The reliefs of Maltai (Halamata)

The monumental rock carving complexes of Maltai (locally known as Halamata) and Khinis

(Bavian) are associated with an extensive canal network built by the Assyrian king Sennacherib (704-681 BC). The need to bring water to Nineveh, his new capital, led to the construction of an impressive water-management system composed of a network of canals (about 240 km), tunnels, and aqueducts, with dams and reservoirs. This building project lasted for 15 years, from 702 to 688 BC1

In addition to its functional aspects, such as the supply of water to the new capital and for irrigation, this vast hydraulic system was also of propagandistic, ideological and religious importance. For this reason Sennacherib furnished the canals with monumental rock reliefs, in which he is portrayed accompanied by deities, with inscriptions that celebrate him as the executor of the work2.

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The Khinis-Bavian reliefs

The Khinis monumental complex, like that of Maltai, is associated with the great water- management network built by Sennacherib. It is located on a rock face on the right-hand side of the River Gomel, at the beginning of the canal dug by the Assyrian sovereign to redirect the river and use it to irrigate the land around Nineveh and take water to his capital city.

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WORKING TEAM

The first phase of the methodological path consisted of the acquisition of the cartographic documentation relating to the archaeological complex…

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ARCHAEO PARK

The project is aimed at the conservation of cultural heritage and the strengthening of the local economy through the creation of an Archaeological Environmental Park.

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NOMINATION FORMAT

Sennacherib’s irrigation system was built by the Neo-Assyrian ruler to bring water to his new capital, Nineveh, and to irrigate its hinterland.

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