Tell Baqtra

Δευτέρα, 31 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Tel Ghweran - Archaeological findings dating back to Ayyubid period in north-eastern Syria

Global Arab Network

Syria (Hasaka) - The archaeological site of Tel Ghweran is located on the road from Deir Ezzor to the center of Hasaka city, nestled on the bank of Khabur River south of the city.

Excavations indicate that the site was settled during the late Uruk period, prospering during the second half of third millennium BC and reaching the peak of its splendor during the Ayyubid period in the 12th and 13th centuries AD.

The site, which is 80 meters long, 60 meters wide and 11 meters high, was studied for the first time by a German expedition which was surveying the hills on the banks of Khabur River. The expedition found pottery fragments that indicated that the site dates back to the late Stone Age and the Bronze Age.

Παρασκευή, 28 Ιανουαρίου 2011

German minister due in Erbil next week to buttress ties

Erbil, Jan.28 (AKnews)- A Kurdish official said next week the German Development Minister Dirk Niebel, accompanied by a delegation, will arrive in the Kurdistan Region while he expected a protocol of cooperation will be signed between the Kurdish and German sides. The head of the Kurdistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Dara Jalil Khayyat, told AKnews early next week the 16-member German delegation will arrive in Kurdistan for a two-day visit. A number of banking experts, the representatives of the German development ministry and chambers of commerce are in the team. The group will meet with the Kurdistan bank officials as well as the private sector companies to boost up the economical and trade relations with Kurdistan, above all cooperation for governmental and private banking systems. During the visit a protocol between the Kurdish and the German chambers of commerce will be brokered, Khayyat added. Germany is one of the 18 countries which have opened their consulate offices in the Kurdistan Region.

The frequent visits by the foreign top governmental delegations to Kurdistan are usually aimed at reinforcing ties with the semi-autonomous Region, which enjoys relative security compared with the rest of Iraq.

Reported by Saman Ali

Πέμπτη, 27 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Syria: 650 Babylonian cuneiform tablets document 8000 years of history

By H. Sabbagh    Wednesday, 26 January 2011 00:54

Syria (Hasaka) – Archaeological discoveries in the Tell Lilan site located 120 km northeast of Hasaka indicate to the historic significance of the site which dates back to the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC.

The site is located on one of the important ancient trade routes linking Cappadocia, Ashur and Anatolia principalities.

Δευτέρα, 24 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Babylon Organization calls UNESCO to reverse its decision about Babel

Baghdad, Jan.24 (AKnews) - Babylon institution for Culture and arts in Iraq called UNESCO of the United Nations on Monday to cancel its decision that binds to consider Babylon city as a non-archaeological city.

During the events of 2003, the ancient city of Babylon was exposed to looting, destruction and theft of its contents from Nebuchadnezzar and Hammurabi museums, Babel Library and the Archive then finally, the city was returned to the General Authority for Antiquities and Heritage after it has been used as a camp for the multinational forces in Iraq between April 2003 and December 2004.

Uncovering the Mysteries of Khirbet Qeiyafa

Anyone following major archaeological discoveries in Israel will recall the pottery shard whereon was found five lines of what may be the oldest Hebrew script ever discovered. The find was uncovered at a hitherto unknown archaeological site known as Khirbet Qeiyafa. Despite its mystery, it is emerging as one of the most important archaeological excavations in Israel, revealing an ancient city that may tell a new story about life during the times of ancient Israel's best known kings. Add to this its massive fortifications and its strategic location between Jerusalem and ancient Israel's coastal plain on the main road from ancient Philistia, and we have a site that promises to add much to our understanding of Iron Age Judah. It is in this area that the famous battle between David and Goliath may have taken place.

During previous excavations, an early Iron Age II stratum was uncovered, including a massive casemate wall, a monumental four-chambered gate and residential buildings. Radiometric dating places this stratum in the years 1,000 - 975 B.C., the time of King David. This makes it the only site in Judah that can be securely dated to the time of King David. The 2011 Season (June 12 - July 22) will continue to explore the site's fortifications and its urban layout.


Σάββατο, 22 Ιανουαρίου 2011


 e-corpus is a collective digital library that catalogs and disseminates numerous documents: manuscripts, archives, books, journals, prints, audio recordings, video, etc.

