The settlement was revealed when the levels of the Mosul reservoir plunged earlier this year due to extreme drought in Iraq.
The extensive city with a palace and several large buildings could be Zakhiku—believed to have been an important center in the Mittani Empire between 1550-1350 BC.
To prevent crops from drying out, large amounts of water have been drawn down from the reservoir, which is Iraq's most important water storage.
This led to the reappearance of a Bronze Age city that had been submerged decades ago without any prior archaeological investigations. It is located at Kemune in the Kurdistan Region of the country.
The unforeseen event sent archaeologists scrambling to excavate and document at least parts of this large, important city as quickly as possible before it was resubmerged.
The Kurdish archaeologist Dr. Hasan Ahmed Qasim, chairman of the Kurdistan Archaeology Organization, and the German archaeologists Prof. Dr. Ivana Puljiz (University of Freiburg) and Prof. Dr. Peter Pfälzner (University of Tübingen) spontaneously decided to undertake joint rescue excavations at Kemune in January and February, in collaboration with the Directorate of Antiquities and Heritage in Duhok (Kurdistan Region of Iraq).