Khorsabad (Iraq)

In 717 BC Sargon II founded a new royal city and called it Dur-Sharrukin, which means 'Sargon's Fortress'. The site that he chose lay to the north of the ancient city of Nineveh. Approximately rectangular in plan, the city walls enclosed an area measuring about 1,600 by 1,750 metres. Seven gates gave access to the city. The great palace of Sargon and the temple area were built on a terrace straddling the northwest wall of the city, while the arsenal lay near the southern corner. The gods of Dur-Sharrukin were brought into the new capital's temples in 707 BC when Sargon took up residence.

Today the site is known as Khorsabad and was excavated by the French under Paul Botta and Victor Place in the nineteenth century. They discovered a wealth of carved stone reliefs lining the palace walls, many examples of which are in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.

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