Ruins of lost royal city found in Iraq

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    Found in Iraq ruins of the lost royal city (photo)

    The fortress includes buildings that served as barracks and other military facilities, as well as rock bas-reliefs.

    During its recent During archaeological excavations in the mountains of Iraq, archaeologists discovered an ancient fortress, which, in their opinion, is the remnant of the lost Parthian city of Natunia, the existence of which is known only from coins, writes Artnet News.

    A team of scientists first began to study the ruins of the site known as Rabana-Merkuli 13 years ago, excavating and surveying a 4 km long area on the largest Zagros mountain system.

    “The impressive setting of the Rabana-Merculi fortress, built into the western side of Mount Piragrun, which is one of the most prominent peaks in the Zagros region, really distinguishes it from everything where I have worked,” said lead author of the excavations Michael Brown of the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

    Ruins of lost royal found in Iraq cities (photo)

    As Brown points out, Rabana-Merkuli's fortress strongly resembles Helm's Deep from The Lord of the Rings, referring to the curved fortifications on the mountainside, invented by the author J. R. R. Tolkien in “Two Towers”. Ancient stone walls fill gaps in the highlands, making an already protected area even more impassable.

    The fortress includes buildings that served as barracks and other military facilities. There is also a Zoroastrian sanctuary where people worshiped the Iranian water goddess Anahita.

    However, the most striking element is a pair of rock carvings depicting a life-size figure of a man in richly decorated clothes.

    Ruins of lost royal found in Iraq cities (photo)

    “Both bas-reliefs are located directly next to two closed entrances and are clearly intended to make a political statement. They can be described as ancient propaganda,” the scientists explained.

    According to experts, this figure is the king of the ancient state of Adiabene. The characteristic headdress of the figure is very similar to that found on a statue from the ancient city of Hatra, about 225 km to the west, which bears an inscription identifying the king of Adiabene. rock walls, could be Natunissar, founder of Natunia, also known as Natunissarokerta.

    The ruins of the lost royal city were found in Iraq (photo)

    The toponym Natunissarokerta combines Natunissar, the king who is called on ancient coins the founder of the city, with a Parthian word for a moat or fortification, suggesting that it was a walled city with elaborate defenses, much like the site at Rabana Merculi.

    “Natunia is really only known from rare coins, there are no detailed historical details.Rabana-Merculi is certainly a the highest and most impressive monument of the Parthian era in the region and the only one with royal iconography, so this is certainly a valuable find,” the researchers concluded.

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