Connect with us


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



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

Crypto Staking Crypto Staking
Crypto7 hours ago

Is it Possible To Make Money On Crypto Staking in 2024?

In the modern world, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies are becoming increasingly popular, attracting the attention of investors and users from...

Lake Como Lake Como
Wedding7 hours ago

How to Choose the Right Location for a Marriage Proposal in Italy and Lake Como

Proposing marriage is a unique and memorable moment in a couple’s life. Choosing the right location is crucial to creating...

Personal Injury Lawyer Personal Injury Lawyer
Law4 days ago

Finding the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Lumberton, NC

Personal injury law is designed to protect individuals who have been harmed due to the negligence or wrongful actions of...

WhatsApp Business WhatsApp Business
Business4 days ago

Running WhatsApp Business with Pro+VPS for Android Emulator

WhatsApp Business is one of the most powerful tool for Business to manage customers communication. Running it can enhance the...

Civil Partnership Visa Civil Partnership Visa
Finance5 days ago

Civil Partnership Visa vs Spouse Visa: Which One is Right for You

Choosing the right visa to join your partner in the UK can be confusing. Two common options are the Civil...

Crypto Crypto
Crypto6 days ago

Staked Crypto – A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Ethereum staking has become an increasingly popular way for cryptocurrency holders to earn passive income through staking rewards. In this...

Ethereum Staking Ethereum Staking
Crypto1 week ago

Maximizing Ethereum Staking Rewards: Tips and Tricks

Are you looking to maximize the potential of your Ethereum holdings? Stake Ethereum using OkayCoin and take advantage of the...

Wedding Wedding
Wedding1 week ago

4 Wedding Services You Can Quickly Check Off Your To-Do List

Organizing a wedding might like arranging a large-scale symphony, in which each element must work together to produce a beautiful...

Luxury Shopping Luxury Shopping
Lifestyle1 week ago

Luxury Shopping in Ibiza: A Guide to the Finest Boutiques

Ibiza is synonymous with lavish lifestyles, sun-soaked beaches, and electrifying nightlife. But beyond the party scene and stunning seascapes, the...

Indian Brides Indian Brides
Fashion1 week ago

Top Trends in Diamond Necklaces for Indian Brides

As Indian brides gear up for their big day, the selection of the perfect diamond necklace is crucial. Diamond necklaces...