The ruins of Ancient Sumerian city-state of Ur with the ziggurat of Ur. Photo: Wikipedia
Archaeologists from Italy and Iraq have found the ruins of a 4,000-year-old port from Ancient Sumer in Mesopotamia during digs near Nasiriyah in Southern Iraq.
The major archaeological discovery from Ancient Sumer could offer fresh insights into one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, reports Turkish news site Daily Sabah, citing German press agency DPA.
It is noted that Sumerians settled in Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq, more than 6,000 years ago, where they invented writing, the wheel, the plow, irrigation, the 24-hour day, and the first city-states.
(Recent discoveries in Bulgaria may signify that the earliest writing was invented substantially earlier, in Southeast Europe, in the prehistoric civilization often referred to as Old Europe.)
Lead archaeologists Licia Romano and Franco D’Agostino from the Sapienza University in Italy’s capital Rome have announced they have discovered one of ancient ports of the Sumerians in Abu Tbeirah, a desert site about 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) south of the town of Nasiriyah.
“It is the most ancient port ever to be excavated in Iraq, since the only remains of a port to have been investigated are in [nearby] Ur, but they are from about 2,000 years later,” the Italian archaeologists have said in a joint statement.
They not that the port’s basin, which is 130 meters (142 yards) in length and 40 meters (44 yards) wide, with a capacity equal to nine Olympics-sized pools, may have also served as a giant reservoir and as a tank to contain river flooding.
The discovery of the 4,000-year-old port in Southern Iraq suggests that Sumerian city-states remained connected to the delta of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers until much later than previously thought, D’Agostino has told DPA by phone.
The discovery of the Ancient Sumerian port might help archaeologists shed light on the great climate change shock of around 2200 BC which is hypothesized to have resulted in a huge drought in Mesopotamia, causing the demise of the Sumerian civilization.