Nimrud (/nɪmˈruːd/; Arabic: النمرود) is the later Arab name for an ancient Assyrian city located 30 kilometres (20 mi) south of the city of Mosul, and 5 kilometres (3 mi) south of the village of Selamiyah (Arabic: السلامية), in the Nineveh plains in northern Mesopotamia. It was a major Assyrian city between approximately 1250 BC and 610 BC. The city is located in a strategic position 10 kilometres (6 mi) north of the point that the river Tigris meets its tributary the Great Zab. The city covered an area of 360 hectares (890 acres). The ruins of the city were found within one kilometre (1,100 yd) of the modern-day Assyrian village of Noomanea in Nineveh Province, Iraq. This is some 30 kilometres (19 mi) southeast of Mosul.Archaeological excavations at the site began in 1845, and were conducted at intervals between then and 1879, and then from 1949 onwards. Many important pieces were discovered, with most being moved to museums in Iraq and abroad. In 2013 the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council established the ""Nimrud Project"" in order to identify and record the history of the world's collection of artefacts from Nimrud, distributed amongst at least 76 museums worldwide (including 36 in the United States and 13 in the United Kingdom).Archeologists believe that the city was given the name Nimrud in modern times after the Biblical Nimrod, a legendary hunting hero. The city was identified as the Biblical city of Calah (Kalhu, Kalakh; in Hebrew כלח and in Greek χαλαχ), first referred to alongside Nimrod in Genesis 10, by Henry Rawlinson in 1850 on the basis of a possible interpretation of the city's cuneiform proper name as ""Levekh"".In 2015, the militant organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced its intention to destroy the site because of its ""un-Islamic"" nature. In March 2015, the Iraqi government reported that ISIL had used bulldozers to destroy excavated remains of the city. A video released in the same month showed a lamassu statue in the city being attacked with a sledgehammer. Another video posted online by the group in April 2015 showed the site being destroyed by bulldozers and explosives.