Erbil Citadel

The citadel town of Erbil lies in the middle of the Greater City of Erbil. It lies between longitudinal lines (45.05 E, 43.4 E) and latitudinal lines (37.20 N, 36.25 N). Although it is now completely engulfed by the huge expanse of the modern city it still lies at the heart of the busy central commercial district.

There are several conjectural possibilities as to how Erbil Citadel Town originated and developed its present form.  They may be outlined as follows:
1. Gradual Accumulation: 
That the mound represents a gradual accumulation of historical settlement layers rising slowly to reach its present height of some 30 meters. If one assumes that the age of the citadel is around 6000 years then this means that its height has been rising at the rate of 1 meter every 200 years. Although this rate seems to be a very slow one but is, nevertheless, reasonable when compared with archaeological evidence.

2. Assyrian Settlement:
That it may have been an Assyrian settlement with a ziggurat in the middle surrounded by temples. And that when it was destroyed and abandoned, it turned into a heap of ruin. Then, at a later stage, it compacted and presented itself as a very useful "Tell" and defensible ground for human habitation.

3. Man-Made Mound: 
That the mound was artificially created by people who desired to live in this fertile land but needed a fortified site.  Of course, this would have needed a massive human effort which is unprecedented in the history of human settlements in Mesopotamia.

4. Natural Mound:
 That the mound was a natural one, perhaps a few meters high and risen gradually by human habitation. The flat land geography of the area, however, makes this proposition unlikely.  Also, the shape and the slope of the Tell appear so 'organized' that it makes it unlikely to have been a typically undulating natural mound.
The citadel town of Erbil is elliptical in overall form and rises to about 28-32 meters above the surrounding city below.  Because of this height it dominates the city's skyline although, recently, this visual domination has become seriously threatened by new high-rise commercial development very close to it.  If this high-rise development is continued to be allowed it will soon be completely suffocated and its dramatic visual dominance will be a thing of the past.
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