Connect with us

News

Stunning Ancient Artwork Found at Site Sacked by ISIS –Assyrian War Plans Not Seen For 2,600 Years

Published

on

A slab buried on its side depicts Assyrian archers; the conical pattern in the background indicates they are in a hilly or mountainous environment – by Prof. Michael Danti

In April, archeologists working in the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh which had been destroyed by the Islamic State, uncovered a pulse-quickening discovery—a sealed gateway unknown in any previous excavations or surveys of the site.

Carefully opening the door, the archeologists’ eyes fell on a hallway lined with dust that had not been disturbed for 2,634 years. Their discovery yielded incredible works of sculptural art—depictions of military camps and soldiers documenting the conquests of Mesopotamia by Assyrian king Sennacherib.

They remain stunning in their clarity and precision, and depict a change in Neo-Assyrian relief sculpting, when artists began to use every inch of space to depict lands, natural features in the background, and the various tribes that made up the Assyrian imperial population, not just the Assyrians themselves.

“They’re better than the ones in the British Museum,” said Michael Danti, professor of archeology at the University of Pennsylvania and member of the excavations, referring to similar reliefs found from excavations of Nineveh from the 19th century.

“They really show the high-relief carving, the detail of Sennacherib’s sculptures which were revolutionary at the time,” he told Nat Geo.

These marvels were discovered when two groups, the Iraq Heritage Stabilization Program at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, and the Nineveh Inspectorate of Iraq’s State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, began restoring the Mashki Gate, one of 18 that dotted the walls of Nineveh.

The architectural layer they found beyond the sealed gateway dated to the sack of the city by the Medes and Babylonians during the tail-end of the Iron Age Neo-Assyrian Empire in the 600s BCE, when the exceptionally-cruel Assyrian dominance of the Fertile Crescent had become so intolerable the inhabitants sought all means to be rid of it.

The Biblical prophet Nahum describes the sack of the city concluded with “Woe to the bloody city… Desolate Nineveh, who shall bewail her?”

A depiction of a military camp – Photograph by Michael Danti

As restorers and archeologists began to excavate, they found human remains from this then-world-changing siege. Ironically, the panels depicting the breathtaking sculptures had been flipped upside down and reused as building material. The roughly 5-by-6.5-foot panels were set sideways against the mud brick walls of the gate.

“It’s something none of us expected,” said Ali Al-Jobouri, a retired professor of archeology who is nevertheless part of the excavations. “When you discover such things and you’re able to touch them with your hand, this is something very, very exciting,” he told Nat Geo.

Along with an overhead schematic of an Assyrian military camp, one relief depicts what is clearly an easterner—likely someone from Iran based on their hair and beard styles. As no one has presented a clear hypothesis what the battles were that are thusly depicted, one professor suggested the Iranian could represent a clue—campaigns eastward toward the Zagros Mountains.

These reliefs, unlike so much of the material from the Near East will remain in Iraq.

Continue Reading

Recent News

F95Zone F95Zone
Tech56 mins ago

F95Zone: An Advanced World of Games and Fun 

All those of us who have grown up as the Gen z kids and now into adults know our love...

Blooket Join Blooket Join
Guide58 mins ago

Guide To Blooket Join: Fun Learning Games For Children UK

Blooket Join, a name your kid will thank you for! Now, you might be curious as to why we are...

NCEdCloud NCEdCloud
Tech58 mins ago

NCEdCloud PowerSchool: Top Educational Platform For E-Learning

With modern education on the rise due to the combining of technology and education, now education on any level can...

Google Pixelbook 12In Google Pixelbook 12In
Tech58 mins ago

Guide To Google Pixelbook 12In 2024

Are you wondering about better options than your traditional laptop or PC? Then let us fill you in on the...

Lab Grown Diamond Engagement Lab Grown Diamond Engagement
Fashion1 hour ago

Increasingly Popular Lab Grown Diamond Engagement Rings UK

Diamond rings are always adored for engagement or wedding events. The spark and shine of a diamond looks so appealing...

Search Engine Optimization Search Engine Optimization
Digital Marketing1 hour ago

Search Engine Optimization Solutions – Your Key to Success

If you want to rank high on seek engine results pages and boost revenue, hiring the top search engine optimization...

NBA Playoffs NBA Playoffs
Lifestyle21 hours ago

Elevate Your Fan Experience: Must-See Moments In NBA Playoffs 2024

The NBA playoffs have reached your fingertips, and you’re excited for the rest of the season. There are several tales...

Techberry Techberry
Trading22 hours ago

Techberry Review: A Deep Dive into Next-Generation Trading Technologies

There have been significant shifts in the world of online trading in recent years, marked by technological advancements and changing...

HHC HHC
Health22 hours ago

What are the Potential Health Benefits of HHC?

You’ve heard of THC, you’ve heard of CBD, and now there’s Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC). But not as many people know about...

Women-Owned Businesses Women-Owned Businesses
Business23 hours ago

How Women-Owned Businesses Are Changing the Game

In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, women owned businesses are not just making their mark; they are redefining the rules...