Nimrud is the Assyrian Neo-Aramaic name for the ancient Assyrian city of Kalhu (the Biblical Calah), located 30 kilometres south of the city of Mosul, and 5 kilometres south of the village of Selamiyah, in the Nineveh plains in northern Mesopotamia.


Archaeological excavations at the site began in 1845, and were conducted at intervals between then and 1879, and then from 1949 onwards. Many important pieces were discovered, with most being moved to museums in Iraq and amongst at least 76 museums worldwide (including 36 in the United States and 13 in the United Kingdom).



The Assyrian king Shalmaneser I (1274 BC–1245 BC) built up Kalhu (Nimrod) into a major city during the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365-1050 BC). However, the ancient city of Assur remained the capital of Assyria, as it had been since c. 3500 BC.


The city gained fame when king Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) of the Neo Assyrian Empire (911–605 BC) made it his capital at the expense of Assur. He built a large palace and temples in the city that had fallen into a degree of disrepair during the Dark Ages of the mid 11th to mid 10th centuries BC.



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