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A 3,400-year-old city was recently exposed after an extended period of drought resulted in the water levels falling in a major reservoir in Iraq. Archaeologists first excavated the site in 2018 when it was previously exposed, but had to suspend their dig when the water levels rose again. The drought this year provided them with another opportunity to excavate the site in Kemune in the Kurdistan Region. The Bronze Age city is believed to be the remains of ancient Zakhiku, a city in the Empire of Mittani (ca. 1550–1350 BC) that controlled parts of northern Mesopotamia and Syria. Massive fortifications, storage buildings, and an industrial complex were all investigated. In addition, over 100 cuneiform tablets dating back to the Middle Assyrian period were discovered in five ceramic jars. Some of these were found still in their clay envelopes. While the nation of Mitanni is not mentioned directly in the Bible, a Mittanian king may be named. During the period of the Judges, Othniel delivered Israel from the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim, king of Aram Naharaim (Jgs 3:8–9). Dr. Clyde Billington has argued that Cushan was part of the Rishathaim people of Aram Naharaim, who once ruled the ancient Kingdom of Mitanni. If this identification is correct, it is yet more evidence for an early date for the Exodus (ca. 1446 BC).



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