The Bazian Valley

The archaeological site of Kani Shaie is located in Iraqi Kurdistan, close to the Zagros Mountains. Situated within the Bazian Valley, Kani Shaie is a conspicuous feature in the landscape as one of the oldest and largest settlements. The site covers almost two hectares and rises 15 meters above the surrounding plain. It was occupied for long periods in history, at least since the fourth millennium BCE to the Islamic periods.




Excavations of Kani Shaie began in September 2013, exposing and retrieving remains of high scientific value. During the second half of the fourth millennium BCE, the site participated in an interregional network, known as the Uruk expansion. The importance of the site during this period is highlighted by the discovery of a tablet with a seal impression and a numerical sign. Such tablets are known from other important sites in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran, where they are considered to be a precursor to the invention of writing. The discoveries at Kani Shaie attest to direct contact with far-away regions such as south Mesopotamia. This suggests that the site was a local center for the region during a pivotal time in history marked by the emergence of socio-political, economic, and administrative complexity.




The KSAP team is dedicated to share its results with the wider scientific community and the public, through participation in local and international conferences, and both scholarly and popular publications. The project makes full use of modern technologies available to archaeologists. For example, 3D scanning and printing serves as an essential tool for analysis and allows for more detailed and accessible publication of the finds.