Herodotus Returns

Arbil Iraq Discovery Could be Earliest Evidence of Humans in the Region
March 18, 2010, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Hunter-Gatherer, Iraq, Neanderthals | Tags: , , , ,

Czech archaeologists have excavated remains of a prehistoric settlement in Arbil, north Iraq, which could date back as far back 200,000 years, placing it among the earliest evidence of hominid activity in the region.

The expedition, led by Dr. Karel Novacek from the University of West Bohemia in Plzen, unearthed clusters of stone artifacts at the bottom of a 9-meter-deep pit dug just outside the tell, or citadel, in Arbil.

Novacek recently explained to Heritage Key that the excavated stone tools, comprised of flakes, scrapers and cores, can be traced back to the Late Middle Paleolithic Age (200,000-40,000 years before present). These discoveries align with excavations carried out by Americans in the 1950s in the nearby plains between Kirkuk and Suleymaniya.

To describe the find as a ‘settlement’ may be bold: Middle Paleolithic man, after all, was a hunter-gatherer, meaning he made camps, but never permanently settled anywhere. With that said, Novacek pointed out that the team “found two concentrations of the stone artifacts in roughly the same stratigraphic position at approximately 220 m distance,” suggesting a site of some significance. Additionally, Novacek noted that these recently excavated artifacts are unique because they were found ‘in situ,’ meaning untouched, whereas other Middle Paleolithic finds in the area had been shifted.

Read more about the Arbil find at Heritage Key.


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[…] Arbil Iraq Discovery Could be Earliest Evidence of Humans in the Region […]

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