|Location||Noomanea, Nineveh Governorate, Iraq|
|Area||3.6 km2 (1.4 sq mi)|
Calah // (Akkadian : Kalḫu; Hebrew : כֶּלַחKelaḥ; Greek : ΧαλάχKhalákh) is an ancient Assyrian city, located 30 kilometres (20 mi) south of the city of Mosul, and 5 kilometres (3 mi) south of the village of Selamiyah (Arabic : السلامية), in the Nineveh plains in Upper Mesopotamia. The name Nimrud // (Arabic : النمرود), based on the biblical "Nimrod", was given to the site by 18th-century cartographer Carsten Niebuhr, though this identification is now generally understood to be incorrect. The name "Nimrud", however, still remains in common use.
Akkadian is an extinct East Semitic language that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia from the 30th century BC until its gradual replacement by Akkadian-influenced Old Aramaic among Mesopotamians by the eighth century BC.
Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language native to Israel; the modern version of which is spoken by over 9 million people worldwide. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name Hebrew in the Tanakh. The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE. Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Hebrew is the only living Canaanite language left, and the only truly successful example of a revived dead language.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Calah was a major Assyrian city between approximately 1350 BC and 610 BC. The city is located in a strategic position 10 kilometres (6 mi) north of the point that the river Tigris meets its tributary the Great Zab. The city covered an area of 360 hectares (890 acres). The ruins of the city were found within one kilometre (1,100 yd) of the modern-day Assyrian village of Noomanea in Nineveh Province, Iraq.
The Tigris is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq and empties itself into the Persian Gulf.
A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river drain the surrounding drainage basin of its surface water and groundwater, leading the water out into an ocean.
The Great Zab or Upper Zab is an approximately 400-kilometre (250 mi) long river flowing through Turkey and Iraq. It rises in Turkey near Lake Van and joins the Tigris in Iraq south of Mosul. The drainage basin of the Great Zab covers approximately 40,300 square kilometres (15,600 sq mi), and during its course, the rivers collects the water from many tributaries. The river and its tributaries are primarily fed by rainfall and snowmelt – as a result of which discharge fluctuates highly throughout the year. At least six dams have been planned on the Great Zab and its tributaries, but construction of only one, the Bekhme Dam, has commenced but was halted after the Gulf War.
Archaeological excavations at the site began in 1845, and were conducted at intervals between then and 1879, and then from 1949 onwards. Many important pieces were discovered, with most being moved to museums in Iraq and abroad. In 2013, the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council funded the "Nimrud Project", directed by Eleanor Robson, whose aims were to write the history of the city in ancient and modern times, to identify and record the dispersal history of artefacts from Calah,distributed amongst at least 76 museums worldwide (including 36 in the United States and 13 in the United Kingdom).
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) was established in April 2005 as successor to the Arts and Humanities Research Board and is a British research council; non-departmental public body that provides approximately £102 million from the government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from languages and law, archaeology and English literature to design and creative and performing arts. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,350 postgraduate awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded.
Eleanor Robson is a Professor of Ancient Middle Eastern History at the Department of History, University College London, former chair of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq and a Quondam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.
In 2015, the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced its intention to destroy the site because of its "un-Islamic" Assyrian nature. In March 2015, the Iraqi government reported that ISIL had used bulldozers to destroy excavated remains of the city. Several videos released by ISIL showed the work in progress. In November 2016 Iraqi forces retook the site, and later visitors also confirmed extensive destruction.Others have suggested that the damage has been overstated.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, officially known as the Islamic State (IS) and by its Arabic language acronym Daesh, is a Salafi jihadist militant group and former unrecognised proto-state that follows a fundamentalist, Salafi doctrine of Sunni Islam. ISIL gained global prominence in early 2014 when it drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in its Western Iraq offensive, followed by its capture of Mosul and the Sinjar massacre.
A bulldozer is a crawler equipped with a substantial metal plate used to push large quantities of soil, sand, rubble, or other such material during construction or conversion work and typically equipped at the rear with a claw-like device to loosen densely compacted materials.
The Assyrian king Shalmaneser I (1274–1245 BC) built up Calah into a major city during the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365–1050 BC). However, the ancient city of Assur remained the capital of Assyria, as it had been since c. 3500 BC.
