Assyrian palace found under Jonah’s shrine

Something good seems to have come out of the destruction of Jonah’s shrine in Mosul and the excavating of deep tunnels by  Da’esh (ISIL) : the discovery of the ancient palace of the Assyrian king Sennacherib.  This Telegraph article describes what archaeologists have found: 

Assyrian stone demi-goddess (Photo: Jeremy Andre)

Archaeologists
documenting Isil’s destruction of the ruins of the Tomb of the Prophet
Jonah say they have made an unexpected discovery which could help in our
understanding of the world’s first empire.

The Nebi Yunus shrine – containing what Muslims and
Christians believe to be the tomb of Jonah, as he was known in the
Bible, or Yunus in the Koran – was blown up by Islamic State of Iraq and
the Levant (

Isil) militants soon after they seized huge swathes of northern Iraq in 2014.

The shrine is situated on top of a hill in eastern Mosul
called Nebi Yunus – one of two mounds that form part of the ancient
Assyrian city of Nineveh.

The Iraqi army retook the area from Isil last month, revealing the extensive damage wrought by the jihadists.

But local archaeologists have told the Telegraph that Isil
also dug tunnels deep under the demolished shrine and into a previously
undiscovered and untouched 600BC palace.

Limited excavation was carried out by the Ottoman governor
of Mosul in 1852, which was revisited by the Iraqi department of
antiquities in the 1950s. But neither team reached as far as the palace.

Read article in full

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