The ancient city of Tell Muhammad, founded during the Paleobabylonian era near present-day Baghdad, has been slowly coming to light. After two months of intensive research, the second excavation campaign of the University of Catania’s archaeological mission in Iraq concluded recently. The excavations revealed the complex system of fortifications and water management on the northeastern side of the city. The team unearthed a 40-meter wall that enclosed a canal or possibly a port facing the Tigris River. The excavations also uncovered buildings related to grain processing and baking, as well as furnaces possibly used for liquefying bitumen for waterproofing purposes. Other discoveries included a sacred space with an altar and tombs dedicated to ancestor worship, as well as a bathing area with an underlying latrine. Additionally, three valuable administrative cylinder seals and votive terracotta plaques with female iconography were found, along with models of marriage beds and figurines of musicians. The archaeological mission was co-funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and carried out in collaboration with the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage of Iraq. The site was visited by the Iraqi Minister of Culture, Ahmed Fakak, and others, who appreciated the significance of the discoveries in showcasing the engineering abilities of the ancient Babylonians during the time of Hammurabi. The excavation team included students from various universities and archaeologists from the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage.
Missione catanese in Iraq sulle tracce di Hammurabi: torna alla luce una città nei pressi di Baghdad