IS destroy another ancient site

Well that’s Iraq for you: it’s rich in historic sites, so Daesh has lots of fun projects. This time the ancient city is called Hatra.

Islamic State militants have destroyed ruins at the ancient city of Hatra, Iraqi officials say.

A tourism and antiquities ministry official said the extent of the damage at the Unesco world heritage site was unclear, but they had received reports that it had been demolished.

Hatra was founded in the days of the Parthian Empire over 2,000 years ago.

And now the Empire of Islam is obliterating everything that’s not itself.

Hatra, located about 110km (68 miles) south-west of Mosul, was a fortified city that withstood invasions by the Romans thanks to its thick walls reinforced by towers.

Said Mamuzini, a Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) local official, said the militants had used explosives to blow up buildings and were bulldozing other sections.

“The city of Hatra is very big and many artefacts of that era were protected inside the site,” he said, adding that the militants had already taken away gold and silver.

Here’s some background on Hatra, with a slew of photos by Thomas Twohey.

The ruins of ancient Hatra lie about three kilometers west of Wadi Al-Tharthar and about 105 kilometers southwest of the city of Mosul, in Iraq.

The site of the city is a gentle depression in a semi desert land between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates known as Al Jazirah. Due to it being in a isolated, near desert location little to no excavation work had been done on the site, until in 1951 the Iraqi government decided to begin examining the site. Prior archaeological expeditions had only measured and mapped the ruins. The excavations of the 1950’s resulted in the discovery of at least twelve further temples and since 1960 restoration work has been underway to preserve the structures, as well as continued archaeological excavations.

Most structures are built in limestone an gypsum and are a mixture of Assyrian, Hellenistic, Parthian and Roman styles.

The fortress city of Hatra arose in Al Jazirah, where it guarded the two main caravan routes connecting Mesopotamia with Syria and Asia Minor. The date of its foundation is subject of some debate. Most likely it was the Assyrians, but by the first century BC it had undoubtedly grown into a fortified city.

The present day remains date back to between the first century BC and the second century AD.

Fortification was immense. The city is guarded by two city walls. Once any enemy had crossed the first wall, he’d still be faced with a moat and the second wall. In fact the heavily fortified gates of the second wall can only be reached by ascending up ramps which run parallel to the wall.

Thomas Twohey

Excavated and restored, and now fascists have destroyed it.


  1. says

    Frankly, this is straight out of 1984. Some types of regimes can’t abide even the thought that there ever existed anything other than themselves.

    It’s almost as if, deep down, they know they’re hateful, little shits and if people have any other options, they’ll run screaming away from their totalitarian crap. So, the only answer they can think of is to eradicate all other possible ideas, including the notion that such ideas ever existed.

  2. Al Dente says

    Daesh are the worst combination possible for a state or wannabee state. They’re barbarians, they’re fanatics and they’re competent in pushing their barbaric fanaticism.

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