This thoroughly updated third edition of Bradt's Iraq remains the only dedicated guide to this ancient land. Up-to-date travel information is included, plus all the necessary safety details. Ideal for both armchair and in-destination travel, it covers history, archaeology and culture, including iconic sites such as Babylon and Ur, the stunning architecture of the country's mosques, the natural beauty and wildlife of the Marshes and beautiful Iraqi handicrafts. New for this edition are more archaeological sites in the south, including Telloh and Charax Sparinou, Alexander the Great's port city. Muslim sites and festivals are covered, as is the influence of Shia Islam and the geo-politics of the region.
The modern development of Iraq is starting to look exciting and after years in which ancient sites have suffered destruction and neglect, archaeologists are now breaking new grounds and making new discoveries. Iraq's rich and inspirational history is easily forgotten in the tragic turmoil of recent years. This is where writing began and where zero was introduced into mathematics. Although parts of the country remain off limits to tourists, there is plenty to see elsewhere, from Kurdistan's capital, Erbil, one of the world's oldest inhabited cities, to the dazzling shrines of Kerbala, Najaf and Kufa, ruins of ancient Mesopotamian cities, sites of recent US military history such as Fallujah, and the grave of Gertrude Bell, who explored, mapped and excavated the world of the Arabs and provided military intelligence for TE Lawrence's military activities. You can visit the Tombs of the Iraqi Royal family and Ctesiphon, the largest free-standing brick archway in the world, see archaeological proof of the great flood, mentioned in the Bible and the Gilgamesh, and discover the treasures of the National Museum of Iraq.
The authors bring their considerable knowledge and understanding of Iraq to provide all the practical and background information needed for a successful trip. Advice on cultural awareness and religious sensitivity in the context of Iraqi history, along with where to get the latest information on which parts of the country you can still visit, make this an invaluable guide.
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION.
Chapter 1 Background Information.
Geography and climate, Natural history and conservation, Government and politics, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Education, Culture.
Chapter 2 History.
Early Mesopotamia, Before Sumer, The Sumerians, Babylon and Hammurabi, The Assyrians, Babylon revisited, Persian conquest, Alexander the Great, The Umayyads, The Abbasids, The Mongols, The Ottomans, Modern times.
Chapter 3 Archaeology.
Introduction, The history of archaeology in Iraq, Archaeology in Iraq today.
Chapter 4 Practical Information.
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tour operators, Red tape, Police and military, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, Travellers with disabilities, LGBTQ+ travellers, Travelling with kids, What to take, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays and festivals, Shopping, Media and communications, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively.
PART TWO BETWEEN THE TWO RIVERS.
Chapter 5 Baghdad and Environs.
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information and tour operators, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Arts and entertainment, Shopping, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Around Baghdad.
Chapter 6 East and West of Baghdad.
Baquba, Around Baquba, The international border crossing in Diyala Province to Iran, Fallujah, Around Fallujah, Ramadi, Around Ramadi, The international border crossings in Anbar Province to Syria and Jordan, Rutba, Balad, Samarra, Tikrit (Saladin), Around Tikrit, Bayji.
Chapter 7 Kirkuk and Mosul.
Kirkuk, Around Kirkuk, Mosul, Around Mosul, To the north of Mosul, To the east of Mosul, To the west of Mosul, To the south of Mosul.
Chapter 8 The Road South.
History, Kerbala, Around Kerbala, Ukhaider, Around Ukhaider, Al-Hilla, Babylon, Around Babylon, Ancient Borsippa (Birs Nimrud), Al-Kifl or Chifal, Kufa, Najaf, Around Najaf, Al-Hira, Heading further south, Diwaniyah, Nippur (Niffar), Isin, Samawah, Around Samawah, Uruk, Larsa (modern Tel Senkereh), Tel Ubaid, Eridu (Tel Abu Sharein), Ur, Nasiriyah.
Chapter 9 Return from Basra Basra, Around Basra, Al-Qurna, The Marshes, Al-Uzair, Al-Amarah, Al-Kut, Al-Hiba (Lagash), Wasit.
PART THREE IRAQI KURDISTAN.
Chapter 10 Practicalities in Kurdistan.
General information, Practical information, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tour operators and guides, Red tape, Embassies and other representation, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, LGBTQ+ travellers, Travellers with disabilities, Travelling with kids, What to take, Money, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Media and communications, Business, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively.
Chapter 11 Erbil and Environs.
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment, Shopping, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Around Erbil.
Chapter 12 Duhok and Environs.
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment, Shopping, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Towards Turkey, South of Duhok, Northeast of Duhok.
Chapter 13 Sulaymaniyah and Environs.
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Shopping and entertainment, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Around Sulaymaniyah.
Appendix 1 Language.
Appendix 2 Further Information.
Appendix 3 Bibliography.