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Southwest Palace at Kalhu

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Jamie Novotny
Contributors: Jeffrey Becker
Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Jan 18, 2021 10:41 AM History
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The seventh-century-BC Assyrian king Esarhaddon (r. 680–669 BC) started building a royal residence in the southwest corner of the citadel of Kalhu (biblical Calah, modern Nimrud). Sculpted and inscribed limestone slabs from the Central Palace (constructed by Tiglath-pileser III [r. 744–727 BC]) and the Northwest Palace (built by Ashurnasirpal II [r. 883–859 BC]) were used as building materials for this royal residence, which very likely remained unfinished at the time of Esarhaddon’s death in 669 BC. Its excavators called it the “Southwest Palace” since it was located in the southwest corner of the citadel.

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The Southwest Palace, named after its location in the Kalhu citadel, was (partial) excavated by Austen Henry Layard in 1845–51, Hormuzd Rassam in 1853–54, William Kennett Loftus in 1854, George Smith in 1873, and Sir Max Mallowan in 1951. The building was constructed by the seventh-century-BC Assyrian king Esarhaddon (r. 680–669 BC), including reused (inscribed and inscribed) limestone slabs taken from earlier palaces constructed at Kalhu, especially from the Central Palace, which was located north of the Southwest Palace and south of the Northwest Palace.

It is generally assumed that Esarhaddon started work on this palace late in his reign, perhaps ca. 672 BC (his ninth regnal year), and that it remained unfinished at the time of his death in 669 BC. It is unknown if this Assyrian king was constructing the palace for himself or for his fourth-eldest son Ashurbanipal, whom he had nominated as heir designate of the Assyrian Empire; for example, see RINAP 4 online Esarhaddon 079, which records that Esarhaddon had a royal residence built for Ashurbanipal at Kalhu.

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Jamie Novotny, and Jeffrey Becker, 'Southwest Palace at Kalhu: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2021 <> [accessed: 11 December 2023]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 480919150 (Southwest Palace at Kalhu) |author=Novotny, J. |accessdate=December 11, 2023 1:54 am |publisher=Pleiades}}