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Traces of 4,000-Year-Old Boat Excavated in Iraq

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Uruk Boat SedimentBAGHDAD, IRAQ—According to an Ars Technica report, a team of researchers from the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and the German Archaeological Institute has removed a block of sediment containing traces of a 4,000-year-old boat from a site that was once a river flowing on the outskirts of the ancient city of Uruk, in what is now southern Iraq. When erosion of the riverbed first revealed the outline of the boat in 2018, archaeologists documented the vessel, which measures about 22 feet long and five feet wide. The recent increasing rate of erosion at the site and nearby traffic prompted the researchers to remove the delicate imprints of bitumen that once covered the reeds, palm leaves, or wood of the craft. Archaeologists at the Iraq Museum will study and conserve what is left of the hull for eventual display. To read about the Mesopotamian ruler whose reign marked the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, go to "The Last King of Babylon."

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