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Nineveh, Capital of the Assyrian Empire, 7th Century BC

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"So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of YHVH. Now, Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, of three days' journey [across]." (Jonah 3:3) ". . .Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 kids and also much livestock. (Jonah 4:11) Known primarily as the capital of the Assyrian empire, Nineveh, at the height of its power (9th-7th centuries BC) was even more powerful than Babylon itself. One of its kings, Sennacherib was especially proud that he captured Lachish, Judah's second largest town during king Hezekiah's reign. Under the blows of two of its kings Tiglath Pileser III and Sargon II the northern kingdom of Israel ceased to exist in 720 BC. The details of this illustration are based on well documented facts as well as conjecture. The shape and size of Nineveh is known. The acropolis with the royal palaces and temples surrounded by fortification in the center of the image has been selectively excavated and we have a good idea of how the various structures were positioned in that large area. The Khosr River flowed past it on one side and a wide moat protected it on the other. Some of Nineveh's monumental gates survived to a certain height and have been reconstructed by the Iraqis as were the outer stone wall encircling the entire city. Assyrian wall reliefs provide information of multi level defensive fortifications around royal places which I referenced here. Several of such carvings depict elevated riverside quays made of burnt bricks protecting the walls and the inhabitants from the annual floods. I used those depictions here to create the look of the interface between the Tigris River and the city. No doubt lively commercial activity took place here. The Tigris River has slowly changed its course during the past two and a half millennia and now it flows about a mile to the west of its city walls through the modern Iraqi city of Mosul. Probably the opposite bank of the river was also settled and protected with walls similar to the layout of Babylon. The city is shown in mid afternoon looking south-east. Please see further details pertaining to this illustration in my Blog section.


March 23 2012, 5:57pm






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