Introducing the city of Idu, a once-thriving metropolis in what is now northern Iraq. Archeologists discovered its ruins beneath a mound in the Kurdistan region and say Idu was a major city about 3,000 years ago, reports LiveScience. It belonged to the Assyrian Empire, except for a relatively brief era of independence, and the Assyrians used it as a base from which to rule neighboring territory.
The art and inscriptions recovered paint a picture of grand palaces, with one ruler—named Ba'ilanu, for the record—boasting that his mansion was "greater than that of his fathers." LiveScience also notes that the find is interesting for another reason: Archeological digs in northern Iraq have been few and far between for decades because of the region's continuous conflict. Proof: Signs of Saddam Hussein's attack on a nearby village in 1987 are still visible, say the researchers. (Read more Iraq stories.)