Incredible Assyrian palace discovered in terrorist treasure tunnels

  • Share This
Ricky Joseph

In 2014, the northern Iraq offensive began when the Islamic State of Iraq launched a massive offensive against government forces in northern Iraq. The terrorists dynamited several archaeological sites and dug treasure tunnels while searching for artifacts. Now, a group of researchers from Heidelberg University have explored an incredible Assyrian palace in Mosul, locatedinside the terrorists' treasure tunnels. According to a report by Archaeology News Network, the palace was only accessible because the area was "blown up by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia."

READ ALSO: Drought in Iraq surfaces ancient palace of 3,400 years; see images

On a hill above the supposed grave of the biblical prophet Jonah, beneath a destroyed mosque, a military palace of the Assyrian Empire and a temple dating back to the 5th or 6th century B.C.E. are adorned with a winged bull and four ancient reliefs depicting Assyrian mythology.

This 40-ton statue was one of two that flanked the entrance to the throne room of King Sargon II of the awesome Assyrian palace. A protective spirit known as lamassu, is shown as a composite being with the head of a human being, the body and ears of a bull, and the wings of a bird. (Trjames / CC BY SA 3.0)

The incredible Assyrian palace

When ISIS blew up a 12th century mosque in which they believed to be the tomb of the prophet Jonah, they dug several hundred feet under the rubble looking for treasures and artifacts to sell.

In these tunnels dug by terrorists, German scientists have discovered archaeological treasures. Among them, a 2,000-year-old "throne room." The temple and its carvings date from the final period of the once vast Assyrian empire, Mesopotamia. The great city of Nineveh was once the largest in the world.

READ ALSO: Temple dedicated to Mesopotamia's god of war is discovered

Stairs to the podium in the throne room of the incredible Assyrian palace. (Credits: Ali Al-Magasees / University of Heidelberg / dpa)

A 2018 article in The Guardian said the initial discovery was "a rare piece of good news in the context of so much destruction and looting caused by ISIS." The British Museum archaeologists worked with Iraqi archaeologist Saleh Noman, who was in the first group of Iraqi archaeologists trained in London to research and rescue war-damaged archaeology.

Extremists dug the treasure tunnels

In December 2016, a US-led coalition backed thousands of Iraqi and Kurdish troops in a massive military operation to recapture Mosul, the country's second largest city, and government forces eventually drove ISIS militants from the area around the shrine of Nebi Yunus. Local archaeologists first on the scene reported that ISIS had dug tunnels deep inside the holy site,looking for treasures and artifacts to sell on the black market.

READ ALSO: The concept of actual time was created by the Sumerians 5,000 years ago

At the Unesco conference in Paris, Iraq's deputy culture minister, Qais Rashid, said that "in the Mosul region alone at least 66 archaeological sites have been destroyed by ISIS." An analysis by Rashid suggested that ISIS was financing its acts by smuggling oil, kidnapping, human trafficking, extortion, theft and the sale of antiquities.

Written by Ashley Cowie on Ancient Origins . All Rights Reserved .

Ricky Joseph is a seeker of knowledge. He firmly believes that through understanding the world around us, we can work to better ourselves and our society as a whole. As such, he has made it his life's mission to learn as much as he can about the world and its inhabitants. Joseph has worked in many different fields, all with the aim of furthering his knowledge. He has been a teacher, a soldier, and a businessman - but his true passion lies in research. He currently works as a research scientist for a major pharmaceutical company, where he is dedicated to finding new treatments for diseases that have long been considered incurable. Through diligence and hard work, Ricky Joseph has become one of the foremost experts on pharmacology and medicinal chemistry in the world. His name is known by scientists everywhere, and his work continues to improve the lives of millions.