The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut nĂ©erlandais du Proche-Orient

24 Nov 15:00

The first Italian archaeological mission to Mesopotamia: Qasr Shamamuk, 1930-1933

Stefano Anastasio

Huizinga building: room 004

The first Italian archaeological expedition to Mesopotamia was organized in 1930, when the archaeologists Giuseppe Furlani and Doro Levi made a survey trip in Iraq and visited the main archaeological sites in Sumer, Babylon and Assyria. Three years later, an excavation was carried out at Qasr Shamamuk, the Assyrian Kilizu, not far from Erbil. The campaign was very rich in finds, thanks to the discovery of a large Assyrian and Parthian necropolis. But even in light of such good results, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided not to resume the expedition, due to a change in Italy’s foreign policy. Most of the documentation related to the 1930 trip and the 1933 excavations went lost during World War II. However, some recently retrieved photos taken in Iraq, as well as a confidential report sent by Doro Levi to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome, allowed to reconstruct the history of the expedition, whose materials are today kept at the Archaeological Museum of Florence.

Dr. S. Anastasio is appointed at MiBACT - Superintendency of Florence, Pistoia, Prato (Italy).

The lecture is part of NINO’s lecture cycle 2016-2017 with the theme “The ancient Near East and Egypt through the lens”.