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The site of the city is a gentle depression in a semi desert land between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates known as Al Jazirah. Due to it being in a isolated, near desert location little to no excavation work had been done on the site, until in 1951 the Iraqi government decided to begin examining the site. Prior archaeological expeditions had only measured and mapped the ruins. The excavations of the 1950's resulted in the discovery of at least twelve further temples and since 1960 restoration work has been underway to preserve the structures, as well as continued archaeological excavations.
Most structures are built in limestone an gypsum and are a mixture of Assyrian, Hellenistic, Parthian and Roman styles.
The fortress city of Hatra arose in Al Jazirah, where it guarded the two main caravan routes connecting Mesopotamia with Syria and Asia Minor. The date of its foundation is subject of some debate. Most likely it was the Assyrians, but by the first century BC it had undoubtedly grown into a fortified city.
The present day remains date back to between the first century BC and the second century AD.
Fortification was immense. The city is guarded by two city walls. Once any enemy had crossed the first wall, he'd still be faced with a moat and the second wall. In fact the heavily fortified gates of the second wall can only be reached by ascending up ramps which run parallel to the wall.
Originally posted by Cheerfulnihilist
I once made the aquaintance of an Iraq war veteren. He was seriously wounded in Fallujah and because of that, he fell into the anxietal trap of pity, self-loathing and hate that claim the sanity of so many lost and hurt young veterens. He ranted how he knew the true reason of why his country was over there and it was because of the musings of fundamentalist soldiers he met who approve of reclaiming the Land of Abraham, that it was a protestant agenda to own the land of Eden, a trump against the Universal faith, concluding once and for all, the true land of god is the USA....Whether it was the massive amounts of pain killers and booze he was accustomed to consuming to kill his pain that made him claim that statement (he was an ardent atheist before the war) so it could have been projected hatred towards christian Americans or there could be some truth to his wild claim.