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Archaeologists discover 2700 year old wine press, royal carvings in Iraq

Archaeologists discover 2700 year old wine press, royal carvings in Iraq

Baghdad: An ancient wine-making centre and extensive carvings of Assyrian kings were uncovered in Iraq on Sunday, with archaeologists estimating that the wine press could date back 2700 years to the time of Sargon II (721-705 BC) and his son Sennacherib. At Khinis, near Dohuk, the team unearthed giant stone basins cut into the white rock that was used in commercial wine-making during the reign of Sennacherib, in the late 8th or early 7th century BC. This is the first of its kind discovery in Iraq scholars said.

The bas-relief carvings were discovered in Faida in the northern part of Iraq announced the Department of Antiquities in Dohuk in collaboration with scholars from Italy. The irrigation canal where they were found is nine kilometres long and contains extensive carvings depicting Assyrian kings in various positions of prayer to the gods along with various sacred animals. There are 12 panels in total, measuring five metres wide and two metres tall in the canal which was cut to provide water for ancient farmers.

"The king, in this way, wanted to show to the people living in the area that he was the one who has created these massive irrigation systems, so... the people should remember this and remain loyal," said Daniele Morandi Bonacossi Italian archaeologist and professor of Near Eastern archaeology at the Italy's University of Udine, as quoted by AFP.

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