The 7,000 year old Ancient Citadel of Arbil

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posted on May, 10 2010 @ 04:31 PM
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G’Day ATS,

I have been bereft of ideas for the Ancient Civilisations forum of late. I’ve been suffering from ‘writers block’. However once I heard about this remarkable place I knew it was at least worthy of presenting to my fellow members.

French archaeolgists begin digs in north Iraq


A French-funded archaeology team is working on the first excavations in Iraq's northern Kurdish areas after seven years of conflict, the latest effort to save the country's treasures from ruin.

Iraq, which the ancient Greeks called Mesopotamia or 'land between the rivers' because of the Tigris and Euphrates that flow through it, is regarded by archaeologists as a cradle of civilisation.

The French-led team, also responsible for training local archaeologists, will initially carry out digs for a month in Arbil. Iraq's third-largest city, whose existence can be traced back to the 23rd century BC, is located east of the Tigris.

According to the United Nations cultural organisation, Unesco, the citadel is more than 8,000 years old and successive layers of settlements have formed the mound that comprises an area of about 10 hectares (10,000 metres sq).


Now come on ATS, how cool is that? 8,000 years old, 10 Hectares, that's some citadel. I’d like to present a little information on this place to you here, in small bite size portion as I know I can waffle on some times!!

So I present to you, The Ancient Citadel of Arbil (Erbil).

Full size image found
HERE





Erbil Citadel Town, which is situated dramatically on top of an artificial, 32-meters high earthen mound, and visually dominating the expansive modern city of Erbil, is believed to have been in continuous existence for 7000 years or even more. Thus, it may be regarded as the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the world. Because of its past fortifications and steeply inclined mound, which is at some locations nearly 45 degrees, it has managed to survive numerous sieges and fierce attacks. The existing fabric, however, goes back to several hundred years but is, nevertheless, of extreme vernacular architectural and urban interest, not only for Iraq but also for humanity at large.


Mentioned in Ancient Assyrian texts (1365-612 BC), the town (and Citadel) has been in the possession of some of the greatest kingdoms in history, including the Sumerian and Babylonian.

Reconstructed portion of the Citadel Wall


Its longer dimension (east-west axis) is about 430 meters long and its shorter one (north-south axis) is about 340 meters long. It encloses an area slightly more than 10 hectares. The slope, which surrounds the citadel all around, is earthen and steeply inclines between 35 to 60 degrees. The slope is steeper on the North-western side than other sides.


Several theories have been put forward to how the Citadel and its 32m height were created:



1. Gradual Accumulation:
That the mound represents a gradual accumulation of historical settlement layers, rising slowly to reach its present height of some 30 meters. If one assumes that the age of the citadel is around 6000 years then this means that its height has been rising at the rate of 1 meter every 200 years.

2. Assyrian Settlement:
That it may have been an Assyrian settlement with a ziggurat in the middle surrounded by temples. And that when it was destroyed and abandoned, it turned into a heap of ruin..

3. Man-Made Mound:
That the mound was artificially created by people who desired to live in this fertile land but needed a fortified site.

4. Natural Mound:
That the mound was a natural one, perhaps a few meters high and risen gradually by human habitation. The flat land geography of the area, however, makes this proposition unlikely.


My only wish is that one day Iraq is safe enough for me to visit this remarkable site. Until then I wait for the results of the French Dig.

Archaeologists discover 150 000 year old prehistoric settlement in Iraq LINK


The Czech News Agency has reported that archaeologists have found remains of an about 150,000-year-old prehistoric settlement in Arbil, north Iraq, which has been the so far oldest uncovered in this part of northern Mesopotamia.
The archaeologists revealed a high number of items, mainly prehistoric stone tools, about nine metres under the ground in Arbil, capital of the Kurdish autonomous region, said archaeologist Karel Novacek, from the University of West Bohemia in Plzen.


It looks like Arbil really has a lot to offer us!!!

As I promised, short and sweet! You have to agree though, what an awesome place, especially for a city that's 7,000 years old.

