In the Iraqi-Kurdish province of Sulaymaniyah, archaeologists from Frankfurt, Germany made an interesting discovery. They found a 1,500-year-old fabric-making loom.

Professor Dirk Wicke from the Institute of Archaeology at Goethe University, with a team of archaeology undergraduates and doctoral students, were in Northern Iraq for 6 weeks for their second dig session. Here is the site of Gird-î Qalrakh with the Sasanian and Neo-Assyrian period ancient ruins were discovered.

Their goal was to completely sequence the ceramic history of this region’s history. This has been a long-term and on-going goal of researchers around the world because this area borders ancient Mesopotamia with significant cultural connections to neighboring Iran. This would help chronologically arrange all the other artifacts found already.

“It is a small site but it features a relatively tall hill in which we have found a complete sequence of ceramic shards. It seems likely that the hill was continuously inhabited from the early 3rd millennium BC through to the Islamic period,” said Dirk Wicke.

The loom they found was a big surprise and even more valuable than the pots they were looking for. The loom was burnt but its charred remains, clay weights, and fabric roll seals were intact enough to provide insights. Researchers wonder if there was an ancient fabric factory here.

A stone wall was also discovered here built 100-400 years after the loom, which shows how this site was refortified and may represent the development of this region’s people into a more sophisticated civilization. Textile weaving was like advanced technology with loomers writing lines of code showing or hiding different colors and threads to build a large colorful bitmap tapestry. Respect.

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