Destruction of Nimrud

“Islamic State is driven from ancient Nimrud, where destruction is ‘worse than we thought’ “

November 16 at 5:26 PM, The Washington Post, November 17, 2016

Read the article here.

The discovery of treasures in Nimrud's royal tombs in the late 1980s was one of the 20th century's most significant archaeological finds. (Hussein Malla/AP)

The discovery of treasures in Nimrud’s royal tombs in the late 1980s was one of the 20th century’s most significant archaeological finds. (Hussein Malla/AP)

26 thoughts on “Destruction of Nimrud

  1. Savannah Lascola

    It is devastating to see the mass destruction of a site that was once so magnificent. The fact that authorities have hope that some destroyed pieces of the site, like the lamassu, can be salvaged, and that they believe there is a possibility that there are not yet uncovered treasures still buried under the rubble is comforting.

  2. Nick Buccella

    The destruction of ancient artifacts is horrifying. Especially when they are sites where some human civilizations first bloomed. These sites are the worlds heritage and it is a tragedy to see them destroyed by our own kind.

  3. Marshall LeMert

    This is one of the reasons I’ve gotten into archaeology in the first place. If a beautiful set of ruins like this is left into the ground, without an interest from someone who cares, eventually all records will be lost, and humanity will never learn about its past. Furthermore, more and more records of Babylon and Assyria and the other civilizations in this area are still being uncovered, hence its all too important to defend these ruins as we would standing cities, for they are just as integral.

  4. Emma Baumgardner

    It is really heartbreaking to see how carelessly the people in the Islamic State Militia has come in and destroyed all of these wonderful pieces of art. It’s so sad to see how much pride the people of Nimrud had for their art and now they will never truly know what lies beneath the surface because the site wasn’t completely excavated. Luckily, many of the pieces that were excavated are safely in museums in other parts of the world. Maybe knowing that these pieces are safe will bring comfort to the people of Nimrud.

  5. Margaret Sandner-Gialamas

    There is nothing really to say about this article except to lament on the destruction of a powerful piece of culture and history. I’ve seen many an article lately about ISIS’ destruction of precious artifacts and it is truly appalling to see such a great loss. Especially when we look at the buffalo cave paintings and see that we are still learning from them, making a discovery about extinct species of buffalos, and how they still remain so relevant to this day. Now we are only left to ponder what could have been learnt from these sites in the wake of their destruction.

  6. Avery Haislip

    The destruction of these remains is a tragic reminder of what humans are capable of; fear, power, and hatred builds and leads to decisions and actions that are irreversible and devastating. These heartless acts destroyed precious memories of the past and is most harmful to those close and influenced by the structures. The past may be in ruins, but there is still time for reconciliation of the future.

  7. Luis Hidalgo

    The destruction of art should be considered a global issue and the Nimrud people are the victims. Art has multiple meanings to an array of people through memory and the powerful themes works contain that are so close to the people of the country. There is a lot of history in this location and the senseless destruction behind it needs to be stopped because of the cultural significance. People still have the ability to learn from these works, so having them taken away is not only destructive to their culture but our global community.

  8. Shane McKenzie

    The destruction os such classic artifacts is a shame to the country and its rich history. It is especially sad because it was done by such a hateful group for no apparent reason. Art can be a such a meaningful thing to a country especially one that has lasted 3 millenias. Hope is not all lost luckily because some of the significant pieces can scavenged and used in the future.

  9. Elisha Ayer

    It’s truly sad to see that art like this, that has stood for several millennium can be destroyed in a blink of an eye. Like any tyrant or evil power we have seen in history, they will always be the monsters that have tried and ultimately failed at wiping away culture and heritage by destroying art. If anything should come out of these brazen acts by ISIS, it should be seen as their great failure as they claim to be the true followers of Islam yet destroy such sacred and important monuments to the areas.

  10. Vincent Smiroldo

    Before reading this I did not even think about the people who have been spending large portions of their life studying these ancient cites and for them to almost vanish in a year is very sad. It is also upsetting that this part of Islamic history is just basically gone.It is going to be hard to keep doing research on something that has been destroyed like this. Finally without saying this is very wrong by ISIS but it is sad that they don’t really realize the ripple effect this has. People who would have had an interest in this part of Islamic history can’t visit the site themselves and do further research on it.

    1. admin Post author

      Keep in mind…Nimrud is not an Islamic site. Islam developed in the 7th century CE with the life of Muhammed.

  11. Denzel Saraka

    It’s always sad to hear news about classic artifacts being destroyed in other countries. Especially since its destruction disregards the lands ancient history and culture and causes future generations to not be able to learn from it. Luckily some of the artifacts were found in the rubble.

