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Destruction of Mosul shrine reveals ancient palace

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 12, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.



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MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi archaeologists think that tunnels dug by militants under a destroyed shrine in Mosul have revealed the palace of an ancient Assyrian king who ruled some 2,700 years ago.

Islamic State fighters blew up the shrine of the biblical Jonah's tomb in 2014 after taking control of the city. They started digging tunnels into the side of the hill under the shrine, leading to the discovery.

Ancient inscriptions and winged bulls and lions were found deep in the tunnels, thought to be part of the palace of King Esarhaddon, who ruled the Neo-Assyrian empire in the 7th century B.C.

The militants may have been looking for artifacts to loot. IS was pushed out of eastern Mosul by Iraqi forces in January. The battle continues for western Mosul.

%@AP Links

APPHOTO BKM106: Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed) (11 Mar 2017)

<<APPHOTO BKM106 (03/11/17)££

APPHOTO BKM102: Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed) (11 Mar 2017)

<<APPHOTO BKM102 (03/11/17)££

APPHOTO BKM103: Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed) (11 Mar 2017)

<<APPHOTO BKM103 (03/11/17)££

APPHOTO BKM105: Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed) (11 Mar 2017)

<<APPHOTO BKM105 (03/11/17)££

APPHOTO BKM110: Iraqi security forces guard the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed) (11 Mar 2017)

<<APPHOTO BKM110 (03/11/17)££

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The Associated Press

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