Terracotta: pipe laboratory discovered in Kurdistan

Terracotta: pipe laboratory discovered in Kurdistan.


Terracotta pipe workshop dating back to the 18th century was discovered at the Tell Zeyd site. The archaeological investigations of the university took place in Iraqi Kurdistan. The project was born thanks to an agreement with the General Directorate of Antiquities and Heritage of Kurdistan. It has the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. 


The site appears to have been occupied throughout the Islamic period. A key place to deepen the historical knowledge of the archaeological heritage. It allows you to collect data that allow you to understand the characteristics of the settlement of the time. Three major phases of settlement have been discovered . The domestic one, another relating to the installation of the terracotta pipe production laboratory and one of the occupational phase. The use of terracotta pipes is widely witnessed in the territories of the Ottoman Empire, including Eastern Europe. 

Fragments of these pipes are often found on archaeological sites in the Middle East. With the recent excavation it was possible to identify for the first time a production laboratory located in a rural settlement. The terracotta pipe of various colors and different shapes was used together with a long cannula made of rose, cherry and hazelnut wood. The type of terracotta pipe found at Tell Zeyd is divided into two parts. In a small lower combustion chamber separated from the upper one by a filter, where the tobacco rested. The surface of the pipes was decorated with engravings and stamps. 

Some furnaces for cooking pipes and stone and metal tools used for their forging have also been found . The continuation of the excavations will allow the entire laboratory to be documented in detail, shedding light on the production of pipes. In addition, archaeo-botany will be explored, to identify the crops of the area and acquire data on food practices. The fuel used in the furnaces will also be studied. The project on the Tell Zeyd site made use of integrated  3D documentation methods.



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