This Week In History News, June 30 – July 6

Published July 5, 2019

Ancient Iraqi palace uncovered, World War II servicemen's remains found, biblical mosaics from 1.600-year-old synagogue brought to light.

Drought Reveals Stunning Ancient Palace In Dried-Up Water Reservoir In Iraq

Kemune Palace

University of Tübingen eScience Cente/Kurdistan Archaeology OrganizationArchaeologists discovered ruins of the Kemune Palace after a severe drought hit Iraqi Kurdistan.

There is no arguing that climate change has impacted the environment for worse, but it has also had some unexpected consequences for researchers and scientists in their quest to dig up history.

A drought that caused a severe reduction in water levels in the Mosul Dam reservoir along the Tigris river has revealed a 3,400-year-old palace that was buried below the dam. A team of Kurdish-German archaeologists are now working carefully to dig out the palace ruins from underneath the earth.

Read on here.

Remains Of 30 WWII Service Members From The Bloody Battle Of Tarawa Uncovered In The Pacific

Soldiers Grave On Betio Island

ERIC ALBERTSON/DEFENSE POW/MIA ACCOUNTING AGENCY/HISTORY FLIGHT The remains of 30 service members buried under the water table. They are to be transported to a Hawaiian lab in July for identification. June 1, 2019. Betio, Tarawa, Kiribati.

The Pacific Ocean theater of World War II, fought between the Allies and Japan, left many dead, injured, or missing, with countless American soldiers never returning home. The Battle of Tarawa in November 1943 in the modern-day Republic of Kiribati was one of the bloodiest battles of the war — with human remains being uncovered to this day.

The nonprofit organization History Flight located the graves of 30 marines and sailors in the Pacific atoll of Tarawa. These are suspected to belong to members of the 6th Marine Regiment, and will be transported to a lab in Hawaii in July to be analyzed and — hopefully — identified.

History Flight has thus far excavated at least 11 sites in Tarawa. The nonprofit was allowed to raze an abandoned building as part of its search — and that’s where most of the remains were buried.

Dig deeper in this report.

Biblical Mosaics Depicting The Story Of Elim And End Of Days Found In 1,600-Year-Old Synagogue

Elim Mosaic

Jim Haberman/UNC-Chapel HillThe mosaic depicts the story of Elim, in which exiled Egyptians sought refuge at a campsite after days of wandering without food or water.

An excavation led by professor Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has uncovered a 1,600-year-old biblical tryptic mosaic made of tiny stone cubes (or tesserae) at a synagogue in the Galilean ancient village of Huqoq in Israel.

“We’ve uncovered the first depiction of the episode of Elim ever found in ancient Jewish art,” said Magness.

In an interview published by the university, Magness explained that her seasonal digs in Huqoq have been running for nine years. Each summer, she directs her students to find and analyze the remains of this late Roman synagogue to garner a clearer picture of the era and its inhabitants.

See more here.

All That's Interesting
A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.