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8 May 2011
7,000-year-old village unearthed in Kurdistan

At the end of 2010, archaeologist Nadir Babakir carefully looked at a hill in the Hasarok quarter, a new area on the eastern outskirts of Erbil (Kurdistan, Iraq). After some initial research, Babakir was convinced the hill was a historical site. Later, a team from the Directorate of Archeology confirmed it as an archeological site. The government then named the site Nadir, after Babakir. Under Kurdistan law, the government names archaeological sites after the person who discovers them, as a way to honor those who inform the authorities.
     The Directorate of Archeology signed an agreement with the University of Athens to excavate the site. A team of archeologists from Athens University has excavated for a month. In a press conference, the head of the Greek team, Dr. Kosta disclosed that the initial research has put the age of the site at around 7,000 years old and it is from the Mesopotamian era.
     Dr. Kosta said more than 1,000 archeological artifacts have been found at the site, including sacks, vases and animal paintings, as well as the remains of people, animals and birds. The excavation site is around 10,000 square meters. "The remains of some of the birds discovered are species that no longer exist," he said. The team will return in October to continue the excavation. Work on the site will continue for five years.
     Kurdistan has at least 1,307 known archaeological sites. Among the most famous is the Erbil Citadel, the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the world, which has been settled since 6,000 BCE.  Another is the Shanidar Cave, where nine Neanderthal skeletons were found, dating back 60,000 to 80,000 years.
     
Edited from Kurdish Globe (7 May 2011)

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