Shanidar Cave in Northern Iraq (Kurdistan Region), a National Geopark Recommendation


  • Varoujan K. Sissakian Department of Natural Resources Engineering and Management, University of Kurdistan Hewler, Erbil, Iraq



Shanidar Cave is located in north Iraq (Kurdistan Region), it is one of the most well-known caves in the region due to its archeological significance. It is an archaeological site which is located within Bradost Mountain north of Erbil city. In the cave, eleven skeletons of Neanderthals, have been found dating back to 65000 – 35000 years B.C., they were called Shanidar (1-11). The cave also contains two later proto-Neolithiccemeteries. The cave is developed due to dissolution of limestone beds of the Qamchuqa Formation which forms the carapace of Bradost Mountain (anticline). Currently, the cave and the downslopes to the foothills of the mountain are limited by a fence. The cave can be reached by a paved road to the foothills level, then by stepping following artificially constructed leader which is designed and constructed by local materials from stones and wood giving to the leader a natural view. The Shanidar cave is highly recommended to be a national Geopark due to its archeological significance




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