This diverse platform presents cultural diversity worldwide and specifically in the Euro-Mediterranean region. e-corpus proposes a variety of themes and a large quantity of digital documents presented by numerous organizations and countries. Based on cutting edge technologies, e-corpus offers a simple and direct public access to a rich collection of resources.

Πέμπτη, 13 Ιανουαρίου 2011

What's your sign? Probably not what you think, thanks to the Earth's "wobble"

By BILL WARD, Star Tribune

A recent Harris Poll found that 31 percent of Americans believe in astrology. They're wrong -- although not necessarily in the way their detractors might cite.

The ancient Babylonians based zodiac signs on the constellation the sun was "in" on the day a person was born. During the ensuing millenniums, the moon's gravitational pull has made the Earth "wobble" around its axis, creating about a one-month bump in the stars' alignment.

The result?

"When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it's really not in Pisces," said Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society.

3,800 year old tablets from Larsa, in Iraq, tell tale of ancient tycoon

He served one of the longest reigning kings in history, bought up real estate like there was no tomorrow and at times did business under the authority of the sun god Shamash.

His name was Abum-waqar and thanks to new research by Professor Karljürgen Feuerherm, of Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo Canada, we now know his story. "It took me basically a decade to work through this stuff," Feuerherm said at a recent lecture in Toronto.

There are more than 200 tablets that show this man's dealings. Most were dug up by looters in the early 20th century and are now located all over the world with Yale University holding the lions share. Many of them have never appeared in scholarly publications before, much less in popular media.

Τρίτη, 11 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Διημερίδα Τομέα Αρχαιολογίας και Ιστορίας Τέχνης Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών

Ανασκαφή και Mελέτη VIII

Πρόκειται για την 8η διημερίδα που οργανώνει κάθε δυο χρόνια ο Τομέας Αρχαιολογίας και Ιστορίας της Τέχνης του Τμήματος Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας του Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών, με θέματα, από την ανασκαφική και ερευνητική δραστηριότητα τόσο των μελών ΔΕΠ όσο και υποψηφίων διδακτόρων, τα οποία καλύπτουν την Προϊστορική, Κλασσική και Βυζαντινή Αρχαιολογία καθώς και την Ιστορία της Τέχνης.

14-15 Απριλίου 2011

Αμφιθέατρο Δρακοπούλου στο Κεντρικό Κτήριο του Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών (Πανεπιστημίου 30).

Δευτέρα, 10 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Samarra Resource Page

Samarra’s 100th Anniversary
Ernst Herzfeld’s archaeological excavation of Samarra will mark its 100th anniversary in 2011.  To honor the occasion, the Freer|Sackler Archives has created the Samarra Resource Page that collates collections online content, social media content, and related scholarly content, to provide an easy central resource for all of the Herzfeld paper materials and products.  Preservation, digitization, and cataloging have been made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.

Background on the Samarra Excavation
Sponsored by the (then) Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin, Ernst Herzfeld conducted two campaigns in Samarra from 1911-1913.  This excavation was the first of its kind to perform a large-scale archaeological survey of Islamic antiquities.  The first excavation performed included over nineteen
sites: Great Mosque of al-Mutawakkil, Congregational Mosque of Madinat al-Mutawakkiliyya, Shiite Shrine Complex, Qubbat al-Ṣulaibiyya; palaces of Balkuwārā, Ṣūr Īṣā, and the Qaṣr al-Āshiq; the Cemetery at Shabbat al-Hawā; Mausoleum of Imām al-Dūr; Tall al-Alīq; Ḥarba Bridge and finally the residential architecture at al-Quraina, al-Qāṭūn, al-Jubairiyya, and west of Ṣūr Īṣā, and the baths.   His second, and arguably more ambitious campaign, focused on Dār al-Khilāfa.

Κυριακή, 9 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources (AMIR): Open Access Journal: Zeitschrift für Assyriologie ...

Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources (AMIR): Open Access Journal: Zeitschrift für Assyriologie ...: Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und verwandte Gebiete The Journal for Assyrian Studies and Related Areas was one of three specialized scienti...

Exhibition: Die geretteten Götter aus dem Palast vom Tell Halaf

28 January – 14 August 2011
Pergamonmuseum, Museum Island Berlin

»It would be truly wonderful if the smashed fragments from the stone images could somehow be gathered together, brought to the National Museums and reassembled at a later date. In the case of this collection, it would, however, be a tremendous task, since the sculptures have been shattered into countless, often minute fragments.«

Turkey: Ani - Ghost city of 1001 churches

Ani – some call it the City of 1001 Churches, others the City of Forty Gates. Yet no one has called it home for more than three centuries.

