Cities in Iraq: Nimrud

Cities in Iraq: Nimrud Last updated on Tuesday 20th April 2010

Once Assyria's second capital, the ancient site of the city of Nimrud lies about 37km southeast of Mosul, on the eastern bank of the River Tigris, south of Nineveh.

It was first designated as the Assyrian capital by Ashurnasirpal II in 879BC and was known as Kalhu (mentioned in Genesis as Calah). Later, with the accession of King Sargon II, it was replaced by Khorsabad as the new capital in about 720BC.

In 612BC, it was destroyed by the Medes of Northern Persia, at the same time as the fall of Nineveh.

Nimrud was excavated by the British under Henry A. Layard, and subsequent excavations by Sir Max Mallowen discovered vast palaces of the Assyrian kings. The most impressive of these is that of King Ashurasirpal II, the city's founding monarch. Impressive statuary at the palace entrance shows two hawk-winged lions with human heads, in the well-known Assyrian style.

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