Dhi Qar- Despite the expansion of excavation campaigns and the entry of many foreign missions to archaeological sites in the Dhi Qar Governorate in southern Iraq during the past years, the discovery of 3 important sites in recent months by a number of those missions that attend from time to time, would solve many mysteries in The field of study of the ancient history of Iraq.
The discoveries were important archaeologically. In the west of Nasiriyah, the center of Dhi Qar governorate, a palace of one of the Babylonian kings was found, while in the north of the governorate a mosque dating back to the Islamic era was found, the first discovery dating back to the early Islamic period. Another Sumerian temple was also discovered north of Nasiriyah. These three discoveries are considered the most important for the Iraqi and foreign excavation teams and missions.
It can be said that the archaeological discoveries in Dhi Qar province were exciting. The British Museum mission, consisting of 20 experts, discovered an important temple for the first time in the Sumerian city of Kresu (a religious city belonging to the Kingdom of Lagash), which is locally called “Tilu” located in the Nasr district (60 km). north of Nasiriyah), and all the ancient missions that worked in the place before had spotted writings and had not found the temple, as the director of Dhi Qar antiquities, Amer Abdul Razzaq, told Al Jazeera Net.
Abdul Razzaq adds that the French mission, when it worked in 1887 in that region, found the brick material (a substance consisting of clay and straw used for building) on which the presence of the temple was noted. They did not find the temple, but rather found a modern palace built above the temple, but the British mission discovered the temple, which is the Temple of the “Anino”.
According to the Sumerian translation – as explained by Abdul Razzaq – Al-Anino is called the Temple of the Fifty, which is a symbol of the god “Nankursu”, the official god in the city of Kersu, and he is the god of irrigation and regions. According to what is known, in ancient Iraq, each deity had a numerical symbol.
The discovery of the temple is considered the most important archaeological discovery so far in Dhi Qar Governorate, according to Abdul Razzaq’s assertion, as it will be completed during the next excavation season, and the mission and at the same site near the temple worked to maintain the oldest bridge known to mankind, which is the bridge of the city of Corso, and its age is more than 4 thousand years old and was used as a water regulator and a pedestrian crossing as well.
Dhi Qar Governorate has more than 1,200 archaeological sites, and these sites date back to different eras, as they spread over vast areas in a number of regions in the south, north, west and east of the governorate, some of them close to cities, and others still just unexcavated hills, and have become over time. Subject to theft, and only a small amount of 20 archaeological sites were excavated.
Archaeological prospector Ahmed Kazem, one of the members of the excavation mission in “Tel Kubaiba” in the Al-Rifa’i district (90 km north of Nasiriyah), confirms that the mission that worked there and completed its work two weeks ago, was able to make two important discoveries, the first of which is related to archaeological discoveries (archaeological artifacts). Where we found bronze coins of various sizes and belong to the periods of the Sassanid era and the early Islamic era.
Kazem adds during his speech to Al-Jazeera Net that the second discovery is represented in “we also obtained pickups such as a knife, pottery and perfume estuaries, and we also obtained mills to grind grain, and these are called archaeological finds, and as for the urban discoveries, we found residential buildings in this site consisting of rooms, corridors and houses, And in the middle of it is the most important discovery, which is the mosque, and the date of the discovered site dates back to between 60 and 80 AH, the period of the Umayyad dynasty.”
The mihrab is in the middle of the mosque from the south side towards the direction of the qiblah, and its measurements are 8 meters in length and 5 meters in width, and it can accommodate twenty people.
These discoveries are not the first for the Islamic periods, as Kazem says, but there are other discoveries that precede the periods of the Umayyad and Abbasid eras, but the importance of this is the discovery of the mosque, which is built of mud, and in these sites is always excavated in the Sumerian eras, and little is done It is an exploration of the Islamic eras.
The details discovered in Islamic sites, according to Kazem, do not give new information or change an interpretation, but rather add to the existing historical information, but the change that we may notice is in the form of architecture, ancient industries, or archaeological finds.
In the far west of Nasiriyah, the French mission operating in the city of Larsa (Tulul Al-Simkara) was able to make an important and remarkable discovery, as it discovered the palace of King Sin Edinam, one of the rulers of the ancient Babylonian era who ruled the country of southern Iraq and dates back to the period 1850 BC. The palace consists of 10 halls, and there are a set of facilities and important parts in this palace that have not been completed, but it is hoped that the excavation will be completed in the coming seasons after the French excavation mission completed its work in early December.
Abdul Razzaq says that the historical significance of this discovery is that it gives an important picture of the importance of daily life in the kingdom of Larsa, and explains the political life in the country of Sumer and in this region of the sedimentary plain in that ancient period, that is, before Babylon ruled the sixth dynasty and the emergence of King Hammurabi, who united States in the ancient Babylonian era.
Activist and interested in archaeological affairs, Muhannad Raad Tammuz, asserts that the archaeological discoveries in Dhi Qar would open the door wide for tourism on these archaeological sites, not only in Ur and its ziggurat, but also in other places where discoveries have not yet appeared.
Raad Tammuz added during his speech to Al Jazeera Net that the new discoveries would change many historical details about time periods for which part of the understanding about them has always been incomplete, and they also gain field experience for Iraqi archaeologists working with these missions, in addition to the media aspect that will be important for marketing For tourism and to inform the world that this city does not stop at the city of Ur or the city of Lagash, but there are other undiscovered Sumerian cities.