A re-emerging Mitannian city

1 June 2022
Archaeology

The city, drowned beneath a reservoir of water near Mosul in Kurdistan, or if you like, northern Iraq, periodically reappears over the years when the water level drops. At the moment the Bronze Age city of Zakhiku is above the water level and archaeologist and others have arrived to record and excavate. The Mosul reservoir has dried out sufficiently for a German and local team to investigate. They have mapped the city, and its palace, for example, fortifications, and so on. It includes what is described as an industrial complex as well as the mostly urban landscape. The big news is that occupation dates between 1550 and 1350BC, contemporary the dynasty 18 phase in Egypt. At the height of the empire of Mitanni they controlled most of northern Mesopotamia, even Assyria. The bigger news is that inside  five ceramic vessels they discovered one hundred cuneiform tablets. They say they date from the Middle Assyrian period. Presumably, this was the time of Adad Nirari I, Shalmaneser I and Tukulti Ninurta I, rather than the era of Tiglath Pileser I. They were left behind after a destruction event, which they claim was an earthquake. This might coincide with the late reign of Tukulti Ninurta I. If so, the tablets might cast light on how the late kings of Mitanni coexisted with a more militant Assyria. It could be a chronological breakthrough. See https://phys.org/news/2022-05-year-old-city-emerges-tigris-river.html

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