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- This city, called Kalhu by the Assyrians and called Kalah (or Calah) in the Bible, was a capital of Assyria. Like so many ruins, it is often called "Nimrud", after the legendary king who is often associated with antiquities in the Near East.
- Kalhu was founded by king Šalmaneser I (r.1263-1234)
- King Aššurnasirpal II (r.883-859) chose Kalhu, until then a small town, as his residence. A labor force of no less than 47,000 people built the city, which was six times larger than the old capital, Aššur.
- If the city - as king Aššurnasirpal claims in one of his inscriptions - counted 16,000 inhabitants, food must have been imported from upstream along the Tigris
- 745-727: Reign of Tiglath-Pileser III: great splendor
- The town remained capital of Assyria until 706 BCE, when king Sargon II founded Dur-Šarukkin (Khorsabad), which would be replaced by Nineveh (Mosul).
- In 401, the Greek mercenary Xenophon stayed in this town, which was now called Larissa. He mentions how the inhabitants had fled to the ziggurat.note[Xenophon, Anabasis 3.4.6-9.]