Modern Nimrud, from mound to museum

The ancient city of Kalhu was gradually abandoned about 2000 years ago, collapsing in on itself to become an unassuming mound of earth. In the 1840s it came to life again, this time as the archaeological site of Nimrud. In these pages we will explore how Kalhu became Nimrud, and how archaeological knowledge has been produced from it.

1950s archaeological plan of Nimrud, updated for Oates and Oates 2001

Image 1: Archaeological site map of Nimrud, first produced for the BSAI TT  excavations in the 1950s and updated by David and Joan Oates (1). It shows all the major buildings on the citadel TT  that have been excavated since the 1840s. © BSAI/BISI

On the mound

The archaeological site of Nimrud has been the subject of investigation since the 1840s - a similar length of time to its heyday as Assyria's most important royal city. This section considers the changing images of the ancient city of Kalhu produced by successive generations of researchers.

At the museum

Museums do not only store and display objects from archaeological sites like Nimrud. They are also important centres of research in their own right. These case studies from museums in the UK explore some of the behind-the-scenes investigations being carried out on Nimrud objects in 2013-14.

18 Dec 2019 nimrud at oracc dot org


  1. Oates, D. and J. Oates, 2001. Nimrud, An Assyrian Imperial City Revealed, London: British School of Archaeology in Iraq ( free PDF from BISI, 128 MB), pp. Fig. 10. (Find in text ^)
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The Nimrud Project at / Content released under a CC BY-SA 3.0 licence, 2013-14
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