November 3, 2020 | real estate

Sulaimani archaeological sites rushed for excavation with 100-meter highway construction


ERBIL, Kurdistan – Authorities are urging archaeologists to rapidly excavate four sites in the south of Sulaimani province where a new strategic highway is being built, say local sources.

A team of archaeologists have started searching for remains and excavating the sites of Karima Swr, Kani Chna, Sheikh Wasal and Sheikh Mansour, which are partially located on the roadway planned for construction. The excavation, inspection, and movement of the remnants will take another month, archaeologists note, but construction teams are eager to complete the road.

'Parts of these sites will be turned into roadway,” construction site supervisor Shabaz Hamasalim told Rudaw on Saturday. “We have told the archaeologists to transfer the remains they need and [for the time being] we will continue to work around those villages.'

Excavation supervisor Hero Salih notes that her team has found basic tools, skeletons, bronze and iron-made trinkets at the sites, which date as far back as 1000 to 2000 BC.

“We have spoken to the construction company [...] to put a fence around the [remaining] archaeological sites,' she told Rudaw on Saturday.

Dubbed the 100-meter road, construction of the 146-kilometre long highway was supposed to begin in 2013 but was put on hold due to a lack of funds and the war with ISIS. Construction has now resumed and 16% of the road is finished, according to the site supervisor.

'We have spoken to a number of foreign teams to determine the age and period of the remnants,” added the archaeologist, noting that Sulaimani lacks the advanced laboratories needed for the proper identification of the age and period of the remains, and thus rely on foreign laboratories

The highway’s construction will be split into three phases and the government has allocated 400 billion dinars ($336 million) for the project, KRG Municipalities and Tourism Minister Sasan Auni told Rudaw in July.

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