Abandoned by its once prosperous and powerful inhabitants, it is situated on the Turkish side of a militarised zone between the border of Turkey and Armenia.

The city of Ani is no stranger to death, destruction and desertion.

Σάββατο, 8 Ιανουαρίου 2011

NY Times lists Iraqi-Kurdistan among “41 places to visit in 2011”


An article in the travel section of yesterday’s New York Times (NYT) lists the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kuurdistan region among the 41 places in the Worl worth visiting this year.

Referring to the relative security and stability this northern region of Iraq has enjoyed in recent years, the NYT provides details of a few of the travel companies offering trips to its landmarks such as Erbil’s citadel which dates back to the Assyrian empire and the site of the Battle of Gaugamela, in which Alexander the Great defeated the Persian king Darius III leading to the fall of the Achaemenid Empire.“Safety, history and a warm welcome in a stable corner of Iraq” the NYT article is sub-headed. According to the Distant Horizons travel company that has been bringing small groups of American visitors to Kurdistan since 2008, the biggest attraction to the region is the opportunity for “authentic cultural encounter”.

“Authenticity is something that can be lost so quickly as development occurs,” the NYT quotes Distant Horizons’ Janet Moore as saying.

Karl Allen (AKnews):

Funde von Tell Halaf: 27.000 Scherben fügen sich zum Orient-Schatz

Skulpturen, Schmuck, Bilder: Die Schätze der Palastanlage von Tell Halaf in Syrien gelten als Jahrhundertfund. Doch Bomben im Zweiten Weltkrieg legten sie in Trümmer. Archäologen haben die 3000 Jahre alten Kostbarkeiten wieder zusammengesetzt - SPIEGEL TV zeigt die erstaunliche Arbeit.

Es war die damals größte Ausgrabung der Welt. Von 1911 bis 1913 wurden auf dem Siedlungshügel Tell Halaf in Syrien 3000 Jahre alte aramäischen Skulpturen, Steinbilder und Schmuckstücke geborgen. Es waren Überreste einer gigantischen Palastanlage, die der aramäische Fürst Kapara errichten ließ. Sie zählen bis heute zu den spektakulärsten archäologischen Funden des Vorderen Orients.

Archaeologists Unearthed Byzantine Mosaic Painting in Syria

Global Arab Network

A mosaic painting dating back to the Byzantine era in the 6th millennium A.D. was discovered in Kfarnboda, Hama. Director of Hama Archaeology Department Abdulkader Farzat said the painting, which is 375 cm-long and 120 cm-wide, carries numerous geometrical shapes and decorations.

For his part, Director of Apamea Archaeology Department Nader Lada said the painting includes drawings taking the shape of squares, each five of which are positioned above each other vertically.

"In the center of the squares is a cross-shaped drawing. The painting, which is dominated by white and gray, is surrounded by a frame of two lines and inside is a geometrical strip of triangles," said Lada, adding that the painting was done with precision and skill.

Hama is rich in Syria's most important mosaic paintings. More than 50 % of the discovered such paintings are found in Hama.


It’s Iraq but It’s Not, Part 2

The New York Times


January 7, 2011, 5:27 pm

ERBIL, Iraq – We arrived at the checkpoint that separates Iraq from Kurdistan and waited to get in, counting the seconds. It felt as if we were in a prison and now waited to be released to a place where other Iraqis feel free – and fearless.
We live in Baghdad, the capital, which in most countries would be the cleanest and most developed city. Now, nearly eight years after the invasion, we feel only disappointment. The lack of security and services made us excited about leaving
We were traveling to another part of Iraq, the Kurdish region in the north, but it felt like we were visiting another country.

It’s Iraq but It’s Not, Part 1

The New York Times
January 6, 2011, 1:07 pm

ERBIL, Iraq — On a recent trip to the Kurdistan region north of Iraq, duty required us to drive to a place here in its capital that we didn’t know. My colleagues and I, all Iraqis, stopped by the first police officers we spotted, naturally enough, to ask for directions. We asked in Arabic, then I tried in English.

The young officer did understand us, which is how I discovered the language barrier that is slowly emerging here, dividing the country not only linguistically, but also generationally.

