Hidden Palace Of Assyrian King Sennacherib Unearthed Beneath The Tomb Of Prophet Jonah

First Posted: Mar 08, 2017 03:37 AM EST

The long-hidden palace of ancient Assyrian King Sennacherib was found underneath the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah, in which it was ravaged by Islamic State in 2014. The said militants were digging tunnels in search for ancient artifacts to plunder and sell them to the black market.

The palace dated back around 600 BC was built by King Sennacherib, who ruled Assyria from 705 BCE to 681 BCE. It was later enlarged by his son, Esarhaddon, King Sennacherib's successor. During the reign of Sennacherib, Nineveh, one of the oldest cities in Assyria, was also one of the richest cities in the world. Sennacherib's military campaign against the Kingdom of Judah was mentioned in the Bible. Meanwhile, the palace was partly destroyed during the Sack of Nineveh in 612 BCE, according to Breaking Israel News.

The shrine was built on the burial site of the Prophet Jonah, who preached to Nineveh to turn to God and repent their sins during the reign of Jeroboam in 780 BC to 750 BC. It was written in the Bible that the people of Nineveh listened to the Prophet Jonah and repented their sins. His burial site was in the northern Iraq city of Mosul. Meanwhile, the ISIS destroyed the shrine using the dynamite.

Iraqi archaeologist Layla Salih, who led the emergency exploration, said that she can only imagine how much Daesh (ISIS) discovered down there before they got there. They thought that the Daesh took many of the artifacts like pottery and smaller pieces away to sell. On the other hand, those things that were left by them will be examined and could aid the researchers in understanding the life during that period. Salih also found a marble cuneiform inscription of Assyrian King Esarhaddon inside one of the tunnels, which dated back around 672 BC, according to Fox News. 

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