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Agargoaf, Iraq

An ancient monument city, some 30 km to the north west of Baghdad, built on a Sumero-Babylonian plan in the 15th century BC by King Kurigalzo (thus anciently named "Dur Kurigalzo" which means: the city of King Kurigalzo), on an elongated tongue of natural limestone, and lasted as the capital of the Kassite Dynasty in Mesopotamia up to the end of the 11th century BC.

Water came to Agargoaf from a large river branched out of the Euphrates called by the Babylonian "Bitty Inlil" - the canal of the god Inlil, one of the greatest in the ancient Mesopotamian pantheon.

The great ziggurat of Agargoaf

The city's great ziggurat, built by the Kassites during the rule of King Kurigalzo II (1344-1324 BC), though partially ruined, commands the view with its 57 m height over the surrounding plain. Its base was 69x67 m.

Only the lower level has survived, reinforced by an outer brick wall, with parts of the inner mud-brick core still protruding high above it. To hold the structure together matting and ropes were used every 8 or 9 rows, which also protected it from seepage and damp. The first story has 3 staircases in the middle, and 2 on the sides.

Other remains to see there are a number of palaces, temples, and living quarters. Indications are that the city was inhabited right through the later Babylonian age and, in parts, in Islamic times.

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