26/09/2017 12:03 PM IST | Updated 26/09/2017 12:07 PM IST

Lost City Of Alexander The Great Discovered In Iraq With Old Spy Footage

Asmaa Waguih / Reuters
Alexander the Great was one of the most powerful kings of ancient times.

The 'Lost City' founded by Alexander the Great may have finally been discovered in Iraq by archaeologists.

After looking at declassified American spy footage from the 1960s, researchers from the British Museum believe they may have found the site of the 'Lost City'. The imagery showed remains of a square building that may have been a fort and a later ground inspection revealed limestone blocks that could have been used as bases for wine or oil presses.

The city, which is believed to have been founded in 331BC, is said to have been a place where people drank wine and could learn from ancient philosophers. After more in-depth research, archaeologists estimate the city dates back to the first and second centuries BC and shows signs of Greek and Roman histories.

The city is located in the Qalatga Darband settlement and could have been an important meeting point between the east and western parts of Alexander the Great's empire. The city is thought to have been settled with over 3,000 people who took part in his campaigns and conquests. Researchers used drones to capture images of the site that emphasise the size of the settlement.

The archaeological dig was impossible when Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, but now comprehensive field work can be done which is expected to continue until 2020.

The dig at Qalataga Darband is part of the larger Darband-i Rania Archaeological Project run by The Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme. The project aims to explore the ancient sites that controlled the path between Mesopotamia and Iran in ancient times, beginning with the site of the 'Lost City.'

The Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme was started by the British Museum in 2015 as a response to the destruction ISIS has caused to ancient sites in both Iraq and Syria. The aim of the project is to provide opportunities for staff to be trained and strategies to be developed to preserve and rescue archaeology.