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ISIS destroys Temple of Nabu at Nimrud, Nergal Gate at Nineveh

June 8, 2016

Yesterday, ISIS sources released two videos showcasing the destruction of archaeological sites at Nineveh and Nimrud. There is significant overlap between the videos, but put together they show the destruction of several items not noted in yesterday’s post about the destruction of the gates of Nineveh and the Southwest Palace.

The Nergal Gate

Some of the footage shows a bulldozer destroying the Mashki Gate in Nineveh. This was already depicted in a photo essay released by ISIS and the video footage is nearly identical.

However, a brief scene shows a bulldozer backing down the ramp from the Nergal Gate, turning, and disgorging a section of a lamassu sculpture into a waiting dump truck:


Another shot shows a bulldozer making a hole through the rear of the gate and toppling what remains of the lamassu on the right with its shovel. The lamassu on the left appears to have already been destroyed:


Readers may recall that ISIS fighters chiseled the face off of the right lamassu last February. This suggests that ISIS has gone back to re-destroy artifacts that it already destroyed once, in order to get footage for new videos.

The lamassus at the Nergal Gate were originally installed during Sennacherib’s massive expansion of Nineveh between 704 and 690 BC. They were originally uncovered by Sir Austen Henry Layard in 1849 but reburied. In 1941 heavy rains exposed them again, and the reconstruction of the Nergal Gate was built in part to protect the statues.[1] These were some of the few lamassu which remained in the location where they were originally discovered.

The reconstructed gate itself appears to have sustained some damage to the rear wall but is still standing.

The Nergal Gate as seen in 2006. (Photo by Diane Siebrandt/U.S. State Department)

The Nergal Gate as seen in 2006. (Photo by Diane Siebrandt/U.S. State Department)

The Temple of Nabu at Nimrud

Additional footage shows several exterior shots of the Fish Gate of the Ezida Temple of Nabu at Nimrud. As with the gates at Nineveh, the gate and the walls are modern reconstructions. The statues at the entrance were once mermen, but their heads were broken off in antiquity, leading to the structure being called the “Fish Gate.”[2]







Video taken from several angles shows explosives being detonated behind and under the arch. The double dust cloud is caused by gasses and debris venting through the arch.

NabuTempleExplosion1 NabuTempleExplosion3NabuTemple_2NabuTemple_3

As can be seen in after shots, the arch collapsed but the majority of the structure is still standing. This is confirmed by satellite photographs which show the damage was done sometime prior to June 3, 2016.


The mermen sculptures appear to have suffered heavy damage. Fragments of one can be seen in a shot of the rubble pile:


In a move surely calculated to provoke a media reaction, the video concluded with an ISIS member stating that the group intends to go to Egypt and blow up the pyramids and the sphinx.

The worship of Nabu originated in Borsippa in southern Mesopotamia and later spread north. The Ezida Temple of Nabu at Nimrud was built by Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883-859 BC) as one of nine temples he founded at Nimrud. Excavations in the 19th century by Hormuzd Rassam and in the 20th century by Max Mallowan discovered several colossal statues (now preserved in the Iraq Museum) and a large number of shrines and dedicatory inscriptions as well as a collection of cuneiform texts related to the operation of the temple.[3]


[1] J.P.G. Finch, “The Winged Bulls at the Nergal Gate of Nineveh,” Iraq 10, No. 1 (Spring 1948): 9-18.

[2] Joan Oates and David Oates, Nimrud: An Assyrian Imperial City Revealed (London: British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 2001), 111-112.

[3] Oates and Oates, Nimrud: An Assyrian Imperial City Revealed, 111-123.

Article © Christopher Jones 2016.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2016 12:56 PM

    Reblogged this on Tome and Tomb and commented:
    Backward, barbarian sons a bitches…

  2. June 8, 2016 2:23 PM

    Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.

  3. Shirley permalink
    June 8, 2016 5:52 PM

    Why are people surprised by this? These are the descendants of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, of the Philistines and worshipers of Baal . Obama’s beloved Muslim brethren.

    • Hugo Sanders permalink
      June 10, 2016 3:08 AM

      We must never forget that 99.99% of Muslims are kind, law abiding good reasonable and fair minded people just like us.

      • Jose Montenegro permalink
        June 11, 2016 8:14 PM

        Well, let’s say 95%

      • Gerri Habitz permalink
        June 13, 2016 1:24 PM

        Well, then how about that 99.99% or 95% of Muslims take a stand to help fight these barbarians instead of living the Life of Riley within the walls of the United States of America where they stand aloof and separate from everyone else and they build huge mansions bordered with tall arbor vitae or brick walls? How about they alert their local/state/federal governments when they know for certain that someone is an ISIS sympathizer? They play a nice game of “innocence” until the day when they put on the bomb belt and blow up a neighborhood….then its “hail to our madman leader.”

    • Greg Bacon permalink
      June 10, 2016 6:01 AM

      Good thing Israel’s providing these ISIS terrorists with medical care in Golan Heights field hospitals are the crazies might turn on Israel.

      The illegal wars are one thing, but this is way beyond that.

    • July 3, 2017 2:09 AM

      Shirley, there are no escendants of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah; perhaps you hadn’t read the part of the Bible where God obliterated Sodom, Admah, Gomorrah, and Zebo’im in fire and brimstone. And Israel destroyed the Philistines. Last I checked the members of Isis aren’t giants. The members of Isis are simply demonically possessed blasphemous people from various nationalities and cultures who seek to bring about the end of the world. They have somehow deemed themselves superior to everyone else, though they are descended from Adam like everyone else and are vile sinners.

  4. Michael Dean Miller permalink
    June 10, 2016 3:08 PM


    Moslems….The Religion of Pieces.


  5. JAMES GLASS permalink
    June 11, 2016 3:12 PM


  6. June 11, 2016 4:38 PM

    Mashki gate is a Bulgarian name meaning Gate of Men. God Nabu has the Bulgarian name Nabu meaning Sky. Ezida temple is named after the Shining of the Star of Venus called Za / ZaRa in Bulgarian language. The town of Nimrud is named after the Mother Godess of Ancient Bulgarians MaRa – Nimrud means Given by Mara Godess. The very name of Iraq is after the Bulgarian word for river RaKa. Ancient Bulgarians were the first human beings and first inhabitants of Middle east many thousands of years ago. They spread with their Schytian tribes (Schytians meaning Wanderers) all around the area and formed many states and beautiful towns. They brought with themselves the names of their Gods and Godesses. They were enlightened sages. Their history has been a subject for destruction and cover up for centuries. –

    • July 3, 2017 2:23 AM

      aliyaosho, the Scythians were descended from Noah’s son Shem and were merely people from the Babylonian Empire under King Nimrod, for which Nimrud is named. The scythians were not even identified as a separate culture from Persians until 9 BC! The Scythians moved into the territory already claimed by Noah’s son Japheth – which is everything from the Caucasus and Turkey westward, including Bulgaria. But you are free to live in your fantasy world if it makes you feel better and makes you think you’re more special than anyone else. *yawn*


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