  12. will j britt

    Sadly ISIS has once again stuck fear, terror, and disrupted more people. It is a shame to have lost the historical art of Nimrud, so soon for its recent discovery was not fully understood by scientist. Sadly the trend of when a group finds power they feel the need wipe away the past continues. From ancient Egyptians to ISIS the sad reality continues, and the world needs to find a solution.

  13. Jacob Atkinson

    When I look to news outlets or social media and find headlines involving ISIS or hate groups of similar nature, I expect that article or information to make my skin crawl. This article is no exception. The blatant disregard for culture and centuries of important history that was riddled in every inch of these sites is a travesty. ISIS often behaves this way, whether they have a clear intent or not, they seem to act and target ways that will hit people on a deeper level than physical harm. These sites are very significant to the people from this area, and to devastate their way of life and demolish these cultural ties to their lives is an abomination of human decency.

  14. Tucker Chewning

    It’s very sad to see people destroy a sight as old and important to understanding ancient civilization as this. Hopefully as some experts may think some of these artifacts can be restored or where protected by being buried.

  15. Joshua Jenkins

    It is unfortunate to see the destruction of the Nimrud site by the Islamic State. Through its destruction the people of Nimrud have lost a huge part of history that can’t be replaced, that can be rebuilt but not by the ancestors before them. As an art and archeological society there should be a sense of urgency to come together to try and salvage any objects that can be salvaged before another senseless attack happens to another sacred part of history.

  16. Louis Johnson

    I think the Islamic State militants believe that establishing their dominance in the area requires eliminating all relics of the land’s history. By doing so I think they are helping to create a new world that is entirely influenced by them. That is why they are showing no respect for these historical sites.

  17. Allyson Kraft

    It is terrible to think that people or groups of people feel the need to get rid of such rich history. Art is important to a states historical and ancestral identity, tearing beautiful art down is like erasing that part of their heritage. While they had no respect for such great art, I’m sure in the future there will be more watchful eyes. Preservation of art is one of societies greatest compliments and accomplishments. Being able to have something so old and fragile still standing is an unbelievable accomplishment. Unfortunately not enough people, or not the right ones at least, are put in charge of preserving the lands history.

  18. Emily Siegfried

    It always hurts my heart and soul to find out that ancient architecture and artwork was destroyed or is being destroyed. ISIS destroying Nimrud reminds me a lot of the Nazi plundering and art theft that went on under the Third Reich. To me, it’s not just destruction of artwork and architecture, but is very clearly politically based as well. Hopefully, we will learn not to repeat the past one day…

  19. Nicole Paladeau

    We recently learned about the destruction of Dura-Europos in class. It is easy to look at the destruction in sites like this and Iraq for what they are: a heinous disregard for human life and history. As art historians, military strategists, and products of our material and cultural ancestors, we must investigate the question: why? Why would this terrorist organization disregard and even target precious sites like Nimrud? One quote from this article might explain one reason: “These gangs didn’t only destroy my city, they have destroyed the dearest things to my heart.” Art, architecture, and all types of material culture connect us to places. They form a sense of identity and sameness. By destroying a people’s material culture, you destroy part of their claim to that place and weaken their identity.

  20. Sean Ingraham

    The destruction of Nimrud and historical sites like it is truly a shame. The act of ISIS having no regard for the
    historical world around them just makes their legitimacy suffer more as an idea. The destruction of polytheistic, religious art for the preservation of a single monotheistic religion is an unrealistic goal that can not be achieved globally but we should still be very upset with what is happening to art in the Middle East.

  21. stephanie overbeck

    This article was hard to read. I never hear about what these groups do to cultures artwork. I only hear about the horrible stuff these groups do that involves killing other people. But to read this article was really hard to take in. The article had quotes from other people that talked about how hard it was to see this happening because these artifacts were all some people had. It’s really hard to watch and see what people do especially destroying things you can’t replace.

  22. Dylan Burkett

    It’s unbelievable that this group of people carelessly destroy such historical pieces of work. We always hear about how they are terrorizing other people in our world, but we never really hear about what they are doing to these magnificent pieces of history. I know I couldn’t imagine being part of an organization that viewed my country’s history as inferior to my own to the point where I feel no guilt in destroying such impressive ancient works of art.

  23. John Wray

    Destroying the ancient ruins of these cites is a heart breaking site. It also show that in times of stress people become stronger together and they will help each other and the community get through something like this. It shows the power of faith and how it can overcome anythings. There are many things out there that have yet to be discovered and we can only hope that no one that wants to destroy them will find them.

  24. Blake Johnson

    It makes me sad that these pieces of art have been destroyed. That was a piece of history that you now can not get back. All the people who spent years studying it and working hard to learn more about it, now all their hard work just went down the drain. It just makes me sad because you cannot replace what has been destroyed.

  25. Alondra n Anderson

    It is devastating to hear so many stories of great art works being destroyed. I think that it is sad that there have potentially been many very valuable art works that have been destroyed that no one has gotten the chance to study.


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