Pilot excavation in Iraqi Kurdistan


The Netherlands organisation for Scientific Research NWO has granted a subsidy to prof. dr Wilfred H. van Soldt (Humanities, LIAS) and dr Diederik J.W. Meijer (Archaeology, Near East) to conduct a pilot excavation in Iraqi Kurdistan.

During an archaeological surface survey in 2008 prof. dr Wilfred H. van Soldt and dr Diederik J.W. Meijer found a site which yielded a cuneiform inscription identifying it as the town of Idu, dated to the 12th century BC. The site is situated on the Little Zab, a tributary of the Tigris, close to the present Iraqi-Persian border.

The excavations are planned for April-May, and will be conducted in cooperation with the universities of Leipzig and Iraq’s own Erbil (Hawler). The project’s primary aim is to establish a pottery sequence for this area which hitherto is a virtual archaeological terra incognita, but possibilities for further research, possibly incorporating a wider scope of cooperation, will also be explored. On the occasion of an earlier visit to Iraq in 2006 a Memory of Understanding was agreed upon and signed between

Leiden University and Salah ed-Din University in Erbil; courses were taught there, and later students from Erbil and Sulaymaniyah came to Leiden for further education in the ancient languages of their region and in museology (in the RMO).
Source: Pilot excavation in Iraqi Kurdistan – About Near Eastern Archaeology – Faculty of Archaeology