Shalmaneser I was a king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian Empire. Son of Adad-nirari I, he succeeded his father as king in 1265 BC.
The Middle Assyrian Empire is the period in the history of Assyria between the fall of the Old Assyrian Empire in the 14th century BC and the establishment of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the 10th century BC.
Aššur, also known as Ashur and Qal'at Sherqat, was an Akkadian city, capital of the Old Assyrian Empire, of the Middle Assyrian Empire, and for a time, of the Neo-Assyrian Empire of 911–608 BC. The remains of the city lie on the western bank of the Tigris River, north of the confluence with the tributary Little Zab River, in modern-day Iraq, more precisely in the Al-Shirqat District of the Saladin Governorate.
The city gained fame when king Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 BC) of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911–605 BC) made it his capital at the expense of Assur. He built a large palace and temples in the city, which had fallen into a degree of disrepair during the Bronze Age Collapse of the mid-11th to mid-10th centuries BC. Thousands of men worked to build an 8-kilometre-long (5 mi) wall surrounding the city and a grand palace. There were many inscriptions carved into limestone including one that said: "The palace of cedar, cypress, juniper, boxwood, mulberry, pistachio wood, and tamarisk, for my royal dwelling and for my lordly pleasure for all time, I founded therein. Beasts of the mountains and of the seas, of white limestone and alabaster I fashioned and set them up on its gates." The inscriptions also described plunder stored at the palace: "Silver, gold, lead, copper and iron, the spoil of my hand from the lands which I had brought under my sway, in great quantities I took and placed therein. The inscriptions also described great feasts he had to celebrate his conquests. However his victims were horrified by his conquests. The text also said: "Many of the captives I have taken and burned in a fire. Many I took alive; from some I cut off their hands to the wrists, from others I cut off their noses, ears and fingers; I put out the eyes of many of the soldiers. I burned their young men, women and children to death." About a conquest in another vanquished city he wrote: "I flayed the nobles as many as rebelled; and [I] spread their skins out on the piles." He wanted the city to become the grandest and luxuriant in the empire. He created a zoo and botanical gardens in the city which also featured exotic animals, trees and flowers he had brought back from his military campaigns.
Ashur-nasir-pal II was king of Assyria from 883 to 859 BC.
The Neo-Assyrian Empire was an Iron Age Mesopotamian empire, in existence between 911 and 609 BC, and became the largest empire of the world up till that time. The Assyrians perfected early techniques of imperial rule, many of which became standard in later empires, and was, according to many historians, the first real empire in history. The Assyrians were the first to be armed with iron weapons, and their troops employed advanced, effective military tactics.
A grand opening ceremony with festivities and an opulent banquet in 879 BC is described in an inscribed stele discovered during archeological excavations. By 800 BC Calah had grown to 75,000 inhabitants making it the largest city in the world.
King Ashurnasirpal's son Shalmaneser III (858–823 BC) continued where his father had left off. At Calah he built a palace that far surpassed his father's. It was twice the size and it covered an area of about 5 hectares (12 acres) and included more than 200 rooms. He built the monument known as the Great Ziggurat, and an associated temple.
Calah remained the capital of the Assyrian Empire during the reigns of Shamshi-Adad V (822–811 BC), Adad-nirari III (810–782 BC), Queen Semiramis (810–806 BC), Adad-nirari III (806–782 BC), Shalmaneser IV (782–773 BC), Ashur-dan III (772–755 BC), Ashur-nirari V (754–746 BC), Tiglath-Pileser III (745–727 BC) and Shalmaneser V (726–723 BC). Tiglath-Pileser III in particular, conducted major building works in the city, as well as introducing Eastern Aramaic as the lingua franca of the empire, whose dialects still endure among the Christian Assyrians of the region today.
However, in 706 BC Sargon II (722–705 BC) moved the capital of the empire to Dur Sharrukin, and after his death, Sennacherib (705–681 BC) moved it to Nineveh. It remained a major city and a royal residence until the city was largely destroyed during the fall of the Assyrian Empire at the hands of an alliance of former subject peoples, including the Babylonians, Chaldeans, Medes, Persians, Scythians, and Cimmerians (between 616 BC and 599 BC).
