ISIS militants bulldoze ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, destroy priceless historical artifacts
ISIS militants bulldozed the site of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq at around noon on Thursday.
Statues at the site have also reportedly been defaced, although there are no reports on the extent of the damage yet. In response to the militants’ latest act, Iraq’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities says that ISIS continues to “defy the will of the world and the feelings of humanity.”
Located just 30 km from the ISIS stronghold of Mosul, the ancient city of Nimrud was once the military capital of the Assyrian Empire. The site of the ancient city once held troves of Assyrian jewelry and artifacts, most of which has been transferred to museums in London, Paris, Baghdad and Mosul.
The militants are taking control of huge swathes of territory in Iraq’s Nineveh province and have destroyed other ancient and historically meaningful sites in the area. Just last week, ISIS militants obliterated ancient Mesopotamian artifacts in Iraq’s Mosul Museum with sledgehammers and jackhammers.
UNESCO reports that ISIS militants not only destroy ancient artifacts, but they also sell the artifacts on the black market to finance their operations.
ISIS video shows militants using sledgehammers to destroy priceless ancient artifacts in Mosul Museu
A new video released by the Islamic State shows militants destroying a collection of priceless artifacts in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, according to an Associated Press report.
The five-minute video, which was posted online by ISIS-affiliated social media accounts and has yet to be independently verified, shows the extremists taking sledgehammers and drills to large statues dating back as far as the 9th century B.C. as they decry them as idolatrous and heretical.
“Oh Muslims, these artifacts that are behind me were idols and gods worshipped by people who lived centuries ago instead of Allah,” one of the men in the video says, speaking to the camera, according to the report.
“Our prophet ordered us to remove all these statues as his followers did when they conquered nations.”
The incident is sadly only the latest in the group’s recent attacks on Iraq’s rich ancient heritage.
The Islamic State last week reportedly sent more than 8,000 rare books and manuscripts up in flames.
Sadly, along with Gillette razors and educated little girls, the terrorist group appears to rank books and culture among its greatest threats.
What Islamic State gains by destroying antiquities in Iraq
In a violent rampage through a museum in Mosul, Islamic State militants knocked statues to the floor, using sledgehammers and even a jackhammer to reduce ancient artifacts and some replicas — representing idols that past cultures worshipped — to rubble. Bernard Haykel of Princeton University and Michael Danti of Boston University join Jeffrey Brown to discuss the significance of the latest video.
ISIS destroys important archaeological site
CNN’s Fred Pleitgen details ISIS’s destruction of one of Iraq’s most important archaeological sites: the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud.
In Focus: Nimrud (Destroyed by ISIS)
Welcome to In Focus. In this series we take a closer look at particular sites, finds and objects from the world of Archaeology.
Today we examine the Ancient Assyrian City of Nimrud in Northern Iraq.
Iraq’s Lost Treasures (the treasure of Nimrud)
the treasure of Nimrud — which dates from the eighth and ninth centuries B.C. — consists of over 100 pounds of solid gold jewelry, precious metals and other priceless artifacts, including a crown made from more than a kilogram of gold.
Discovered 15 years ago in northern Iraq, the exquisite objects had not been seen since before the first Gulf War.