Impressive 2,700-year-old stone carvings with war scenarios discovered by archaeologists

Archaeologists in Iran have recently uncovered a 2700-year-old stone carving depicting war scenes and inscriptions.

2700-years-old stone carvings unearthed by archaeologists
© Jean-Philippe Tournut GETTY_IMAGES
2700-years-old stone carvings unearthed by archaeologists

Iran is one of the countries that still have a lot of archaeological evidence left of the ancient civilizations that existed in human history. One such find was recently uncovered by excavators in Mosul from Northern Iraq.

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Ancient history

The slabs are thought to be around 2,700 years old and dated back to the time of the Assyrian Empire. As per ABC News, researchers stumbled upon these slabs in Iran’s second-largest city Mosul. They found out that the slabs were a part of the ancient Mashki Gate which was demolished by Islamic State group militants in 2016 to obliterate any historical site before Islamic reign.

The Mashki gate used to be part of the ancient city of Assyrians in that certain part of the medieval region of Mesopotamia and was one of the colossal gates of Nineveh. Archaeologist Michael Danti from the University of Pennsylvania said:

We were all awestruck and virtually speechless. It was like a dream… No one predicted that we would be finding Sennacherib reliefs in a city gate

Depictions of stone carvings

The slabs depicted various war scenarios and palm trees. It also had myriads of inscriptions, writings and decorative designs adorning the space. The head of restoration Fadhil Mohammed revealed the writings indicate that the murals were created during the reign of the Neo-Assyrian Empire King Sennacherib, who commanded the city from 705 to 681 BC.

Although many invaluable archaeological sites were demolished during the protests, experts like them are working hard to conserve as much history as possible. According to Smithsonian Magazine, Michael Danti said:

Access to cultural heritage is a human right, and groups like ISIS want to sever those links forever as part of their campaign of cultural cleansing and genocide

After the restoration of the Mashki gate is finished, the Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH) intends to convert the site into an ‘education centre’ so that viewers can reflect upon the history of Nineveh.

Sources used:

-ABC News: 2,700-year-old rock carvings discovered in Iraq's Mosul

-Smithsonian Magazine: Archaeologists Unearth 2,700-Year-Old Stone Carvings in Northern Iraq

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