The Nineveh Province, in which the ruins of Calah lie, is still the major center of Iraq's indigenous Assyrian population (now exclusively Eastern Aramaic-speaking Christians) to this day.
Ruins of a similarly located city named "Larissa" were described by Xenophon in his Anabasis in the 5th century BC.
A similar locality was described in the Middle Ages by a number of Arabic geographers including Yaqut al-Hamawi, Abu'l-Fida and Ibn Sa'id al-Maghribi, using the name "Athur" near Selamiyah.
The name Nimrud in connection with the site was first used in the writings of Carsten Niebuhr, who was in Mosul in March 1760.
The site was described in more detail by the British traveler Claudius James Rich in 1820, shortly before his death.Rich identified the site with the city of Larissa in Xenophon, and noted that the locals "generally believe this to have been Nimrod's own city; and one or two of the better informed with whom I conversed at Mousul said it was Al Athur or Ashur, from which the whole country was denominated."
Genesis 10 states "From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, the city Rehoboth-Ir, Calah and Resen".The identification of each these four Biblical names with the known Assyrian ruins was the cause of significant debate amongst Assyriologists in the mid-nineteenth century. The site of Calah was visited by William Francis Ainsworth in 1837 and by James Phillips Fletcher in 1843. Ainsworth, like Rich, identified the site with Larissa (Λάρισσα) of Xenophon's Anabasis , concluding that Calah was the Biblical Resen on the basis of Bochart's identification of Larissa with Resen on etymological grounds. Fletcher instead identified the site with Rehoboth on the basis that the city of Birtha described by Ptolemy and Ammianus Marcellinus has the same etymological meaning as Rehoboth in Hebrew.
Excavations at Calah were conducted by Austen Henry Layard, working from 1845 to 1847 and from 1849 until 1851.Prior to 1850, Layard believed that the site of "Nimroud" was part of the wider region of "Nineveh" (the debate as to which excavation site represented the city of Nineveh had yet to be resolved), which also included the two mounds today identified as Nineveh-proper, and his excavation publications were thus labeled. Henry Rawlinson identified the city with the Biblical Calah on the basis of a cuneiform reading of "Levekh" which he connected to the city following Ainsworth and Rich's connection of Xenophon's Larissa to the site. Following Layard's departure, the work was handed over to Hormuzd Rassam in 1853-54 and then William Loftus in 1854-55.
After George Smith briefly worked the site in 1873 and Rassam returned there from 1877 to 1879, Calah was left untouched for almost 60 years. A British School of Archaeology in Iraq team led by Max Mallowan resumed digging at Calah in 1949. The work continued until 1963 with David Oates becoming director in 1958 followed by Julian Orchard in 1963.
Subsequent work was by the Directorate of Antiquities of the Republic of Iraq (1956, 1959–60, 1969–78 and 1982–92), Janusz Meuzynski (1974–76), Paolo Fiorina (1987–89) with the Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino who concentrated mainly on Fort Shalmaneser, and John Curtis (1989).In 1974 to his untimely death in 1976 Janusz Meuszynski, the director of the Polish Center for Mediterranean Archaeology project, with the permission of the Iraqi excavation team, had the whole site documented on film—in slide film and black-and-white print film. Every relief that remained in situ, as well as the fallen, broken pieces that were distributed in the rooms across the site were photographed. Meuszynski also arranged with the architect of his project, Richard P. Sobolewski, to survey the site and record it in plan and in elevation.
Excavations revealed remarkable bas-reliefs, ivories, and sculptures. A statue of Ashurnasirpal II was found in an excellent state of preservation, as were colossal winged man-headed lions weighing 10 short tons (9.1 t) to 30 short tons (27 t) each guarding the palace entrance. The large number of inscriptions dealing with king Ashurnasirpal II provide more details about him and his reign than are known for any other ruler of this epoch. The palaces of Ashurnasirpal II, Shalmaneser III, and Tiglath-Pileser III have been located. Portions of the site have been also been identified as temples to Ninurta and Enlil, a building assigned to Nabu, the god of writing and the arts, and as extensive fortifications.
