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Dur-Šarrukin (Khorsabad)

Dur-Šarrukin: one of the capitals of ancient Assyria, founded by king Sargon II (r.721-705) but soon abandoned, modern Khorsabad.

Lamassu from Khorsabad

In 713 BCE, king Sargon of Assyria ordered the construction of a new capital, Dur-Šarrukin, "the castle of Sargon". To create it, the surrounding plain had to be developed. The new city measured 1760 x 1635 meters and was constructed by POWs.

In 706 BCE, the Assyrian court moved to Dur-Šarrukin, even though it was not yet finished. During the reign of Sargon's son Sennacherib, the city was abandoned and the capital was moved to Nineveh. When, more than three centiries later, Alexander the Great passed along the ruins on his way to the Gaugamela battlefield (331 BCE), no one noticed the remains of the ancient city.

This page was created in 2017; last modified on 20 October 2017.