Citadel of Erbil
The Erbil Citadel, locally called Qelat, is a tell or occupied mound, and the historical city centre of Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The citadel has been inscribed on the World Heritage List since 21 June 2014. The buildings on top of the tell stretch over a roughly oval area of 430 by 340 metres, occupying 102,000 square metres.
About Citadel of Erbil in brief
The Erbil Citadel, locally called Qelat, is a tell or occupied mound, and the historical city centre of Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The citadel has been inscribed on the World Heritage List since 21 June 2014. The earliest evidence for occupation of the citadel mound dates to the 5th millennium BC, and possibly earlier. It appears for the first time in historical sources in the Ebla tablets around 2,300 BC. Erbil was an important city during the Neo-Assyrian period. It was also an important centre for Christianity during the Sassanian period and the Abbasid Caliphate. The buildings on top of the tell stretch over a roughly oval area of 430 by 340 metres, occupying 102,000 square metres. The only religious structure that currently survives is the Mulla Afandi Mosque. The government plans to have 50 families live in thecitadel once it is renovated. The city was first largely under Sumerian domination from c. 3000 BC, until the rise of the Akkadian Empire which united all of theAkkadian Semites and Sumerians of Mesopotamia under one rule. Later, Erridupizir, king of Gutium, captured the city in 2200 BC. At the end of the 3rd millenniumBC, Erbil is mentioned in historical records of the Ur III period as Urbilum. In the 18th century BC, the city appears in a list of cities that were conquered by Shamshi-Adad and Dadusha of Eshnunna during their campaign against the land of Qabra.
During the 2nd millennium BC the city was incorporated into Assyria. Inscriptions from Assurbanipal record the court of Ishtar probably held in Erbil during the Assyrian Empire. The name of the Erbil centre was written as Arbi-Ilu Gods, meaning ‘Four Gods’ During the Assyria period, it was compared with cities such as Babylon and Assur. Its goddess Ishtar was one of the principal deities of Assyria, together with Nineveh, Nineveh and Hermaneser I, and was often named together with Ishtar of Nineveh. After the defeat of the Elamite ruler Telamu II of Ur, there was a revolt against the rulers of Ur and Telam, and Erbil received envoys from Rusa II of Rusa after the reign of his reign and there was repaired by the kings ShalmanesER I, Esaraddon and Esurbanipal I, then Medeser Esararaddon, and then Esurbanaraddon himself. The Erbil citadel was captured by the Mongols in 1258, and during the 20th century, the urban structure was significantly modified, as a result of which a number of houses and public buildings were destroyed. Since then, archaeological research and restoration works have been carried out at the tell by various international teams and in cooperation with local specialists.