Khorsabad - Archaeology of Ancient Assyria



In modern archaeology the ancient city of Khorsabad is also known as Dur-Sharrukin (Mound of Sargon). In the year 1843 Paul Emile Botta began excavating the site and uncovered the palace of Sargon II (722-705 B.C.). The whole palace area along with the accompanying buildings was about 25 acres, about 1/30th of the entire city. Inside the palace Botta uncovered reception halls with their winged animals, sculptures, bas-reliefs, and many other artifacts with inscriptions everywhere. All of this gave a peculiar insight into the advanced level of art that existed in ancient Assyria. The wall-carvings revealed scenes from everyday life, the practices of religion, and the military campaigns (victories) of the Assyrian king who had conquered and deported the Northern Kingdom of Israel.


During the next century the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago performed some extensive excavations and uncovered many more texts and inscriptions from Sargon�s palace, including the Khorsabad annals which record the events during the reign of king Sargon II. It is definitely noteworthy that these annals included the fall of Samaria, the captivity, the rebuilding of the city, and the placement of a governor. This was also recorded in another Khorsabad inscription called the "Display Inscription", which is a description of the first decade and a half of king Sargon's reign.


The alabaster reliefs in the palace of Sargon revealed just how fierce the warriors of ancient Assyria were who plundered Samaria. In 1932 the Oriental Institute in Chicago also discovered a king list from the palace of Sargon in Khorsabad that reveals a list of Assyrian rulers.


Also see Archaeological Discoveries


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