Nimrud (Caleh in Biblical terms) was a city of the ancient Assyrian empire. It was located on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, south of the city of Nineveh - 37km southeast of the modern city of Mosul in Iraq. The city was founded by Shalmanenser I in the mid-13th century BCE; Assurnasirpal II made it the capital in the 9th century BCE, which it remained until the title was transferred to Khorsabad around 710 BCE. Nimrud was destroyed by the Medes in 612 BCE (the same date as the sack of Nineveh.)

The ruins of Nimrud were first discovered and excavated by Henry Layard during his 1847-1851 expedition to Mesopotamia. Layard removed a number of stunning pieces of artwork from the palace of Assurnasirpal II, including a pair of winged bull statues and a number of finely carved ivory plaques. Some of these were given to Layard's friends and acquaintances, while a large number ended up in the British Museum in London.

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