The shipwrecks on this stretch of river are an incredible sight. Thirty years of war have created hundreds of them, stacked up by the river banks or simply jutting out in the middle of the river, like this near-100m long cargo ship. In the mist it is an especially eerie place to be.
The Map of the World Clay tablet; map of the world; shows the world as a disc, surrounded by a ring of water called the “Bitter River”; “Babylon” is marked as a rectangle at the right end of the Euphrates although the city actually occupied both banks of the river during most of its history; the river Euphrates flows south to a horzontal band, of which the right end is marked “marsh” and the left end is marked “outflow”, thus the marshes at the head of the Gulf and either the Shatt al-Arab or where the river meets the cosmic “Bitter River”; to the right of the “marsh” is a double curving line with a broken and unintelligible inscription; small circles are used to indicate cities or districts, and two of which are identied as “Assyria” and “Der”; three other geographical areas are marked, namely Bit-Yakin, the territory of an Aramaean tribal group around the southern Euphrates, is placed above its “outflow”.
A Turkish team who were there working to try and raise an old shipwreck that was sunk in the mud near Al Faw, Iraq. The ship, like many that line the banks and riverbed here, sank during the Iran-Iraq war in the 80s.