Thursday, 19 May 2022

Drone reveals ancient settlement in Iraqi Kurdistan

During the Cold War era, US spy satellites snapped images of the Soviet Union, China and their allies. When these images were declassified in the 1990s, photos of a rocky terrace in Iraqi Kurdistan caught the attention of archaeologists, who believed they saw the remnants of a large, square fort. Qalatga Darband is located at a strategic point on the Darband-i-Rania pass, which once linked Mesopotamia to Iran. Archaeologists think the city was built on a route that Alexander of Macedon took in 331 BC while pursuing Persian King Darius III; who was fleeing from his defeat at the Battle of Gaugamela.
Drone images of Qalatga Darband were processed to enhance color differences. The city, nearby Lake Dukan, was encircled by a wall and had a fort, a temple, and wine presses.

The Parthians were a major power, conquering vast swaths of territory.
Qalatga Darband appears to have been occupied during the early Parthian period, which spanned from the first century B.C. to the first century A.D. A coin discovered at the site depicts the Parthian king Orodes II, who ruled between 57 B.C. and 37 B.C.