Ancient Rock Carvings Found in Iraq Depict an Assyrian King Paying Tribute to His Gods

Archaeologists in Iraq have discovered some outstanding ancient rock carvings depicting an Assyrian king paying tribute to his gods, along with some unknown and mythical creatures.​

The findings, which are allegedly 3,000 years old, were publicly dug up in the Faida region, north of Baghdad, after being concealed for a few years to protect them from being destroyed. This is the first time in approximately 200 years that any similar Assyrian rock carvings have been discovered, and the finding is believed to depict an ancient time of expansion in the Assyrian Empire.

Except for carvings found in Khinnis, where an archaeological site has been built, discovered close to the city of Mosul in 1845, ‘here is no other Assyrian rock art complex that can be compared with Faida,​’ archaeologist Daniele Morandi Bonacossi from the University of Udine stated.

Ancient Rock Carvings in Iraq Show Assyrian King Paying Tribute to the Gods

Morandi Bonacossi is the chief of the team performing the excavations at Faida on behalf of the university’s Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project, in partnership with researchers from the Duhok Directorate of Antiquities led by archaeologist Hassan Ahmed Qasim.

The Faida discoveries showcase a procession of seven Assyrian deities depicted in profile standing on dragons, horned lions, bulls, or probably horses, the researchers reported. The team of scientists said that the carvings were first observed in the 1970s, and site analysis only began in 2012. However, the excavation work had to be postponed when the ISIS took over a massive area of the place back in 2014.

The carvings were discovered in a bedrock, above what was once an ancient canal created by Sargon, an Assyrian king, to irrigate the area. “It is highly probable that more reliefs and perhaps also monumental celebratory cuneiform inscriptions are still buried under the soil debris that filled the Faida canal,” Morandi Bonacossi, said.

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