All the best ATS, Kiwifoot



Sources

High Commission for Erbil Citadel revitalisation

Erbil Citadel - World Heritage




posted on May, 10 2010 @ 04:38 PM
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This is amazing! It it is really sad to see all the beautiful places and history of Iraq destroyed. I have been reading about ancient Iraq the last couple days and back in it's day it was truly a beautiful and amazing place to live. It's sad to see it the way it is now. Great thread!

This is one of my favorite forums, thanks for an interesting thread Kiwifoot!



posted on May, 10 2010 @ 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by mblahnikluver
This is amazing! It it is really sad to see all the beautiful places and history of Iraq destroyed. I have been reading about ancient Iraq the last couple days and back in it's day it was truly a beautiful and amazing place to live. It's sad to see it the way it is now. Great thread!

This is one of my favorite forums, thanks for an interesting thread Kiwifoot!


No worries! I really wanted to do a mega thread about Iraq's history, but I don't have the time at the moment.

If I do I'll U2U when I post, I agree so much, Iraq has the most amazing history. I guess we'll never know how much has been lost to war. When the results of the French dig are released. I'll post them too.

Take care, kiwi



posted on May, 10 2010 @ 05:10 PM
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reply to post by kiwifoot
 


Another great find my friend, you keep surprising me with all this cool stuff that i had never heard of before
Keep up the great work as i love reading about ancient places and sites.

S&F for another great find!



posted on May, 10 2010 @ 05:24 PM
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Those pictures look amazing indeed, I never heard of that place.

It's fascinating they kept using it and I wonder what they will find.

i will keep watching this and thanks for posting.


edit to say;

it reminds me of a place I have been to in France, Carcassonne



[edit on 10-5-2010 by Grey Magic]



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 02:55 AM
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Originally posted by Grey Magic
Those pictures look amazing indeed, I never heard of that place.

It's fascinating they kept using it and I wonder what they will find.

i will keep watching this and thanks for posting.


edit to say;

it reminds me of a place I have been to in France, Carcassonne



[edit on 10-5-2010 by Grey Magic]


Hey bud, you're right, that place does look the same, I guess the same defensive considerations were taken into account when building them both.



I like the Arbin Citadel for the 7,000 year history too.

I bet those French Archaeologists are going to find some real treasures on their dig.

Thanks for posting, Kiwi



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 11:52 AM
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You're welcome, it was a wonderful experience to have been there, you expect knights in shining armor to pop up when you walk around there.


The medieval French could well have been influenced by this place in Iraq to build the biggest fortress in Europe.

I hope Iraq becomes peaceful, because visiting there must be even more spectacular, almost 4 times as old is amazing, it really is the cradle of civilization and I am glad it is untouched.

[edit on 11-5-2010 by Grey Magic]



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 06:31 PM
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I was absent for about a week and missed this one!!


Now I know I wasn't wrong I "flagged" you as my friend. You did it yet again!!


Anxiously awaiting for the dig's results.


Of the 4 possible explanations, I'd go for a combination of 3 and 4. Man made modification (flattening maybe, expanding perhaps - using the rubble from the flattening?) of an existing natural mound. Mounds do occur even in the flattest of lands, not too often but they do occur. If the people that first settled there wanted a fortified position they had to improve on an existing one (easier than making one entirely on their own). Ancient people have shown they were not hesitant when the only obstacle was too much work, they just went ahead and did it! and it sure bears striking resemblance to Carcassonne, even the shape is similar (but I believe dimensions are not that similar, Arbil has to be a bit bigger, no?)



posted on May, 20 2010 @ 07:41 PM
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Fascinating, as always!

I suspect there may be even older towns underneath that structure.



posted on May, 20 2010 @ 07:48 PM
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Very nice! It seems to predate Sumerians so I wonder if the original structure can be seen in some places to get an idea of their math capabilities and maybe if their religious history aligns with the Sumerians in anyway. I am fascinated with where the Sumerians developed their rich and advance culture, and this place looks to be a good direction in at least some of their advancement.





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