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Enormous, 'Most Ancient' Sumerian Port Discovered in Iraq

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Archaeological excavations were conducted near the city of Nasiriyah, at a place called Abu-Tbeirah, which is located on the ancient shoreline of the Persian Gulf.

The joint Iraqi-Italian team of archaeologists discovered an ancient Sumerian port dating to the third millennium BC in the south-east of Iraq, according to the website of the foundation for the support of education and research of the Italian University Sapienza.

The excavations were led by two archaeologists, Lycia Romano and Franco D'Agostino.

"The port, located to the north-west of Abu-Tbeirah, is an artificial water area in the lowland, surrounded by a massive earthen rampart on a clay foundation. Two entrances connect it to the city, and they are clearly visible on Google satellite images,” the Italian newspaper Repubblica reported, quoting the excavation’s leaders.

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According to the archaeologists, this is the most ancient port ever to have been discovered on the territory of Iraq. 

This discovery "will help to write a new chapter in the history of Mesopotamia and its civilization, and also to dispel the notion that the ancient Mesopotamian cities were surrounded (only) by fields of grains and irrigation channels,” the publication added.

The scientists do not exclude the notion that the ancient port, the size of which is equivalent to more than 12 Olympic swimming pools, was used not only for mooring ships and commercial operations with other cities, but also as a water reservoir and a huge basin in case of floods.

As reported by Rai News 24, the official presentation of the results of the archaeological excavations will be held in Rome on Wednesday, March 21.

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