ISIS Bulldozes Ancient Site
Militants set about destroying city of Nimrud, near Mosul
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2015 4:38 PM CST
A carving from Nimrud, in a piece preserved at the British Museum.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – ISIS continues to take a sledgehammer to history: Iraqi officials say militants from the Islamic State have begun bulldozing the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, reports AP. The city sprang up on the Tigris River in the 13th century BC and is "considered one of the most important archaeological operations in the world," notes the New York Times. The destruction—the extent of it isn't yet clear—follows the release of a video last week showing militants destroying artifacts at the Mosul Museum.

"I'm sorry to say everybody was expecting this," an Iraqi archaeologist at Stony Brook University tells AFP. "Their plan is to destroy Iraqi heritage, one site at a time." Abdulamir Hamdani predicted that the city of Hatra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, would be next. "I'm devastated, but it was just a matter of time." In the video from the museum, one militant attempts to explain the destruction: "These artifacts behind me are idols for people from ancient times who worshiped them instead of God."