Uncovered for the first time in over 40 years, an abandoned ancient city was revealed in a drought. Remarkably, the mudstone bricks were immaculately preserved. The Mittani-period city is from the beginning of the Assyrian rule in Iraq over 3000 years ago. Situated in a Mosul reservoir on an offshoot of the Tigris, this ancient site was fleetingly revealed and relinquished its secrets for those lucky enough to get there in time. Now covered in plastic sheeting to preserve it, the once more submerged ancient site lays in wait for the next time the waters recede so far.
Among the fantastic finds hidden in the stones were found a series of urns containing cuneiform tablets. In splendid condition, these antiquarian writings are thought to shed a lot of light on the history of the period. Work is now underway to interpret and understand the meaning of the words.
Before the water level rose, the city was abandoned because it was destroyed by an earthquake. This has left one portion of the landscape buried beneath the other, and re-wiring the masonry to discover what it really looked like has been a major operation. A large building was hired for the archaeologists and researchers to build a scale model of the city according to the things they find and how they might have fell when the land was shaken apart.
Iraq is one of the nations most at risk of climate change. A fragile water cycle and an expanse of desert means that life is already hard there and managing large populations requires a lot of engineering. This challenge is increasing exponentially as temperatures rise and seasons change their patterns. The ancient discoveries of the past can point us in the direction of change as we learn that situations adapt and shift over time. Perhaps it's too fast now and we simply don't have time to build elsewhere. Where would we go?
Via Art News
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