ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Archaeologists have discovered an ancient city, roughly 4,000 years old, on the banks of the Great Zab River in the Kurdistan Region.
The city known as Xarab-I Kilashin was unearthed as part of a major archaeological investigation of a 3,000 square kilometer area in the Region which began in 2012 and is expected to conclude this year.
The region had been off-limits to archaeologists for many years, first because of political instability in the area and later due to the presence of the Islamic State (IS).
"What is surprising is the size of this settlement," one of the expedition leaders, Rafał Koliński of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, told IBTimes UK.
"All the earlier settlements evidenced in the area are very small in size, rarely exceeding 1 hectare. The same can be said of settlements contemporary to Xarab-i Kilashin, our urban site, which were mere villages."
Xarab-i Kilashin is arranged in a semi-circle around the northern river bank, stretching for a diameter of about 300 meters. Settlements of this size were not thought to have existed in the region before the Middle Ages.
The major research project on the settlement history of the Kurdistan Region led by the Institute of Archeology at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań is to be based on the result of an extensive archaeological reconnaissance carried out on both banks of the Great Zab River, 50 km north of Erbil
Some 12,000 artifacts were discovered in the area, including pottery and terracotta stamps used mainly for decorating tissues.
The ancient Mesopotamian city is thought to have been an independent administrative seat for a dignitary who ruled prior to the rise of the Assyrian empire.
The archaeologists plan on releasing a series of maps of the area by 2018.
Editing by Ava Homa