Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment


Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using





Thieves raid 2700-year-old site in Duhok

By Nasr Ali 5/3/2018
Halamat cave is believed to date back some 2700 years. Assyrian reliefs have been carved into the mountainside.
DUHOK, Kurdistan Region – Thieves have stolen pieces from a nearly 3,000-year-old archeological site in Duhok. 

Halamat cave is located on Mount Zawa, south of Duhok city. The site is not easily accessible. Last week, unknown persons reached the cave in a Humvee and stole some of the pieces from the cave. 

“On February 25, one of our guards informed us that some people had damaged the archeological items in Halamat cave. Later, a team visited the site and prepared a report on this issue. It was revealed later that some people had taken part in stealing the archeological items of the cave. The archeological piece stolen is called Sanharib,” Nivin Mohammed, head of legal affairs for Duhok’s archeology directorate, told Rudaw.

No persons have been arrested yet, but an investigation is ongoing. 

Ten people were arrested last year for theft of artifacts, Mohammed said. 

This is the latest in a string of thefts or attempted robberies of Duhok’s rich history. 

Kovan Ihsan, an investigator and archeologist at Duhok’s archeology directorate, explained, “Since 2014, there have been efforts to steal and damage 212 archeological sites in Duhok. The latest was the archeological site at Mount Zawa.”

The Kurdistan Region saw a spike in this kind of theft after ISIS took control of large areas in northern Iraq in 2014. The terror group reportedly sold valuable artifacts as well as destroying many sites. 

“There are constant attempts to take Mosul’s archeological pieces abroad via Ibrahim Khalil gate. This has paved the way for people from Duhok and some IDPs to steal archeological pieces,” Mohammed said.
Halamat cave is believed to date back some 2700 years. Assyrian reliefs have been carved into the mountainside. 

According to statistics produced by Duhok’s archeology directorate, there are 456 archeological sites in the province. There are also 4,000 artifacts preserved in Duhok museum. 

“The sentence for people trading in archeological pieces or damaging archeological sites is three months to six years. But if those doing this are employees of the archeology sites, they get double this sentence,” explained Judge Sidqi Saleem Khan, an investigator in a Duhok court.
“Those who have so far been tried at Duhok court are mostly Kurdish. Some of them were Arab IDPs,” he added. 



Shilani | 6/3/2018
People have no money and jobs so its not their fault
Azad | 6/3/2018
Protect these assyrian lands, We need an assyrian region in douhok and Nineva plains
Chandran Avinjikat | 8/3/2018
Very sad. These thieves do not know the value of this precious relics. The government is also to be blamed. It is a known fact that in general, governments world over especially in developing countries do not give the required importance to their archaeological treasures.

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Muraz Adzhoev | 4/18/2018 12:01:30 AM
What, Abadi’s party in Duhok to win seats? This of course would look very funny and very stupid, if it wasn't so sad and humiliating.
zagros | 4/18/2018 7:29:02 AM
Now they begin sell there land for Money. Better vote for other kurdish Party if u dont like kdp.
Abadi’s party hopes to loosen KDP’s hold on Duhok
| yesterday at 10:28 | (4)
Muraz Adzhoev | 4/17/2018 7:26:06 PM
Yes, certainly “Kurdish parties should shoulder their collective responsibility for what went wrong“, to provide appropriate legal terms, political...
Jay | 4/18/2018 2:09:28 AM
I am sure PUK will win in Kirkuk, why not, after all the only thing they have done is hand in the throats of Kurds in Kirkuk to the thugs of Hash...
10 Qs: PUK candidate confident party will perform well in election
| yesterday at 07:39 | (2)
farid | 4/18/2018 1:49:38 AM
afrin are kurdish and syrian tritory .do not let the turkish army and ethnocentriste goverment to continue ocupation and changing demography and...
kurd | 4/18/2018 2:06:07 AM
as long as you raise the picture of ocalan and as long as you are associated with PKK, turkey will continue to be there. I really do not...
Kurds pursue diplomatic avenues to end ‘occupation’ of Afrin
| 16/4/2018 | (7)
Azad Azadi | 4/17/2018 6:00:01 PM
Even on Arab list, he may do more for Kurds than Kurdistan party’s parliamentarian do. Let us admitted, we failed as Kurds in Iraq. Our par...
Jay | 4/18/2018 2:06:02 AM
This guy is out of touch, president what! what a psycho. Abadi invaded kirkuk, no, it was handed over by traitors (Pilav). He will help spinsters get...
Kurdish 'President' Zana joins Arab list to be next Iraqi leader
| yesterday at 02:22 | (2)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Female election candidates fear rise in social media abuse 1 hour ago |

Female election candidates fear rise in social media abuse

"On Facebook, women candidates are being more
In Iraq’s oil-rich Basra, shanty towns flourish 3 hours ago |

In Iraq’s oil-rich Basra, shanty towns flourish

An anarchic clutter of breeze-block homes and more
0.734 seconds