Samarra Archaeological City


  • Name: Samarra Archaeological City
  • Country located: Iraq
  • Date of inscription: 2007
  • Criteria: ii. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
    iii. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
    iv. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  • 1 of 3 Cultural Sites located in Iraq

Basic Archeological Site Information:

  • Site Size: 15,058ha
  • This site dates from 836-892AD.
  • This site is believed to have come from Abbasid Caliphate. It was a major Islamic empire of the period.
  • This is the only surviving Islamic capital that retains the original plan. It had been abandoned so there is not evidence of rebuilding.

The Samarra Archaeological City intrigued my interest because of the amazing preservation of the entire city. The city was the Islamic capital of the Abbasid Empire which ruled over provinces from Tunisia to Central Asia. This site contains many amazing monuments such as the 9th-Century Great Mosque, but 80% of the site has yet to be excavated. After Baghdad, Samarra became the second capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. Baghdads loss of monuments has caused Samarra to have the only physical traces of the Caliphate. Samarra also houses the largest palaces of the islamic world named the The Caliphal Palace.

This site was placed on the Danger list at the same time it was placed on the World Heritage list. There is no information from the website as to what is causing this site to be on the danger list. Personally, I believe the site is in danger due to the current warfare, political hostility, and weather of the area.

Interior of the Abu Dulaf Mosque

Interior of house No. 5

Minaret of the Abu Dulaf Mosque

Samarra Archaeological Survey

The World Heritage Site: Samarra Archaeological City

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