Iraq’s Minister of Culture Dr. Ahmed Fakak Al-Badrani visited London last week as part of a delegation to annouce the ministry’s collaboration with the British Museum in renewed efforts in archaelogical investigation into the 4,500 year old ancient palace Girsu, in southern Iraq, regarded by the director of the museum as one of the “most fascinating sites”.
At an event held at the Embassy of Iraq in London, attended by the director of the British Museum Hartwig Fischer, the Iraqi Ambassador to London and Minister and Deputy Minister of Culture, Dr Sebastian Rey, Curator of Ancient Mesopotamia at the British Museum gave a passionate presentation on this archaeological marvel to a captivated audience, describing the intricate details of his team’s excavation efforts, and the rarity of such a discovery, with the possible unearthing of ancient cuneiform tablets featuring administrative texts in the number of “hundreds of thousands”.
A team of international experts including Dr Sebastian Rey are expected to return to the site next month where they will continue their work in excavating, in addition to leading training programmes on the site, with the desire for its operation to be a model for how excavation and preservation should be done. Previously, the site had suffered from looting and poor-quality excavations. Discoveries are expected to be transported to the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad.