Archaeologists uncover ancient palace near Sulaimaniyah city

29-05-2024 08:22


A royal palace dating back to 3,500 years has been discovered in Sulaimaniyah city. Built during the Lullubi era, it contains artifacts that archaeologists say will change the history of the region, including clay tablets featuring cuneiform writing. Scientists also found evidence of iron usage, which was rare during that time period.

The Decon site is located in the city’s Sarchinar neighborhood near Qularaisi. Archaeologists from the University of Sulaimaniyah have actively excavated it over the past eight years. The work was undertaken by entirely local teams, without the aid of foreign archaeologists.

Dr. Zryan Haji, head of the university’s Department of Archeology, believes that the find will change the history of Sulaimaniyah, putting the city’s beginnings at a far older date than the current founding of 1748 CE.

"The Lullubi people ruled the area from 3,500 to 3,600 years ago. Inside the palace, we have found a large number of rooms, corridors for the king, and places for ceremonies, We have found clay tablets with cuneiform inscriptions and a prayer of blessing for the palace," Haji told Peregraf.

"We have found iron being used when iron was not thought to be in use at that time. This was the first time iron was used here. The history of this region changes the history of the world. It proves that there was civilization and urbanization in Sulaimaniyah 3,500 years ago," he added.

The archaeologists also found important inscriptions related to a king, named Dasi, and a god, called Banu.

The hill where the artifacts were found was partially damaged by a construction project in 2013. It was turned over to the university after the developers realized the importance of the site.

Keyfi Mustafa, director general of archeology of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), hailed the discovery. He promised to protect the site and turn it into a modern museum.

"Over the past fourteen years, more than 100 archaeological teams have conducted excavations on sites in the Kurdistan Region and more than 25 world-renowned universities and colleges are working [here]," Mustafa said.

The archaeologists asked the governor of Sulaimaniyah, the security forces, and other relevant actors to ensure that the site remains unmolested.

"The walls of the palace are more than a meter thick and the palace was in use for 300 years," said Dr. Dilshad Aziz, head of the excavation team.

Aziz told Peregraf that the inscription about the king and god were written on the wall of the palace.

"It is a cuneiform text…that says ‘let this building shine’ and refers to the rations of food for a number of gods, the first of whom is called Banu. This is very important discovery. It seems to have been the main god of the Lullubi," he said.

Aziz added that the palace was part of a larger settlement. They have found other Lullubi-era sites several kilometers away.

The archaeologists are currently working to publish their research, which they hope will appear in a high-profile journal and attract the attention of the international community.

"It is an important topic and we have been able to prove that there was life and civilization in this area, just like Shanadar Z is important," Haji said.