BAGHDAD—Islamic State militants “bulldozed” the ancient Nimrud archaeological site near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Thursday using heavy military vehicles, the government said.

A statement from Iraq’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities didn’t elaborate on the extent of the damage, saying only that the group continues to “defy the will of the world and the feelings of humanity” with this latest act.1


ISIS, like so many iconoclastic extremist groups through history, seeks to destroy the record of the past. In the past week, video has circulated showing absurdly dressed figures wielding rather new-looking sledgehammers and destroying archaeological objects in the Mosul Museum.

The spectacle would be ridiculous and pathetic if it were not so tragic.

Although there are suggestions that some objects destroyed are only copies, many are said to be unique and irreplaceable objects that had survived thousands of years -- until now.

ISIS has been busy trying to damage the famed Nergal Gate entry to the ancient city of Nineveh -- a city with a history reaching back thousands of years -- and most recently it is reportedly bulldozing the site of Nimrud, capital of the 9th-century B.C. Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II, and source of the famed Nimrud ivories. These ivories were first cleaned by none other than Agatha Christie while accompanying her archaeologist husband, Max Mallowan, during his excavation2

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