Islamic State fighters have looted and bulldozed the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, the Iraqi government said, in their latest assault on some of the world’s greatest archaeological and cultural treasures.
A tribal source from the nearby city of Mosul said the jihadis, who dismiss Iraq’s pre-Islamic heritage as idolatrous, had pillaged the 3,000-year-old site on the banks of the Tigris river.
“Daesh terrorist gangs continue to defy the will of the world and the feelings of humanity,” Iraq’s tourism and antiquities ministry said, referring to Isis by its Arabic acronym.
“In a new crime in their series of reckless offences, they assaulted the ancient city of Nimrud and bulldozed it with heavy machinery, appropriating the archaeological attractions dating back 13 centuries BC,” it said.
Added to the list that includes the Bamiyan Buddhas and the Timbuktu tombs.
Nimrud, about 20 miles south of Mosul, was built around 1250BC. Four centuries later it became the capital of the neo-Assyrian empire – at the time the most powerful state on Earth, extending to modern-day Egypt, Turkey and Iran.
Many of its most famous surviving monuments were removed years ago by archaeologists, including colossal winged bulls, which are now in London’s British Museum, and hundreds of precious stones and pieces of gold, which were moved to Baghdad.
I know those winged bulls at the British Museum.
Their real name, according to Wikipedia, is Lamassu.
A lamassu (Cuneiform: