history

Bookmark and Share

HistoryKurdistan is an area rich in history and is one of the oldest regions in the world. Located in one of the most important crossroads and the birthplace of much in the dawn of man.

Historians and scientists from many nations, including the United States, believe that Kurdistan is where humans first domesticated animals and planted crops. Recent archaeological finds place the beginning of agriculture before 7000 B.C. and animal domestication (mostly dogs used as hunting aids) thousands of years before that. There is some evidence that the people of Shanidar, in Kurdistan, were domesticating sheep and planting wheat as long ago as 9800 B.C.

Kurdistan is also a region that is rich in history and includes such archeological sites as the Sumerian-built citadel known as ‘Qalat’ in Erbil, the infamous Shanidar cave where Neanderthals first buried their dead with flowers, the Zoroastrian and Assyrian sites in Dohuk, what is believed to be the home of the biblical ‘Three Wise Men’ in Amadiyah, and the Delal bridge from the Roman Era in Zakho.

Early History

The first mention of the Kurds in historical records was in cuneiform writings from the Sumerians (3,000 B.C.), who talked of the “land of the Karda.” It would appear that from the earliest times the Kurds were generally unaffected by shifts in the empires around them, as they tended their flocks and obeyed their tribal leaders with a minimum of interference from outsiders. 

This lack of interference was very probably due to the inaccessibility of the area in which they lived, although they early on gained a reputation for being excellent fighters. At one time or another in their early history, some or all of them came under the dominance of the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Parthians, the Persians, the Romans, and the Armenians.

In the 7th century A.D., the Arabs conquered the area and in time converted everyone in it including the Kurds to Islam. The Kurdish area became a border area between the Muslim Caliphate and the Christian Byzantine Empire, and the Caliphate utilized Kurdish troops in securing the frontier area against the Byzantines based in Istanbul.