The Monument of Paikuli: the Activities of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Iraqi Kurdistan, Past and Present.
Carlo G. Cereti, Luca Colliva, Gianfilippo Terribili, Massimiliano Vassalli
MAIKI – Sapienza University of Rome
Since 2006 a team of Italian archaeologists and epigraphists, led by Prof. Carlo G. Cereti (Sapienza University of Rome) surveyed and studied the commemorative monument erected by the Sasanian king Narseh (293-302 CE) next to a strategic pass of the Qaradagh Range (Sulaimaniyah Province). Through the data collected from the site and the Paikuli Collection held at the Slemani Museum, many innovative results have been achieved in the last decade. More specifically, the study of the bilingual inscription (Middle Persian and Parthian) and the massive sculptures of the king, once adorning the monument, provided significant improvement of the scholarly debate on the early Sasanian kingship. The ongoing activities include the documentation of all the blocks originally constituting the outer coating of the monument and now scattered on the slopes of the hill. The new set of archaeological data will soon shed light on different matters related to the still problematic feature of the monument structure.