Archaeologists discover traces of ancient Jalula

According to a press announcement by Mr. Ali Obaid Shalgham from the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH), archaeologists have discovered traces of the ancient city of Jalula.

Historical text describes Jalula as being located on the (Great) Khurasan Road, emerging as the centre of the Šāḏ Qobāḏ Province within the Sassanid Empire (It should be noted, that ancient Jalula should not be confused with modern Jalula, which was founded in 1958 near the town of Bahiza). The city was an important trading centre and held great strategic importance as a bottle-neck to Northern Iraq.

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In AD 637, the city was fought over during the Battle of Jalula, a conflict between the Sasanian Empire and the Rashidun Caliphate. The Caliph considered Jalula an obstacle in marching on Tikrit and Mosul, so appointed Hashim ibn Utba at the head of 12,000 troops to storm the city.

The Persians suffered heavy casualties and the battle ended in a complete Muslim victory. Yazdegerd III, the last reigning Sasanian king, was unwilling to send a relief force to support the city defence, which ultimately fell following a 7 month siege. After capturing Jalula, the Caliph forces pressed onto Tikrit and Mosul, and ultimately the conquest of Persia that resulted in the collapse of the Sassanid Empire.

The recent survey was conducted by Ahmed Abdul Jabbar Khamas, who was able to identify landmarks and structures of the ancient city, resulting in ground level inspections that confirmed the structures.

Mr Shalgham, said: “Archaeological survey operations are ongoing and also contributed to the discovery and recording of a number of archaeological sites and settlements from the history of the country.”

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Header Image Credit : General Authority for Antiquities and Heritage

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Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 8,000 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.

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