The excavations of the Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino’s Mission in Iraq began in June 1977 within the context of an international cooperation project for saving the archaeological sites that the basin created by the dam on the Diyala river would have submerged, promoted by the State Organization of Antiquities and Heritage of Iraq, and lasted until 1981.
Excavations in the area took place, without interruptions, for three consecutive years, with the participation of several teams of researchers, technicians and students, and concerned a specific area around the main site, Tell Yelkhi. In fact, traces of several minor sites that developed in different periods whose phases of settlement, despite a certain chronological discontinuity, spanned a very long period of time, from prehistoric times (Halaf period: Tell Hassan; Obeid period: Tell Abu Husaini) to especially the third and second millennium B.C. (Tell Yelkhi, Tell Kesaran) were found on the ground. The Tell Harbud site may be dated to the end of the first millennium B.C., while Tell al-Sarah e Tell Mahmud were rural settlements of the late Sasanian and Proto-Islamic periods.