The NSS Bulletin - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 57 Number 2: 108 -110 - December 1995

A publication of the National Speleological Society

The Iskender-I-Birkilin Caves in the 9th and 12th Centuries BC
William R. Halliday and Trevor R. Shaw


A visit to caves near the source of the Tigris River by the Assyrian king, Shalmaneser III, in 853 BC is commemorated pictorially on contemporary bronze decoration on his palace gates which now are in the British Museum. One of the relevant scenes has been explained as showing stalagmites in a cave, or alternatively as a line of posts across a valley. This paper examined both interpretations, giving reasons for and against each. The documented history of the cave begins in 1100 BC.

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