Russian-Iraqi expedition and cooperation with museums
Exactly 50 years ago, in the spring of 1969, the first Soviet archaeological expedition in Mesopotamia began field research in northern Iraq. Its initiators were Academician B. B. Piotrovsky, Director of the State Hermitage Museum, and Deputy Director of the Institute of Archeology of the USSR Academy of Sciences E. I. Krupnov, and Corresponding Member as permanent leader. RAS R.M. Munchaev.
In 2019, with the participation of the Alexander Foundation, Russian archaeologists returned to Iraq. The work of a new Russian-Iraqi integrated expedition began on two important monuments, this time not the Northern, but the Southern Mesopotamia: Tell Wajef in the province of Maysan, and Tell Dehail in the province of Di Car. Excavations of these ancient settlements are associated with a comprehensive study of the so-called Swamp zone of Southern Iraq, which in 2016 was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Both monuments were damaged during the military events of the 1990s and 2000s, and Russian archaeologists, along with Iraqi colleagues, will conduct rescue excavations. This is our contribution to the preservation of world culture, and to the study of the foundations of our civilization.