Archaeological and Ethnographic Survey in the Paikuli Area (Iraqi Kurdistan)

Julian Bogdani, Luca Colliva, Camilla Insom


The Italian Archaeological Mission in Iraqi Kurdistan (MAIKI) of the Sapienza University of Rome aims to study the archaeological, historical, linguistic and cultural development of the Kurdish region through a wide historical period. MAIKI started by focusing on the archaeological and philological analysis of the Sasanian site of Paikuli. In recent years, however, investigation has been expanded to include an accurate survey of the area between the Dyala and Basara rivers, around the main road that connects the city of Chamchamal to Darbandikhan, in order to implement a complete and updated archaeological map of the entire territory. The continuing work includes a preparatory study of the few bibliographical records available and an overall analysis of the accessible, current and historical satellite imagery in order to obtain a reliable context for the results of archaeological field surveys. During the field campaigns, which are currently suspended because of the political instability and war in the region, archaeological material was collected in all the visited sites and a detailed morphological and archaeometric study was set up. A complete map of the currently inhabited villages of the area has been compiled because up-to-date base cartography of the area did not exist; this new map has proved to be useful not only for locating archaeological records but also for the activities of the ethnological research that joined the Mission in 2013. The area suffered very much during Saddam Hussein’s Al-Anfal campaign when all of the people were forced to leave. The ethnological study will help to reveal the impact that these recent traumatic events have had on the preservation of the cultural heritage whilst supplying rich documentation for further investigation, including on relationship between man and territory, local economy, migration policies and religious practices.


Kurdistan, Landscape Archaeology, Near Eastern Archaeology, Archaeological Survey

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Copyright (c) 2016 Julian Bogdani, Luca Colliva, Camilla Insom

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LAC 2014 proceedings - ISBN 978-90-825296-0-9 - is an open access initiative supported by the University Library, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.