Iraq's devastating drought unexpectedly uncovers 3,400-year-old city

Iraq's devastating drought unexpectedly uncovers 3,400-year-old city
A years-long drought has unexpectedly revealed a major ancient urban centre in Iraq. Archaeologists believe it to be the Bronze Age city of Zakhiku that they discovered under the receding waters of Mosul dam.
2 min read
04 June, 2022
The ancient city was buried for thousands of years under the waters of the Mosul dam in Iraq. [Getty]

Iraq's worsening drought has unexpectedly led to the discovery and access of a 3,400-year-old city, according to an NBC report. 

Researchers uncovered the city when it emerged from the Mosul dam as a devastating drought, worsened by climate change, has caused water levels to fall across the country. 

Researchers believe it to be the city of Zakhiku, a 3,400-year-old city from the Mittani Empire. The ancient city is located in the Kurdish region of Iraq at a place called Kemune. 

Zakhiku was an important urban center that is thought to have played an important role in connecting the centre of the Mittani Empire - which was located in modern-day northeastern Syria - to its eastern border, according to a member of the research team quoted by NBC.

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The Bronze Age city was destroyed in an earthquake around 1350 BC, according to archaeologists. They have found a well-preserved palace, fortified walls, ceramic vessels, and more than 100 writing tablets inscribed with the ancient cuneiform script that originated in ancient Mesopotamia. 

The discovery of this city is just another example of how droughts are leading to surprising finds. A few weeks ago, receding water levels in Lake Mead in Nevada, the United States, revealed the skeletal remains of two people, reported NBC

A three-year drought has led to severe water scarcity and is threatening the livelihoods of thousands of people in Iraq. Last year, Iraq's agricultural sector - which is the second-largest contributor to the country’s GDP -  contracted by 17.5 percent "following severe droughts, energy outages, and the rising global price of inputs", according to the World Bank.