Historical Background and Description of Dur-Sharrukin
– Sargon II ruled from 722 to 705 BC
– Construction workers’ debts were nullified to attract labor force
– Land around the town was cultivated and olive groves were planted
– Dur-Sharrukin was built in the decade preceding 706 BC
– Sargon II was killed in battle in 705 BC and his son relocated the capital to Nineveh
– Dur-Sharrukin measured 1758.6 by 1635 meters
– City walls were massive with 157 towers
– Seven gates entered the city from all directions
– Temples dedicated to gods Nabu, Shamash, Sin, Adad, Ningal, and Ninurta
– Palace adorned with sculptures and wall reliefs, gates flanked with winged-bull statues

Excavations and Discoveries in Dur-Sharrukin
– Excavation neglected in favor of other sites until 1843
– French Consul General Paul-Émile Botta approached by a resident of Khorsabad
– Botta sent an agent to investigate and discovered sculptured slabs of gypsum
– Initial excavation revealed records of an unknown people
– Excavations at Khorsabad by Paul-Émile Botta
– Investigation of ancient Mesopotamia began in earnest
– Assyrian ruins at Khorsabad were closer to the surface of the mound
– Discovery of numerous reliefs and sculptures
– Destruction of early discoveries due to sudden exposure to the outside environment
– Formal excavations ceased by October 1843
– Khorsabad excavated by American archaeologists from the Oriental Institute in Chicago
– Edward Chiera led the first season, focusing on the palace area
– Gordon Loud and Hamilton Darby led subsequent seasons, examining city gates and temple complex
– Excavation of the Temple of Sibitti conducted by archaeologists from the Iraqi Department of Antiquities in 1957
– Uncovered the temple of Sibitti at the site
– Provided further insights into the ancient civilization

Loss and Recovery of Antiquities
– Cargo ship and rafts carrying artifacts sank during the Qurnah Disaster
– Only a small fraction of the shipment made it to the Louvre in Paris
– Subsequent efforts to recover the lost antiquities have been largely unsuccessful
– Japanese expedition in 1971-2 attempted to recover the artifacts
– Ongoing challenges in preserving and protecting ancient artifacts in the region

Architecture and Layout of Dur-Sharrukin
– The city was designed on a grid pattern, with wide streets and organized neighborhoods
– The central feature of Dur-Sharrukin was the royal palace complex, which included multiple palaces and courtyards
– The palaces were adorned with intricate relief sculptures depicting scenes of royal life and military conquests
– The city also had temples dedicated to various deities, including the god Ashur
– The defensive walls of Dur-Sharrukin were fortified with towers and gates

Significance and Legacy of Dur-Sharrukin
– Dur-Sharrukin represents a significant period in the history of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
– The city’s architecture and artistry showcase the grandeur and power of the Assyrian civilization
– It serves as a testament to the empire’s military might and administrative prowess
– The ruins of Dur-Sharrukin are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site
– The study of Dur-Sharrukin contributes to our understanding of ancient Mesopotamian history and cultureSources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dur-Sharrukin