The ancient palace of the Assyrian King Sennacherib, who is mentioned in the Bible, has been uncovered after Islamic State militants destroyed the tomb of the prophet Jonah which was on top of the palace.
As the Islamic State is pushed out of areas in Iraq and Syria that they controlled since 2014, archaeologists are being given the chance to study new discoveries. It is thought that the Islamic State has ransacked various ancient tombs and landmarks to collect valuables to sell on the black market in order to fund their operation.
“I can only imagine how much Daesh discovered down there before we got here,” archaeologist Layla Salih 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,” Salih added.
The palace of King Sennacherib dates back to the seventh century B.C. The Assyrian King is mentioned in the Bible in II Chronicles 32:1 which says, “After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself.”
King Hezekiah of Israel trusted in the Lord to deliver Israel from Sennacherib and the Assyrians. You can read about the story in II Chronicles 32 or II Kings 18-19.
Along with the palace, archaeologists uncovered stone sculptures of an Assyrian demi-goddess, as well as a cuneiform inscription of another Assyrian king, King Esarhaddon, who renovated the palace which was built for Sennacherib.