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Mesopotamia / Cities /
Other spelling: Dur Sharrukin


How Dur-Sharrukin may have been organized, with the royal palace and ziggurat of Nebu in the midst
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Human-headed winged bull (shedu), found during Botta's excavation. Now in the Louvre Museum, Paris, France
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Relief from the north wall of Sargon 2's palace at Dur-Sharrukin. Now in the Louvre Museum, Paris, France
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Ancient Assyrian city, at the confluence of the Tigris and the Greater Zab rivers. It was capital of Assyria for just one year, from 706 to 705. It was located northwest of Nineveh, corresponding with modern Khorsabad, Iraq.
The name means "Sargon's fortress".
The city was carefully planned, built to become smaller than the largest Assyrian cities, covering between 2 and 3 km². The city walls were gigantic, with 157 guarding towers and 7 entrance gates.
In the centre of the city was a temple dedicated to the god, Nabu, and the royal palace. There was also built a ziggurat within the palace confines.
Several great finds were made at Dur-Sharrukin, excellent wall reliefs, ivories and monumental human-headed winged bulls (shedu). But of greatest importance was the discovery of the Assyrian King List, recording Assyrian kings from ca. 1700 BCE until the middle of the 11th century BCE.

717 BCE: The city is founded by king Sargon 2 of Assyria, built to become the new capital of Assyria, replacing Nineveh.
706: The royal court relocates to Dur-Sharrukin, although the city is far from completed.
705: Sargon dies, and the project of Dur Sharrukin would be abandoned by succeeding kings.

Modern times
1843 CE: First excavations in Mesopotamia are begun at Dur-Sharrukin, by French consul, Paul-Émile Botta.
1850's: Many great items are moved from location, aiming for Paris, France.
1930's: A gigantic bull is moved to Chicago, USA.

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By Tore Kjeilen