After the Drought A Mysterious Palace Discovered Underneath the Mosul Dam of Iraq

Archaeologists Uncovered A Grand Palace of Mittani Empire 

Kemune Palace view from top; (Image Credit: University of Tübingen and Kurdistan Archaeology Organization)
Because of drought when the water level of a reservoir dropped in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, there emerged something which was quite unbelievable for someone at first sight. It was a 3400 year old palace, beneath the Mosul Dam reservoir on the banks of Tigris river. The Kurdish German team of researchers said in a press release that “this discovery will help them to understand more about Mittani empire which is considered to be quite unknown empire of Ancient near east”.

Actually the existence of these palace is known since 2010 but due to rising water levels and threat of ISIS, archaeologists were not able of continuing their work on the site. This year the dam got dry enough because of drought that finally the research team can begin their work at the site.

Ivana Piljiz, an archaeologist described this palace as Kemune Palace, It is a properly designed building with walls made up of mud bricks. The walls are more than 2 meter high and up to two meters thick. The rooms there have plastered walls. The research team also found some wall paintings made up using red and blue shades of colours, this palace must have extended at least up to 20,000 square feet. Puljiz told CNN that “Kemune is only the second site in the region where wall paintings of Mittani period have been discovered”.
One of the room excavated from Kemune palace (Image Credit:University of Tübingen and Kurdistan Archaeology Organization)
Other than wall paintings, ten clay tablets are also recovered from the site written in an ancient system of writing known as cuneiform, the text images of these tablets have been sent to Germany for translation. Puliz told CNN “from the texts we hope to gain information on the inner structure of the Mittani Empire, its economic organisation and the relationship of the Mittani capital with the administrative centers of the neighboring regions”.

The palace is preserved to a height of around seven meters, the building was in use for a very long time and was stood on an elevated terrace above the valley.  In the north, the rest city was set up. The team has excavated  eight rooms from the site with fired bricks used as floor slabs.
Elevated Terrace wall of  Kemune palace above the valley (Image Credit:University of Tübingen and Kurdistan Archaeology Organization)
The discovery of this site will fill the gap of known history and it also holds a great significance understanding the economy, infrastructure, and development of this ancient civilization of Bronze age palace.
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