DUR-SHARRUKEN
(modern KHORSABAD)
   Assyrian capital, inaugurated by Sargon II in 707 (the name means “Fortress of Sargon”). Sargon decided to move the center of Assyrian administration and the royal palaces from Kalhu to a brand-new site. The city was therefore planned from the beginning. Amassive wall of mudbrick (14 meters thick and 12 meters high) surrounded the rectangular outline of the city, enclosing an area of 300 hectares. There were seven gates, each dedicated to an Assyrian god. Within a separate enclosure stood the palace and the administrative complex known as the “Palace without Rival.” According to the French excavators, it contained more than 210 rooms, grouped around three courtyards. The portals were guarded by colossal humanheaded, winged bulls made of stone, and the walls of the palace were lined with relief-covered limestone slabs that showed the triumph of the Assyrian army and the deeds of Sargon. Numerous administrative tablets have also been found. There were several sanctuaries at Dur-Sharruken; the most notable was dedicated to the god Nabu and decorated with glazed tiles. The city was destroyed in the final cataclysm of the Assyrian empire around 612 B.C.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

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