Calah has been one of the main sources of Assyrian sculpture, including the famous palace reliefs. Layard discovered more than half a dozen pairs of colossal guardian figures guarding palace entrances and doorways. These are lamassu , statues with a male human head, the body of a lion or bull, and wings. They have heads carved in the round, but the body at the side is in relief. 27 tonnes (30 short tons). In 1847 Layard brought two of the colossi weighing 9 tonnes (10 short tons) each including one lion and one bull to London. After 18 months and several near disasters he succeeded in bringing them to the British Museum. This involved loading them onto a wheeled cart. They were lowered with a complex system of pulleys and levers operated by dozens of men. The cart was towed by 300 men. He initially tried to hook up the cart to a team of buffalo and have them haul it. However the buffalo refused to move. Then they were loaded onto a barge which required 600 goatskins and sheepskins to keep it afloat. After arriving in London a ramp was built to haul them up the steps and into the museum on rollers.They weigh up to
Additional 27-tonne (30-short-ton) colossi were transported to Paris from Khorsabad by Paul Emile Botta in 1853. In 1928 Edward Chiera also transported a 36-tonne (40-short-ton) colossus from Khorsabad to Chicago. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has another pair.
The Statue of Ashurnasirpal II, Stela of Shamshi-Adad V and Stela of Ashurnasirpal II are large sculptures with portraits of these monarchs, all secured for the British Museum by Layard and the British archaeologist Hormuzd Rassam. Also in the British Museum is the famous Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, discovered by Layard in 1846. This stands six-and-a-half-feet tall and commemorates with inscriptions and 24 relief panels the king's victorious campaigns of 859–824 BC. It is shaped like a temple tower at the top, ending in three steps.
Series of the distinctive Assyrian shallow reliefs were removed from the palaces and sections are now found in several museums (see gallery below), in particular the British Museum. These show scenes of hunting, warfare, ritual and processions.The Nimrud Ivories are a large group of ivory carvings, probably mostly originally decorating furniture and other objects, that had been brought to Calah from several parts of the ancient Near East, and were in a palace storeroom and other locations. These are mainly in the British Museum and the National Museum of Iraq, as well as other museums. Another storeroom held the Nimrud Bowls, about 120 large bronze bowls or plates, also imported.
The "Treasure of Nimrud" unearthed in these excavations is a collection of 613 pieces of gold jewelry and precious stones. It has survived the confusions and looting after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 in a bank vault, where it had been put away for 12 years and was "rediscovered" on June 5, 2003.
One panel of the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III has an inscription which includes the name mIa-ú-a mar mHu-um-ri-i. Whilst Rawlinson originally translated this in 1850 as "Yahua, son of Hubiri", a year later reverend Edward Hincks, suggested it refers to king Jehu of Israel. Whilst other interpretations exist, the obelisk is widely viewed by biblical archaeologists as therefore including the earliest known dedication of an Israelite.
A number of other artifacts considered important to Biblical history were excavated from the site, such as the Nimrud Tablet K.3751 and the Nimrud Slab. The bilingual Assyrian lion weights were important to scholarly deduction of the history of the alphabet.
Calah's various monuments had faced threats from exposure to the harsh elements of the Iraqi climate. Lack of proper protective roofing meant that the ancient reliefs at the site were susceptible to erosion from wind-blown sand and strong seasonal rains.
In mid-2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) occupied the area surrounding Nimrud. ISIL destroyed other holy sites, including the Mosque of the Prophet Jonah in Mosul. In early 2015, they announced their intention to destroy many ancient artifacts, which they deemed idolatrous or otherwise un-Islamic; they subsequently destroyed thousands of books and manuscripts in Mosul's libraries.In February 2015, ISIL destroyed Akkadian monuments in the Mosul Museum, and on March 5, 2015, Iraq announced that ISIL militants had bulldozed Nimrud and its archaeological site on the basis that they were blasphemous.
