Safeguarding the Erbil Citadel to protect the soul of Iraq

Safeguarding the Erbil Citadel to protect the soul of Iraq

It has a long settlement history, dating back to at least the Chalcolithic period and gaining prominence as Arbela during the Assyrian period. The citadel is uninhabited since and undergoing reconstructions. Most of the remaining structures date from the 19th and 20th centuries. The oldest surviving building is the hammam Erbil Citadel is the first WHS within Iraqi Kurdistan, a region that may become an independent state within the foreseeable future. By this it rivals better known places such as Byblos, Damascus and Jericho. I visited the Citadel on a Sunday morning in March I was part of a small Dutch tour group on a 10 day-tour of Iraqi Kurdistan. We entered the Citadel from the back the North Gate and had to pass a guard there. Our Dutch tour leader had arranged for a visit with one of the local guides, but upon entering he was nowhere to be found.

World Heritage Site

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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America. How the first excavations in an ancient city are supporting its claim as the oldest continuously inhabited place in the world. The foot-high, oval-shaped citadel of Erbil towers high above the northern Mesopotamian plain, within sight of the Zagros Mountains that lead to the Iranian plateau. At various times over its long history, the city has been a pilgrimage site dedicated to a great goddess, a prosperous trading center, a town on the frontier of several empires, and a rebel stronghold.

As a consequence, almost everything known about the metropolis—called Arbela in antiquity—has been cobbled together from a handful of ancient texts and artifacts unearthed at other sites. Last year, for the first time, major excavations began on the north edge of the enormous hill, revealing the first traces of the fabled city. There, according to ancient texts, Assyrian kings sought divine guidance, and Alexander the Great assumed the title of King of Asia in B.

Other new work includes the search for a massive fortification wall surrounding the ancient lower town and citadel, excavation of an impressive tomb just north of the citadel likely dating to the seventh century B. Located on a fertile plain that supports rain-fed agriculture, Erbil and its surrounds have, for thousands of years, been a regional breadbasket, a natural gateway to the east, and a key junction on the road connecting the Persian Gulf to the south with Anatolia to the north.

Yet, through thousands of years, the city survived, and even thrived, while other once-great cities such as Babylon and Nineveh crumbled. The citadel remains at the heart of a thriving city with a population of 1. The refugees have since moved to new settlements, and efforts are currently under way to renovate the deteriorating nineteenth- and twentieth-century mudbrick dwellings and twisting, narrow alleys.

A textile museum opened in a restored, grand, century-old mansion in early , and work rebuilding the adjacent nineteenth-century Ottoman gate, which sits on much more ancient foundations, is nearing completion. The conservation work is also giving archaeologists the chance to dig into the mound—which has just been declared a World Heritage Site—once so wholly inaccessible.

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Erbil was the birthplace of the famous 12th and 13th century Kurdish historians and writers Ibn Khallikan and Ibn al-Mustawfi. Erbil and all of Iraq passed into the hands of the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century. The modern town of Erbil stands on a tell topped by an Ottoman fort.

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I enjoyed Erbil. Although it is a standard Middle East city in terms of architecture i. One of the safest places to live in. It is multicultural where people from, almost, all over the Arriving in Erbil you’d be forgiven thinking that you’d arrived at a world class airport belonging somewhere else, not one in a city and country that has been revaged by conflict.

But it is just that a world class airport that’s busy with flights to all destinations.

Erbil (Kurdistan Region of Iraq)

It is one of the most ancient cities in the world, dating back at least to bce. Erbil has long been an important trade centre, with roads south to Arab Iraq and abroad to Turkey , Iran , and Syria. Hamilton runs from Erbil through the mountains and canyons northeast to the Iranian border. Erbil was already an ancient city when Alexander the Great famously defeated the Persian king Darius III some 50 miles 80 km northwest of it at the Battle of Gaugamela , also known as the Battle of Arbela Erbil , in bce.

The Muslims conquered Erbil in the 7th century, but it was not until Erbil was razed by the Turkic conqueror Timur Tamerlane in the late 14th century that it became largely Muslim. The city had already been superseded in economic importance by Mosul some 50 miles to the west by the s, but it remained an important regional centre in the centuries that followed.

The citadel features a peculiar fan-like pattern dating back to Erbil’s late Ottoman phase. Written and iconographic historical records document the antiquity of.

By: Vandana Hettiaratchi. Located kilometers north of Baghdad, the capital city of the Republic of Iraq, the city is in transition from a small town to a growing center for trade and commerce in the region. It is situated on the rich fertile plains between two rivers- the Greater Zab and the Lesser Zab. With records of human settlement dating back to the fifth millennium BC, Erbil is rich in history and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas in the world, if not the oldest. Erbil has been an important trade centre from the early days to Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria.

The city is ethnically diverse, with a large population of Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmens, Arabs and Armenians. Subsequently, after the death of the great Greek ruler, the city became part of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire. Under the Sassanids, Christianity was the dominant religion, with Pkidha becoming the first bishop around AD. Arbela became the centre of eastern Christianity until the late Middle Ages.

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The Iraqi authorities have introduced new measures in relation to coronavrius. See Health. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements. The Iraqi CAA have medical teams deployed to all civil airports to screen travellers coming from affected countries when flights are in operation.

You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the authorities. All travellers are also required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. According to Iraqi law you must get a visa before you travel, including for travel to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Marie Claire Australia December Corrine Redfern spends a night on the town in Iraq. I open my mouth to protest — talking my way into things is a CV-listed strength. A friend takes over. The first thing I see walking through the door is someone passed out, head down on the pool table. Located in the north-west quadrant of Iraqi Kurdistan, Erbil is a three-and-a-half hour drive from the Syrian border and 50 miles from Mosul — at the time of writing, one of the last remaining ISIS strongholds in Iraq.

But while the conflict has forced more than 3 million Iraqi residents from their homes since , and the Islamic caliphate continues to impose its regime of terror across the region, Erbil has remained largely unscathed. Here, sustaining peace is the order of the day — and alcohol-fuelled escapism provides the scene of the night. Log in , if you are already a subscriber. DELTA force. Becoming Me. Finding Peace In Uncertain Times. Big Cats and Covid

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Dating back at least 6, years, Erbil citadel is the oldest continuously inhabited urban settlement Are you a coffee drinker? And looking for a good coffee in town? We have

The Erbil Plain Archaeological Survey · The identification, mapping, and dating of all premodern habitation sites; · Mapping of ancient irrigation systems, both on the.

Corinne Redfern spends a night on the town in Iraq. I open my mouth to protest — talking my way into things is a CV-listed strength. A friend takes over. The first thing I see walking through the door is someone passed out, head down on the pool table. Erbil is just 50km from Mosul where air strikes and suicide bombs in the war zone have devastated the city. But while the conflict has forced over 3 million Iraqi residents from their homes since , and the Islamic caliphate continues to impose its regime of terror across the region, Erbil or Irbil has remained largely unscathed.

Here, sustaining peace is the order of the day — and alcohol-fuelled escapism provides the scene of the night.

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