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pages updated December 13, 2016

Northwest Palace throne room renderThe Northwest Palace was built by King Ashur-nasir-pal in the early to mid-9th c. BCE at the edge of the northwest corner of the citadel mound of ancient Nimrud. It was (until blown up by ISIS in 2015) the best preserved and prototypical of all the Assyrian palaces. It was an enormous complex comprising several courtyards and gateways, and over 70 rooms, most of them highly painted and decorated with over-life-size wall reliefs depicting guardian spirits, narrative scenes of the king's exploits, and sacred trees (see the rendering from our virtual reality model of the palace at the left, showing a view toward's the king's throne; hover over to enlarge). For more on the history of the palace and the site, see the Northwest Palace project page here at Learning Sites.

ISIS destruction of the Northwest PalaceThe image at the left (hover over to enlarge), extracted from an ISIS video from the spring of 2015, shows the Northwest Palace being dynamited (the view shows, at the right side, the throne room facade reconstructed by Learning Sites, below). The destruction leveled all of the massive complex, destroyed all the surviving sculpture, and makes it now impossible to appreciate the scope of this once magnificent architectural achievement. Thus, the impetus for Nimrud Rising.

Great Northern Courtyard reconstructedThe rendering at the left (hover over to enlarge), from the Learning Sites virtual reality re-creation of the palace, shows the massive throne room facade of the Great Northern Courtyard. The entry at the far right would be where visitors to the palace would enter the Throne Room, and then walk the full length of the nearly 50m space to approach the king.