A member of ISIL filmed the destruction, declaring, "These ruins that are behind me, they are idols and statues that people in the past used to worship instead of Allah. The Prophet Muhammed took down idols with his bare hands when he went into Mecca. We were ordered by our prophet to take down idols and destroy them, and the companions of the prophet did this after this time, when they conquered countries."ISIL declared an intention to destroy the restored city gates in Nineveh. ISIL went on to do demolition work at the later Parthian ruined city of Hatra. On April 12 2015, an on-line militant video purportedly showed ISIL militants hammering, bulldozing and ultimately using explosive to blow up parts of Nimrud.
Irina Bokova, the director general of UNESCO, stated "deliberate destruction of cultural heritage constitutes a war crime".The president of the Syriac League in Lebanon compared the losses at the site to the destruction of culture by the Mongol Empire. In November 2016, aerial photographs showed the systematic leveling of the Ziggurat by heavy machines. On 13 November 2016, the Iraqi Army recaptured the city from ISIL. The Joint Operations Command stated that it had raised the Iraqi flag above its buildings and also captured the Assyrian village of Numaniya, on the edge of the town.
Archaeologists believe that the city was labeled the name "Nimrud" in modern times after the Biblical Nimrod.The city was identified as the Biblical city of Calah (Hebrew Kelah (כלח), Greek Khalakh (χαλαχ)), written Kalhu in Assyrian tablets. It was misappropriated alongside Nimrod in Genesis 10, by Henry Rawlinson in 1850 on the basis of a possible interpretation of the city's cuneiform proper name as "Levekh". The prevailing understanding of Sir Henry Rawlinson and his colleagues, reflected not the King James Version of Genesis 10:11-12, or any of the ancient texts. The association of Calah with Nimrod was based on loose translations of the Hebrew version of Genesis 10:11-12, which has been since refuted with substantiation from the Book of Jubilees, the Septuagint, the King James Bible, the Geneva Bible, and Historian Flavius Josephus (Antiquities, i, vi, 4). Those sources clarify the translation of Genesis 10:11-12 as being associated with Ashur, and not Nimrod. Sir Henry Rawlinson also mentions that the Arabic geographers referred to it as Athur. British traveler Claudius James Rich mentions, "one or two of the better informed with whom I conversed at Mosul said it was Al Athur or Ashur, from which the whole country was denominated." "Nimrud" is therefore a misnomer of Calah, based only on the misappropriation of Genesis 10:11-12.
Nineveh was an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia, located on the outskirts of Mosul in modern-day northern Iraq. It is located on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, and was the capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Today it is a common name for the half of Mosul which lies on the eastern bank of the Tigris.
Shalmaneser III was king of Assyria, and son of the previous ruler, Ashurnasirpal II.
Hormuzd Rassam, was an Assyriologist who made a number of important archaeological discoveries from 1877 to 1882, including the clay tablets that contained the Epic of Gilgamesh, the world's oldest literature. He is accepted as the first-known Middle Eastern and Assyrian archaeologist from the Ottoman Empire. Later in life, he emigrated to the United Kingdom, where he was naturalized as a British citizen, settling in Brighton. He represented the government as a diplomat, helping to free British diplomats from captivity in Ethiopia.
Assyriology is the archaeological, historical, and linguistic study of not just Assyria, but the entirety of ancient Mesopotamia and of related cultures that used cuneiform writing. The field covers Sumer, the early Sumero-Akkadian city-states, the Akkadian Empire, Ebla, the Akkadian and Imperial Aramaic speaking states of Assyria, Babylonia and the Sealand Dynasty, the migrant foreign dynasties of southern Mesopotamia, including; the Gutians, Amorites, Kassites, Arameans, Suteans and Chaldeans, and to some degree post-imperial Achaemenid Assyria, Athura, Seleucid Syria, Assyria, and Assuristan, together with later Neo-Assyrian states such as Adiabene, Osroene, Hatra, Beth Nuhadra and Beth Garmai, up until the Arab invasion and Islamic conquest of the mid 7th century AD. Some Assyriologists also write on the further Assyrian continuity of the Assyrian people as well as the Mandaeans into the present day.
Borsippa or Birs Nimrud is an archeological site in Babylon Province, Iraq. The ziggurat, the "Tongue Tower," today one of the most vividly identifiable surviving ziggurats, is identified in the later Talmudic and Arabic culture with the Tower of Babel. However, modern scholarship concludes that the Sumero-Akkadian builders of the Ziggurat in reality erected it as a religious edifice in honour of the local god Nabu, called the "son" of Babylon's Marduk, as would be appropriate for Babylon's lesser sister-city.
