Excavations Kirkuk

Originally Published in 1930

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THE Museum is participating in the work of the Harvard-Baghdad School excavations at Kirkuk, Iraq. Mr. Charles Bache, Associate in Archaeology of the Museum, is a member of the Expedition Staff, which is under the direction of Mr. R. F. S. Starr. The work is concentrated at the site of the ancient city of Nuzi, about one mile from the village of Tar Khalan, eight miles from Kirkuk, and some two hundred miles north of Baghdad. Nuzi flourished between 1800 and 1500 B.C. and was inhabited by the Hurri, who were eventually overcome by the Assyrians. The work at this site was initiated in 1925-26 by Dr. Edward Chiera, who devoted a few weeks to exploring one of the smaller mounds. The present expedition began in 1927 and is now in its third year. The results of the previous seasons have already demonstrated the importance of these excavations in affording valuable information regarding the obscure history of this country to the northeast of Mesopotamia proper. Mr. Bache writes in his December Report:

“The city centres about the palace; in fact, it might be said that it is the palace, as there are but four streets which have been disclosed on the tell and which are more passageways than streets, connecting the various parts of the palace.

“Among the discoveries of this season, and one of the most interesting, is a large oven for baking pottery. Unfortunately, during the centuries since its use, it has been broken and about half of it destroyed. The part that was left standing was carefully cleared and within was found a mass of potsherds and one complete drinking cup which had not been removed from the oven after baking.

“Besides striking finds such as this, the usual work on the rooms goes ahead. About forty rooms have been opened this year, and almost always objects are being taken out. Tablets and tablet fragments, jars, jarstands, skeletons, seals, seal cylinders, bits of jewelery and carved bone are being taken out. Looking over the scene of the excavations, the first impression that is obtained is the size of the operation and the skill with which the work is being carried on.”

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"Excavations Kirkuk." Museum Bulletin I, no. 2 (February, 1930): 10-14. Accessed May 30, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/bulletin/137/

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