Erbil History, Archaeology, Arts and Architecture (Session 9)

May 31, 2022

Seminar: The Geology of Erbil Citadel

Presented by Varoujan SISSAKIAN

University of Kurdistan Hewlêr


Varoujan K. Sissakian graduated from University of Baghdad in 1969 with B.Sc. degree in Geology, and M.Sc. in Engineering Geological Mapping from I.T.C., the Netherlands in 1982. He joined Iraq Geological Survey (GEOSURV) in 1971 and was nominated as Expert in 2005; retired in 2012. He has 125 documented reports in GEOSURV’s library and 224 published articles in different geological aspects, and 20 articles in different stages of publications. He was the Deputy Vice President of the Committee of Compilation the Geological Map of the World, Paris, and his name is written on the Geological Map of the World, Asian Continent. Currently, he is a Lecturer in the University of Kurdistan Hewlêr (UKH).


The Erbil citadel is located on a distinct hill (“tell”). The shape is a large, oval hill with longitudinal E – W axis, and is a typical isolated hill “tell” within the wide Erbil Plain, which is covered by alluvial fan and bradded streams’ sediments of Pleistocene age and even early Holocene. According to many archeologists the tell means a large mound created by many generation buildings one on top of another. The current seminar deals mainly with the stability of the slopes of the tell. Interpretation of Google Earth images and some field photos indicate that the slopes of the tell suffer from instability problems. Steps of different dimensions are very clear on the slopes at different elevations indicating unstable slopes. In one locality, the presence of uneven slopes is good indication for unstable slope. Moreover, the slopes of the tell suffer from rill erosion which can be changed by time to gulley erosion. All these phenomena may endanger severely the stability of the existing historical buildings on the top of the tell. It is highly recommended to take urgent actions to keep the stability of the slopes. A very quick and easy technique can be used to assess the slope stability, it is called Bejerman’s Method. The method includes ten aspects, which can be measured directly inset, accordingly, the stability of the slopes can be known with indicating landslide possibility.

Click here for seminar details

Join Zoom meeting

Presented by: Mahmood A. Bakr Khayyat, PhD



2 June, 2022 2:00 pm


30 June, 2022 4:00 pm