Resen was, according to Genesis 10:11–12, a city founded by Ashur, son of Shem.
Balawat is an archaeological site of the ancient Assyrian city of Imgur-Enlil, and modern village in Nineveh Province (Iraq). It lies 25 kilometres (16 mi) southeast from the city of Mosul and 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) to the south of the modern Assyrian town of Bakhdida.
The Department of the Middle East, numbering some 330,000 works, forms a significant part of the collections of the British Museum, and the world's largest collection of Mesopotamian antiquities outside Iraq. The collections represent the civilisations of the ancient Near East and its adjacent areas.
The Balawat Gates are three sets of decorated bronze bands that had adorned the main doors of several buildings at Balawat, dating to the reigns of Ashurnasirpal II and Shalmaneser III. Their extensive use of narrative art depicting the exploits of Assyrian kings has cemented their position as some of the most important surviving works of art of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, comparable to the extensive Assyrian palace reliefs. When the Neo-Assyrian Empire fell in 614-612 BC, Balawat was destroyed. The wooden elements of the gates decomposed, leaving only the bronze bands. The remains of two sets of gates can be found in the British Museum's collection, those from the Temple of Mamu are housed in the Mosul Museum. Small sections of the Shalmaneser bronze door bands are also at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and in the Istanbul Archaeology Museums.
The Statue of Ashurnasirpal II is a rare example of Assyrian sculpture in the round that was found in the mid nineteenth century at the ancient site of Kalhu by the famous archaeologist Austen Henry Layard. Dating from 883-859 BC, the statue has long been admired for its flawless condition and the high quality of its craftsmanship. It has been part of the British Museum's collection since 1851.
The White Obelisk of Ashurnasirpal I is a large stone monolith found at the ancient Assyrian settlement of Nineveh, northern Iraq. Excavated by the British archaeologist Hormuzd Rassam in 1853, it is one of only two intact obelisks to survive from the Assyrian empire, the other being the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. Both are now preserved in the British Museum.
The Stela of Ashurnasirpal II is an enormous Assyrian monolith that was erected during the reign of Ashurnasirpal II. The stela was discovered in the mid nineteenth century at the ancient site of Kalhu by the famous British archaeologist Austen Henry Layard. Dated to between 883-859 BC, the sculpture is now part of the British Museum's collection.
The Stela of Shamshi-Adad V is a large Assyrian monolith erected during the reign of Shamshi-Adad V. The stela was discovered in the mid nineteenth century at the ancient site of Kalhu by the British archaeologist Hormuzd Rassam. Dated to between 824-811 BC, the sculpture is now part of the British Museum's collection of Middle East antiquties.
The destruction of Mosul Museum artifacts became publicly known on February 26, 2015 when the group known as ISIL released a video showing their destruction.
Deliberate destruction and theft of cultural heritage has been conducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant since 2014 in Iraq, Syria, and to a lesser extent in Libya. The destruction targets various places of worship under ISIL control and ancient historical artifacts. In Iraq, between the fall of Mosul in June 2014 and February 2015, ISIL had plundered and destroyed at least 28 historical religious buildings. Valuable items from some buildings were looted in order to smuggle and sell them to finance ISIS activities.
Assyrian sculpture is the sculpture of the ancient Assyrian states, especially the Neo-Assyrian Empire of 911 to 612 BC, which ruled modern Iraq, Syria, and much of Iran. It forms a phase of the art of Mesopotamia, differing in particular because of its much greater use of stone and gypsum alabaster for large sculpture.
Noomanea is an Assyrian Christian village in Iraq in the Nineveh Governorate. It is located on the edge of the ancient town of Nimrud.
Layla Salih is an Iraqi archaeologist. As Head of the Nineveh Antiquities section in the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, she has been responsible for the monitoring, rescue, and documentation of Ancient Near Eastern art and architecture following its destruction by ISIS. She is known for her discovery of one of Esarhaddon's palaces in Nineveh.
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