Παρασκευή, 7 Ιανουαρίου 2011

King Solomon Fortress Reveals Its Secrets

A new research on an ancient fortress in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel, is offering new insights into its past. The fortress, Tel Qudadi, was first excavated 70 years ago, but the results of the investigations were never published before.

Now, the findings by the archaeologists at Tel Aviv University suggest that the place hides much more than they imagined, including a connection between ancient Israel and the Greek island of Lesbos. They said the fortress was established centuries later than believed, and may have served as an intermediate station for trade ships travelling between Egypt and Phoenicia.

Archaeologists: Statue's Head, Mosque Walls, Islamic Coins Discovered in Syria

Wednesday, 05 January 2011 22:49

Syria (Raqqa) – The national archaeological mission working at Medinet al-Far archaeological site, north of Raqqa City, uncovered parts of an mosque which dates back to the Umayyad age.

Director of the archaeological mission Muhammad Sarhan al-Ahmad said the excavation works at the southwestern part of the site revealed some mosque walls made of bricks and coated with plaster. The floor was paved with square bricks and decorated with floral ornaments.

Ezidis celebrate Belinda Eid

Yezidi, yazidi, ezidi
Erbil, Jan.7 (AKnews)- The Ezidis of Kurdistan Region celebrate the religious Belinda Eid here Friday.

The religious group, chiefly residing in Nineveh and Dohuk province in northern Iraq, performed the religious ceremonies of their festival, apparently without encountering any security threats or attacks. However, the Christians, another religious minority in Iraq, seem to live under terror after a serious of deadly attacks on the group by militant organizations. 

The Ezidi Belinda holy day is marked on the second Friday of winter. Jaafar Simo, the media secretary for Lalish Temple told AKnews there are a number of ceremonials the worshipers perform in the religious event.

Τετάρτη, 5 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Archaeologists may have found 5,000-year-old civilization in southern Iran

TEHRAN -- A team of archaeologists working on Bam riverside in Kerman Province have recently unearthed ruins of a large ancient site, which are believed to belong to a 5000-year-old civilization.

The site was discovered while excavating for a construction project in the Khajeh Askar region near the city of Bam, team director Nader Alidadi-Soleimani told the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency on Tuesday.

Kurdistan’s Booming Economy


Τρίτη, 4 Ιανουαρίου 2011

A New Project of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago: The Jericho Mafjar Project

Khirbat al-Mafjar is located north of Jericho in the Palestinian territories. Famed as one of the most important "desert castles" of the early Islamic period, the site was first excavated from 1934 to 1948. These excavations revealed a palace and great bath, both of which were intensively decorated with fine mosaics and elaborate stucco figures, as well as stone sculpture and frescoes, placing Mafjar as one of the most important sites in Islamic archaeology.

11,496 companies function in Kurdistan

Erbil, Jan.4 (AKnews)- The number of the registered companies in the Kurdistan Region amounts to over 11,000 companies.
Twana Ahmed, the media secretary for the Kurdistan Region’s Council of Ministers applauded the Region for attracting the foreign investors and encouraging the local businessman, describing its policies “successful.”

Ahmed told AKnews according to the latest official figures some 11,496 companies, foreign and local, have put their assets into investment in various fields of the Region. 

Babylon: Ancient Site, Modern Problems: Painstaking Effort to Restore Iraq's Ancient Sites

Source: The New York Times

Δευτέρα, 3 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Archaeological site, dating back to Iraq’s Ancient Sumerian Era, discovered in Nassiriya

Archaeological site, dating back to Iraq’s Ancient Sumerian Era, discovered in Nassiriya

January 2, 2011 - 01:14:52

BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: An ancient archaeological site, dating back to Ancient Iraq’s Sumerian Era, was discovered in southern Iraq’s Nassiriya city, the center of Thi-Qar Province, the Director General of the High Commission for Archaeology &Heritage, Qais Rashid Hussein said on Sunday.

A Tour of Iraq’s Ancient Sites (NY Times)

Aqar Quf (photo: Shiho Fukada for The New York Times)

A Tour of Iraq’s Ancient Sites 

New York Times
By Stephen Lee Myers, Stephen Farrell and Shiho FukadaJanuary 2, 2011, 8:29 pm

"The war has long put Iraq’s ancient historic and religious sites off limits to all but the most daring of scholars, archeologists, tourists and ordinary Iraqis. Slowly, if unevenly, that may be changing.