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A Chamchamal town center view, 2009.jpg
Chamchamal is located in Iraq
Location in Iraq
Coordinates: 35°32′0″N 44°50′0″E / 35.53333°N 44.83333°E / 35.53333; 44.83333Coordinates: 35°32′0″N 44°50′0″E / 35.53333°N 44.83333°E / 35.53333; 44.83333
Country  Iraq
Governorate Sulaymaniyah Governorate

Chamchamal (Kurdish: Çemçemall چه‌مچه‌ماڵ, Arabic جمجمال, ) is a Kurdish city located to the east of Kirkuk and west of Sulaymaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan. It is a 30 minutes drive from Kirkuk and a 40 minutes drive from Sulaymaniyah. The land is rich and it is famous for its oil and especially gas wells.

There is a castle in the center of the city they called " SPI hasar".


Kurdish Sorani is spoken by most inhabitants.[citation needed]


CHAMCHAMAL, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — There are hundreds of historical landmarks near Chamchamal district, in Kirkuk Province, the most prominent one being the White Citadel, threatened by decay, declares one historian.[citation needed]

is an ancient historical hill, rising 50 meters above the surrounding areas, which is formed of successive layers of human settlements, according to Sarwar Ahmed Karim, author of Chamchamal before the reign of Assyrians up to the reign of the Kurdistan Regional Government[citation needed]

“No tests have been made for the hill so that its history can be identified, however, Claudius James Rich (1787-1821) - the British business agent, traveller and archaeologist, in his journey to Kurdistan points out that at least it dates back to the time of the Sassanid’s, or even older as he says.[citation needed]

Historic landmarks under threat in Chamchamal, Iraqi Kurdistan In 1948, an expedition from the East Chicago University, led by professor Robert Braidwood, came to Chamchamal plain and began their studies on the archeological sites. In 1950, Braidwood started excavations in Charmo citadel, where they found some of the oldest archeological remnants called Bardabalaka and Karim Shayar.[citation needed]

As an expert on the archaeological sites of the area, Karim sheds light on the decay of the historical landmarks, and believes that the government has not paid enough attention to them.[citation needed]

During the time of the former regime of Iraq, the Chamchamal citadel was a military stronghold, according to Karim.

And after the 1991 uprising of Kurdish people and the establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the Kurdish government has not paid enough attention to the place. The historical sites, in particular the citadel, are threatened by destruction, he claims.[citation needed]

There are hundreds more historical sites in the area which remain ignored, one of them being the village of Charmo, which is believed to be the oldest village in the world.[citation needed]

“The former Iraqi government was attempting to sweep the historical sites of Kurdistan Region. Before the uprising of 1991, the citadel was used as a military stronghold,” says Hama Haidar, Director of Chamchamal Archeology.[citation needed]

Another problem hampering the preservation of the citadel is that residential houses and mosques are very close to the citadel, mentions Haidar.[citation needed]

“We are expecting that the government compensates the families living near the citadel so that they abandon the place which can then be preserved as a historical landmark, he tells.[citation needed]

The new cabinet of the KRG has also vowed to carry out some projects in the area, including the Chamchamal Citadel, concludes Haidar.[citation needed]