The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut néerlandais du Proche-Orient

NINO Archaeological Project on the Rania Plain (Iraq)

The Shemshara Hills seen from northwest

The NINO Archaeological Project on the Rania Plain is a “second phase salvage project” within the area of the former Dokan Dam Salvage zone, investigated by Iraqi and Danish archaeologists 1956-60. The project includes major excavations at Tell Shemshara, as well as survey within a 15 km radius of this site (the survey proceeds in cooperation with the University of Copenhagen). An important focus for the project is flood damage assessment and second phase salvage work at other selected sites on the edges of Lake Dokan.

Projects included under the umbrella of the NINO Archaeological Project on the Rania Plain are:

The project is sponsored principally by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and NINO.


Updates and preliminary results

Fieldwork October 2014: archaeological survey in the hinterland of Tell Shemshara. Four sites serve to illustrate the precarious heritage situation on the edges of Lake Dokan.

Erosion at Tell Shemshara. Digital model: fly-around of Tell Shemshara (video on our Facebook page). Red contours of 2012-13, overlaid by 1957 green contours – illustrating the ca. 165.000 cubic meter loss to Lake Dokan.

Fieldwork autumn 2015: images of this season’s small excavation on Shemshara and the continued pilot survey of the Rania plain.

Fieldwork autumn 2015, results: “Resurrecting the Palace of Kuwari”.