Apr 6, 2014

The Location of the Battle of Gaugamela Discovered

Amid a lot of controversy about the Battle of Gaugamela?s location, it has been recently discovered that the battle took place in a location near Bardarash District in Duhok Province. 

The battle, which occurred between Alexander the Great and the emperor Darius in 331 B.C, is regarded as one of the 10 greatest battles in history. 

During a workshop conducted by Salahadin University hosting an archeologist and a historian from the Greek Cyprus University, instructors and students of archeology department discussed for several hours the circumstances surrounding the battle. This resulted in pinpointing exactly where Gaugamela took place. 

Muhamad Abdullah Kakasoor, Dean of the College of Arts at University of Salahadin stated that the battle was previously thought to have occurred near the city of Erbil. 

A team from the Greek Cyprus University visited Erbil recently to discover the real location of the battle. After a more thorough local investigation, they came to the conclusion that the battlefield was situated in the triangle of Maqloob Mountain ? Tel Gomer Village and Bardarash. 

Mr. Kakasoor said, after the delegation?s visit to the site, intensive excavations will be carried out. 

?The importance of this topic is that Gaugamela or sometimes called Erbela is an international historical occurrence, whoever reads the history of Alexander will come across the name Erbela which undoubtedly refers to the current city of Erbil (or Hawler). 
He said that the Greek archeologists revealed that the real location of the battle is in Bardarash District rather than the place mentioned in Greek and Iranian historical sources. 

?The Greek delegation has reached a conclusion, depending on their study and ancient and contemporary Greek sources that the battle occurred in Bardarash District which is a wide area suitable to be used as a battlefield. So now the actual location of the battle is settled? he argued. 

The battle is believed to be the first after which the West could dominate the East powers. According to the historical sources, Darius?s army consisted of 100-200 thousand soldiers, but the technique Alexander used in the battle enabled him to win with fewer numbers of soldiers. 
The Head of Archeology at Salahadin University stated during the workshop that he visited the site in Bardarash himself. 

And according to the scripts and documents that Greek Cyprus University professors revealed, the site of the battle is located 90 km far away from the city of Erbil. 

In addition, they say that Persian sources mention the mountain that?s now known as Maqloob which both armies passed by ahead of their arrival to Gomel River, Upper Zap and Xazir River, and both armies reached Tel Gomel (a village in Bardarash District) where there?s a wide plain of 10 km long and 5-7 km wide. He added that the area is very wide, so excavating and searching for military equipment of both armies can be challenging. 

However, modern detecting equipments can facilitate searching and finding some pieces of weapons such as spears, bows and arrows or whatever made of iron and used in the fight. He also stated that excavations haven?t started yet. 

According to archeologists who took part in the workshop, the outcome of this workshop will be presented to Salahadin University and KRG Council of Ministers so that the location could be surveyed and excavated thoroughly and extensively, and finally turned into a very interesting archeological site in Kurdistan Region. 

By Shvan Goran 

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