Today, Nineveh's location is marked by two large
mounds, Kouyunjik and Nabi Yunus "Prophet
Jonah", and the remains of the city walls
(about 12 km/7.5 mi in circumference). Kouyunjik
has been extensively explored. The other mound,
Nabi Yunus, has not been extensively explored
because there is a Muslim shrine dedicated
to that prophet on the site.
In the 19th century, the French consul at
Mosul began to search the vast mounds that
lay along the opposite bank of the river. The
Arabs whom he employed in these excavations,
to their great surprise, came upon the ruins
of a building at the mound of Khorsabad, which,
on further exploration, turned out to be the
royal palace of Sargon, which were largely
explored for sculptures and other precious
In 1847 the young British adventurer Sir Austen
Henry Layard explored the ruins. In the Kuyunjik
mound Layard rediscovered in 1849 the lost
palace of Sennacherib across the Tigris River
from modern Mosul in northern Iraq, with its
71 rooms and colossal bas-reliefs. He also
unearthed the palace and famous library of
Ashurbanipal with 22,000 inscribed clay tablets.
The study of the archaeology of Nineveh reveals
the wealth and glory of ancient Assyria under
kings such as Esarhaddon (681-669 B.C.) and
Ashurbanipal (669-626 B.C.).
The excavations started again in 1927, under
the direction of Campbell Thompson, who had
already taken part in King's expeditions. These
excavations, however, were rather unfortunate.
Some works were carried out outside Kouyunjik,
for instance on the mound of Nebi Yunus, which
was the ancient arsenal of Nineveh, or along
the outside walls. Here, near the North-Western
corner of the walls, beyond the pavement of
a later building, the archaeologists found
almost 300 fragments of prisms recording the
royal annals of Sennacherib, Esarhaddon and
Ashurbanipal, besides a prism of Esarhaddon which was almost perfect.
Sennacherib's Prism- Column6
"after I had completed the palace
in the midst of the city
of Nineveh for my
royal residence" Full
translation of the Prism
The Fall of Nineveh Chronicle
"The twelfth year
[614-613]: In the month Âbu
the Medes, after they had matched against Nineveh,
hastened and they captured Tarbisu, a city
in the district of Nineveh"
Assyrians I mean who dwelt at Nineveh, and
who formerly had been rulers of the whole,
but at that time they were left without support
their allies having revolted from them, though
at home they were prosperous enough." Herodotus
Histories - Book 1
Jonah 1:2 Arise,
go to Nineveh,
that great city, and cry against
it; for their wickedness is
come up before me.
Zephaniah 2:13 And
he will stretch out his hand against the north,
destroy Assyria; and
will make Nineveh a
desolation, and dry like a wilderness.
2 Kings 19:36 So Sennacherib
king of Assyria departed, and went and returned,
and dwelt at Nineveh.