“Should not I have pity on Ninveh that great city wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand and also much cattle?’” Jonah 4:11 (The Israel Bible™)
The palace of the Biblical King Sennacherib, long buried underneath the tomb of the prophet Jonah in the Biblical city of Nineveh, has incredibly been discovered by Iraqi archaeologists as a result of efforts by the Islamic State (ISIS) to destroy the site and loot its priceless antiquities.
The shrine is, according to tradition, built on the burial site of Jonah, known as Nabi Yunis in the Koran. Located in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the structure was destroyed by ISIS in July 2014. When the city was liberated by Iraqi troops a few weeks ago, archaeologist were dismayed to find that not only had ISIS used dynamite to destroy the shrine, but the terror group had tunneled underneath and carried away hundreds of artifacts to sell on the black market.
However, the tunnels revealed a completely unexpected treasure: the 2,300-year-old palace of King Sennacherib, mentioned in the Bible. During Sennacherib‘s reign, Nineveh was one of the richest cities in the world. His military campaign against the Kingdom of Judah is described in the Bible.
After these things, and this faithfulness, Sancheriv king of Ashur came, and entered into Yehudah, and encamped against the fortified cities, and thought to make a breach therein for himself. II Chronicles 32:1
The palace, built by Sennacherib, who ruled Assyria from 705 BCE to 681 BCE, was later expanded by his son, Esarhaddon (681-669 BC). The palace was partly destroyed during the Sack of Nineveh in 612 BCE.
Archaeologists are working desperately to save whatever they can, as the tunnels are unstable.
“I can only imagine how much Daesh (ISIS) discovered down there before we got here,” Iraqi archaeologist Layla Salih, who is supervising the team carrying out the emergency exploration, told the Telegraph. “We believe they took many of the artifacts, such as pottery and smaller pieces, away to sell. But what they left will be studied and will add a lot to our knowledge of the period.”