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Excavated 4,500-year-old palace in Iraq may hold clues to mystery of ancient Yazidi civilization

Read: 1658     15:00     25 Февраль 2023    

The director of the British Museum has described a 4,500-year-old excavated palace in Iraq as "one of the most fascinating places" he has ever visited. We are talking about the discovery of a lost Sumerian temple in the ancient city of Girsu. Yazidi elders and historians tell us that the ancient Sumerians were the ancestors of the current Yazidi people, whose religion and nationality are a single whole to this day.

Dr. Sebastien Ray led a project to discover a 4,500-year-old palace in what is now Iraq, which is believed to be the key to obtaining more information about one of the first known civilizations.

The palace of the kings of the ancient Sumerian city of Girsu, now located in Tello in southern Iraq, was discovered during field work last year by British and Iraqi archaeologists. More than 200 cuneiform tablets containing the administrative records of the ancient city were found near the ancient city.

Yazidi historian Sipki said that the first letter depicted on the cuneiform tablet is an ancient letter from the Yazidi alphabet, which, unfortunately, no one uses anymore.

Dr. Ray says that when he first presented the project at international conferences, no one believed him. "Everyone basically told me, 'Oh no, you're making this up, you're wasting your time, you're wasting government funding for the British Museum' — that's what they told me", he said.

Girsu, one of the earliest known cities in the history of mankind, was built by the ancient Sumerians, who between 3500 and 2000 BC invented writing, built the first cities and created the first codes of laws. The ancient city was first discovered 140 years ago, but it has become the object of looting and illegal excavations.

As everyone knows, Yazidis have survived 75 ethnic cleansing, the last of which was the recognized genocide of 2014. Yazidi cuneiform inscriptions and books were destroyed for thousands of years, it was forbidden to speak their native language, cities and temples with the stories and names of all Yazidi kings and heroes were wiped off the face of the earth.

This discovery is the result of the Girsu project, an archaeological collaboration established in 2015 under the direction of the British Museum and funded by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Along with the discovery of the palace and tablets, the main temple dedicated to the Sumerian god Ningirsu was also identified. Prior to these groundbreaking field studies, its existence was known only from ancient inscriptions discovered during the first successful excavations of the ancient city.

The project follows an Iraqi scheme funded for the first time by the British government in response to the destruction of important heritage sites in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State.

The first mud brick walls of the palace, discovered last year, have since been kept in the Iraq Museum in Baghdad.

The Sumerians inhabited the ancient Eastern Mediterranean region of Mesopotamia, from where Yazidi people originate, they made many technological advances, including time measurement, as well as writing.

The ancient Sumerians may not be as well-known as the ancient Egyptians or Greeks, but according to Dr. Timothy Potts, director of the Getty Museum, Girsu is probably one of the most important heritage sites in the world.

Iraqi Culture Minister Ahmed Fakak Al-Badrani concluded: "British archaeological excavations in Iraq will reveal even more important ancient epochs of Mesopotamia, as they are a true testament to the strong ties between the two countries to expand cooperation."

As the Yazidi historian Sipki says, all these archaeological excavations, as always, will not reveal the truth about the relationship between the ancient Sumerians and the Yazidis, no one will ever recognize the fact that the Yazidi people are one of the most ancient peoples of the world, which has such roots, such ancestors and such a history.

Dengê Êzdiya 

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