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Balawat is a village in Northern Iraqmarker, 25 km (15 miles) southeast from the city of Mosulmarker. It is the site of the ancient Assyrian city of Imgur-Enlil.

The city of Imgur-Enlil

The city of Imgur-Enlil was founded by the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (884-859 BC). It lay 10 km (7 miles) up the Derrah river from the Tigrismarker, where the city of Kalhu (see Nimrudmarker) was situated. Imgur-Enlil lay between the city of Ninevehmarker and the province of Arrapha in the southeast along the royal Assyrian road. Ashurnasirpal II had already transferred the capital from Assurmarker to Kalhu, and the foundation of Imgur-Enlil may have been a further step to knit up the Assyrian empire. The city existed for two centuries but was, like all Assyrian cities, sacked and destroyed by the Medes and Babylonians at the fall of the Assyrian empire 614-612 BC.

Discovery of the Balawat gates

The city was discovered in 1876 by the Assyrian explorer Hormuzd Rassam. Except from temples and palace buildings, the most important artefacts discovered there were the so-called Balawat gates. These were made up of 13 bronze bands attached through nails to two wooden gates of the palace. The bronze bands depict a sacrifice and war scenes from the campaigns of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III(859-824 BC), and were the first depictions of landscape elements (such as trees and mountains) in Assyrian art. The Balawat gates are now on display in the British Museummarker, Londonmarker.

Post U.S.-Iraq War construction

In November 2004, the village was awarded by the United States Army construction of its roads that connected the village to the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrod and the current Assyrian village of Bakhdidamarker (Al Hamdaniyah.) The project was dubed "Ninewa Village Roads Project" and was funded by the U.S. government. The contract to build the roads was given to the "Ashour General Construction Contracting Company" and cost $1,120,000.


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