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British Museum Project: Ancient Palace Uncovered In Iraq

An ancient palace dating back thousands of years has been uncovered in Iraq through a British Museum project.

The 4,500-year-old structure, dubbed the “lost palace,” is located in Tello, southern Iraq, which once hosted the ancient Sumerian city of Girsu.

The scheme, the Girsu Project, is led by the British Museum and funded by the J Paul Getty Museum in the US. It was launched in response to Daesh’s destruction of ancient structures and artifacts across the region.

The palace was discovered during excavations last year that also uncovered more than 200 stone tablets after a 140-year hunt that began following the unearthing of inscriptions that hinted at the building’s existence.

Researchers first used aerial drones to detect the initial remains of the palace last year. But officials said the site had suffered significant damage across the last two centuries.

Administrative records were also uncovered and subsequently taken to Baghdad’s Iraq Museum, along with stone tablets.

Experts believe Girsu may have been inhabited as far back as 5,300 B.C., and could have existed for several thousand years until 200 B.C.

Girsu is one of the “most important heritage sites in the world” yet “little is known about it,” said Sebastian Rey, Girsu Project director.

He added that “over 80 years of fieldwork interruption at the site have taken their toll,” but said the scheme was “a remarkable opportunity to secure this extraordinary site’s long-term conservation.”

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