The Citadel Of Erbil Has Been Continuously Inhabited Since 5000 BC

Grace Higgins | November 7th, 2020

The Erbil Citadel known as Qelat to the locals in Iraq is a historic mound in the city of Erbil. The citadel itself is listed as a world heritage site and located in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It rises between 25 to 32 meters from the surrounding plain, giving it key advantages for keeping inhabitants safe. For many historians, it is a key location of human civilization because the mound has been inhabited since around the 5th millennium BC. Potentially, there were humans living there even earlier. Furthermore, we find documentation confirming its existence on the Ebla Tablets as early as 2,300 BC.

unesco.org

In fact, as human civilizations grew we found the mound of Erbil was a key component of many cultures. During the Sasanian period, it became an important center for Christianity. But there is a lot of evidence the site was largely used during the Neolithic period. Potentially, a center for a pagan religion. For example, archeologists have found many pottery fragments that seem to indicate the site is the oldest continuously occupied site in the world.

In 1258, the mound was captured by the Mongols, and its importance as a regional power started to decline. After that, it went through various empire invasions such as Muslim conquests and then the Ottomans. During the modern period in the 20th century, the city government decided the mound needed a lot of structural work to remain safe. This resulted in hundreds of historic houses and public buildings being lost to demolishing crews. Currently, the only religious structure that survived was the Mulla Afandi mosque.

However, in 2007 the High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalization (HCECR) group was formed and laid out the groundwork for a restoration process. The idea is to restore the citadel to its former glory. Every inhabitant except for one family was relocated to different parts of the city. Only one family was picked to stay as the government wanted to continue the tradition of the citadel always being inhabited.

During this restoration process, hundreds of international archaeological teams have been allowed onto the site. The plan is to work with local specialists to ensure the restoration process preserves the local history and culture of Erbil. Once completed, 50 families will be allowed to return and live in the citadel.

Next Article
  • Kolkata to London Used To Be The World’s Longest Bus Route

    Back in the 1960s, there used to be a bus running from Kolkata, known as Calcutta back then, all the way to London. That means it drove from India to the United Kingdom. It was a trip known as Albert Tours, as the double-decker bus was colloquially referred to as Albert. It was for a...

    Read More
  • Record For Longest Survived Elevator Fall

    If you have ever thought you were having a bad day, just think about poor Betty Lou Oliver who cheated death twice on the same day. It would probably have to be one of the worst days at work ever. Though silver lining she did earn a world record: longest survived elevator fall. It started...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Shark Arm Case in Australia

    In 1935, the infamous case of the shark arm started when a tiger shark in captivity vomited up a human arm. The tiger shark was in the Coogee Aquarium Baths on public display. After just a week it became very ill and vomited in front of a crowd. What came out was the forearm of...

    Read More
  • The Only Man In History To Turn Down A Nobel Peace Prize

    Le Duc Tho was a very tough and nonsense negotiator to resolve world conflicts. Notably, the Vietnamese chief negotiator was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1973 for his part in the Paris Peace Accords. This was a joint award with his American counterpart Henry Kissinger. However, only Kissinger accepted the award. This made Le Duc...

    Read More
  • The Lost Notebook Of Ramanujan

    Ramanujan is regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians to ever live. He grew up in a poor Brahmin family in India, with very limited access to any form of education. At the age of 15, he was lucky to receive a copy of Carr’s Synopsis of Pure Mathematics. Apparently, this book set him on...

    Read More
  • The Crazy Story Of The Women In The Mercury 13 Program

    During the 1960s at the height of the Cold War and the space race, 13 women went through grueling NASA tests. It was a set of tests to prove they could go on to become astronauts, but none of the women ever made it to space. In fact, the program’s eventual shutdown changed the whole...

    Read More
  • The Legend Of The Sleeping Barbarossa Emperor

    Emperor Frederick I. also known as Barbarossa was an Emperor of modern-day Germany. He became a symbol of stability and national unity, even years after his death. Because the country fell into war and civil war, the people longed for the peace that had existed with Barbarossa’s rule. The legend started because his body was...

    Read More