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Some Archaeological News of Iranian Finds from Baghdad



08 November 2001

The Iraq Museum has an exhibition of recent (1999-2001) excavations by Iraqi archaeologists in its the Assyrian Hall. Important artefacts from over twenty sites from different parts of Iraq are on exhibit.


At Abu Sukhair near the city of Najaf a Sasanian cemetery was discovered with over three hundred graves. The graves were dug into the ground and covered with four to five pottery vessels, some were brick-built. What is remarkable is the quantity of miniature glass bottles of various types and designs. Nearly every grave had about four to five bottles as burial gifts, in addition to bead necklaces of semi precious stones, lapis lazuli, carnelian and glass.


Other sites to be mentioned include the Diyala region Tell Kristal has largely Hellenistic and Sasanian finds, and so do the mounds in the Anbar region on the Euphrates where most of the finds are Partho-Sasanian and Islamic. Interesting are bone pins in the shape of nude females. Habil Ibrahim south of Babylon also has Parthian, Sasanian and early Islamic finds. The site of Harba north of Baghdad has fine style pottery vessels.


Unfortunately despite all the attempts by the Department of Antiquities to fight the illicit diggers, they still cause a great deal of damage. Last spring at Hatra an important stone slab from the entrance of Temple 14, inscribed in Aramaic with the name of the builder, the name of his tribe and the date of the building of the temple (101 AD), was stolen. Fortunately Dr Jabir Khalil Ibrahim has already read the inscription which will be published in a forthcoming volume of Sumer.




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