Keywords : Ottoman Bridges

Development of Altyn Köprü (Pirdi) in the light of new Archaeological and Historical Research

Narmin Ali Muhammad Amin

Athar Alrafedain, 2022, Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 79-95
DOI: 10.33899/athar.2022.170121

Based on a thorough archaeological and historical research, this paper traces the development of Altyn Köprü (Pirdi), the city situated on the islet in the river of Little Zab, from its presumed Assyrian origin  until the 19th century. The study draws from a rich data set obtained from in-depth analysis of historical satellite imagery and the archaeological field survey conduced by the Czech Archaeological Mission in Iraqi Kurdistan (project Medieval Urban Landscape in Northeastern Mesopotamia – Mulinem) between 2013 and 2014, in coperation with archaeologists from Salahaddin University Arbil and Inspectorate of Antiquities Kirkuk. Historical travel literature and photographs, as well as Ottoman drawings and plan documentation enabled us to trace in detail the origin and development of the townʼs landmarks – the bridges that once connected the islet with the south and north banks of the river. The last phase of the Ottoman bridges (demolished in 1918) can be dated, according to our analysis, sometime before 1736 and their remnants are still visible in the ground, together with traces of older bridges of unknown date. Furthermore, we argue that the town underwent a complete transformation of urban structure, street network, and architectural appearance between the 16th and 20th century.