980s to create a reservoir that could supply and provide electricity to downstream Iraqi cities when needed. Floods in  the Mosuldam area have covered the ancient ruins of a long-dormant palace. Occasionally, consuming water reduces the reservoir, exposing the ruins again. In 2018,  researchers were able to document the magnificent palace on site with a short exposure. When drought in January and February 2022  lowered the water levels in the reservoirs again, archaeologists knew they had no time to waste.

Kurdish archaeologist Dr. Hassan Ahmed Qasim, president of the Kurdistan Archaeological Organisation and German archaeologist Dr. Hassan Ahmed Qasim. Ivana Puljiz (University of Friborg) and Dr. Peter Pfälzner (University of Tübingen) provided emergency funding to the site  from  Fritz Her Thyssen Foundation and collaborated with the Directorate General for Archaeological and Cultural Heritage in Duhuk. 

Researchers quickly mapped a place known as Kemne. They excavated huge fortresses with walls and towers, high-rise warehouse buildings and  industrial parks. "The huge warehouse building is particularly important because it probably held a huge amount of goods brought in  from all over the region," he said. In a statement, Pulzis said: "Excavation results show that this site was an important centre of the Mitani Empire," added Dr. Qasim. 

The research team noted that the archaeological site is extremely well preserved. They were made of baked adobe bricks and most were able to survive underwater for 40 years. Unfired clay tablets with cuneiform writing have also been found among pottery. Some are still sealed in clay envelopes as they were mailed to their recipients. Since this stone tablet is from Middle Assyria, it is believed to date to the time when an earthquake struck the city around 1350 BC. Mostly destroyed. These may  further reveal the transfer of power between successive empires in the region. Already when the reservoir filled up again, the water level rose and the city was flooded again.

Fortunately, the researchers were able to cover the excavation area with a dense plastic and gravel infill to protect the find. The 3,400-year-old city is an important part of Iraqi and world history. With its periodic reappearance, scholarly knowledge of this site and the Mitani Empire may continue to grow.

Standing Bear At Chinese Zoo Accused Of Being a Human In Bear Costume
Café In Tokyo Lets Customers Cuddle Adorable Little Piglets During Their Visit
Soccer Fan Makes Sure His Blind Friend Does Not Miss a Thing During Match
Zookeeper Helps Pregnant Orangutan Cure Morning Sickness With Tea
Man Discovers Treasure From 700 Civil War Time In His Own Backyard
Lion Accidentally Gives Himself a Bad Haircut
Neighbourhood Cat And Museum Guard Has Adorable Little Rivalry Going On
Lebanese Dance Group Blows Audience Away At AGT Show
Research Discovers That a Part Of The Population Sneeze After Seeing Bright Light