Archaeological treasures unearthed in Iraq on project Kirintec is funding

Kirintec is part funding an archaeological project in Iraq. The aim is to exert a positive influence on Iraq’s cultural heritage; while safeguarding fascinating archaeological treasures.


Preserving history

Around 33 million people live in Iraq currently.


However, it is also home to some of the earliest fascinating civilisations. Unique discoveries are frequently made in the Ur region in the Middle East, as a result of working in partnership. Dr Jane Moon leads the project, where her team have unearthed a little toy bull (pictured) in-country.


The archaeological heritage of Iraq continues to receive continued publicity. Artefacts which are destroyed cannot be replaced. Sadly sites are still prone to being looted or vandalised. Nonetheless, initiatives such as this seek to redress the balance.


Iraq’s history 1500 BC

Apparently children do not feature much in archaeology (with the exception of an occasional Egyptian Prince or Princess). Infant mortality in antiquity was very high and children are frequently represented by their said little graves. Previously Archaeologists have found:

  • babies buried in pots
  • newborns dug casually into the rubbish heap
  • older children laid carefully on their side


The Ur region project at Tell Khaiber is no exception. The team encounters tiny, delicate bones from time to time. Occasionally, they glimpse what these youngsters did. They have found a couple of rattles and half-made figurines of humans and animals.


A unique find

The team were delighted to discover a rare more-or-less complete find in the form of a little bull. It is almost complete with horns, limbs and a tail – nearly all are in tact. As you can see from the photograph the bull’s face is about the size of a finger nail. The team’s Conservator will endeavour to smarten the find.


Dr Moon highlights the boost a find like this gives, she explains, “His cheeky pose has brightened a very chilly week on site, In southern Iraq, or Babylonia, as it was called when people last hung out at Tell Khaiber, this was a time when cattle were used to draw ploughs to cultivate great quantities of barley.”


At the end of this excavation, newly found artefacts and archaeological treasures will be displayed for the local community to share. As a result, archaeologists, students/teachers and other members of the public can see the them in Baghdad’s museum.