Old Cemetery


The activities at the Old Cemetery began by cleaning the graveyard covering quite a large area to the south of the Tigris River, and to the northwest, and a 5mx5m grid was set up in an area of 30m²x15m² where a vaulted building was uncovered. The area in front of the vault measuring 2.00 x 2.00 m was dug, revealing a bench in the 0.30 m high second layer. A crypt consisting of six graves symmetrically laid out in rows was reached when the bench remains were traced. Three of the graves were opened; however, it was found that they were looted probably by treasure hunters, and the skeletons were smashed, and the remaining were completely decayed by the acidic waters leaking from the house to the south of the crypt .

A narrow canal built with rubble stones was found on the western wall of the crypt. Based on both the channel lacking any connection with the crypt in front of the vault and presence of a second channel on the same level with the vault, it was concluded that it was most likely to be used as a septic tank in following periods .

The excavations in this area yielded scattered grave stones which were decorated with floral motifs such as palmetto, lotus, curved branch, and rumi patterns, as well as epitaphs (tombstones, crests, fountain slabs, grave posts, grave lids) .

Excavations in different areas of the graveyard revealed various types and forms of graves with different material, some with missing stones or built of gathered stones from other graves as well as intact graves. Some of the representative graves were cleaned and rearranged. Graves that were rolled over or buried underground were repositioned to their original locations after removal and cleaning work.