Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Digital reconstruction of Northwest Palace, Nimrud. Source: YouTube Screenshot / The Met.

Digital Reconstruction of the Northwest Palace, Nimrud, Assyria (Video)

In 2014, the Metropolitan Museum of Art unveiled a captivating digital reconstruction of the Northwest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II in Nimrud, Assyria (near modern Mosul in northern Iraq). This...
Relief carving of Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (r. ca. 883-859 BC). Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art / Public Domain.

Realism in Ancient Mesopotamian Relief Carvings (Video)

In the domain of ancient Mesopotamian art, the reliefs from Ashurnasirpal II's palace reign supreme. These monumental creations , though dispersed far and wide by Henry Austen Layard, possess a...
A fragment of the stone stele from the Ishtar temple. It depicts the goddess Ishtar inside a starburst with rosettes. Source: Penn Museum

Assyrian Relics Resurrected at Nimrud, Defying Terrorist Destruction

During recent excavations in the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in Iraq, a team of archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology uncovered an exciting...
A door sill from the palace of King Adad-Nirari III, at Nimrud. Source: Michael Danti/

Archaeologists Salvage Inscribed Palace Door Threshold at City of Nimrud

A 6.5-foot (2 meters)-high threshold stone from the 9th and 8th century BC has been unearthed by archaeologists at the ancient Iraqi city of Nimrud. This is the first major excavation at the site...
The Nimrud lens. Source: The British Museum / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Is the Assyrian Nimrud Lens the Oldest Telescope in the World?

The Nimrud lens is a 3,000-year-old piece of rock crystal unearthed by Sir John Layard in 1850 at the Assyrian palace of Nimrud, in modern-day Iraq. Since its discovery over a century ago, scientists...
An Islamic State militant destroying artifacts in Iraq’s World Heritage city of Hatra

Erasing History: Why Islamic State is Blowing Up Ancient Artifacts

One of the many tragedies that have unfolded in the wake of the Islamic State (IS) is their smashing of statues and the destruction of ancient archaeological sites. Indeed, the rapid and terrifying...
Astounding Ancient Assyria: The Grand Palace of Assurnasirpal

Astounding Ancient Assyria: The Grand Palace of Assurnasirpal

The grand palace of Assurnasirpal (Ashurnasirpal) II was one of the most incredible sites of ancient Assyria. Located in Nimrud, Iraq, the immense palace was richly decorated with sophisticated...
Inset; Bucket/ banduddû from the north wall of the Palace of king Sargon II, and a four-winged genie in the Bucket and cone motif.

Banduddu: Solving the Mystery of the Babylonian Container

One of the great riddles in Mesopotamian sacred art concerns the image of anthropomorphic winged figures called Apkallu holding a mullilu (tree fruit) in one hand, and a banduddû — a container — in...
The Ivory Palace of King Ahab

The Ivory Palace of King Ahab

Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he made, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel...