Scarlet Ware was first documented in the Diyala River basin in Iraq. Later, it was also found in the nearby Hamrin Basin , and in Luristan.
There is a large body of evidence to show that Assyrian monarchs built extensively in Nineveh during the late 3rd and 2nd millenniums BC; it appears to have been originally an "Assyrian provincial town". It was Sennacherib who made Nineveh a truly magnificent city c. It comprised at least 80 rooms, many of which were lined with sculpture. A large number of cuneiform tablets were found in the palace. One picture shows 44 men towing a colossal statue. The carving shows three men directing the operation while standing on the Colossus.
Once the statues arrived at their destination, the final carving was done. The stone carvings in the walls include many battle scenes, impalings and scenes showing Sennacherib's men parading the spoils of war before him. The inscriptions boasted of his conquests: he wrote of Babylon: "Its inhabitants, young and old, I did not spare, and with their corpses I filled the streets of the city. Earthworks I threw up against him, and anyone coming out of his city gate I made pay for his crime.
His cities which I had plundered I had cut off from his land. At this time, the total area of Nineveh comprised about 7 square kilometres 1, acres , and fifteen great gates penetrated its walls.
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Some scholars believe that the garden which Sennacherib built next to his palace, with its associated irrigation works, comprised the original Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The greatness of Nineveh was short-lived. Most of the people in the city who could not escape to the last Assyrian strongholds in the north and west were either massacred or deported out of the city and into the countryside where they founded new settlements. Many unburied skeletons were found by the archaeologists at the site.
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Assyria, including the Nineveh region, continued to exist as a geo-political entity Achaemenid Assyria , Athura , Assuristan etc. From the Arab Islamic Conquest in AD until the modern period, the city of Mosul on the opposite bank of the Tigris became the successor of ancient Nineveh. Some modern English translations interpret "Ashur" in the Hebrew of this verse as the country "Assyria" rather than a person, thus making Nimrod , rather than Ashur, the founder of Nineveh.
Sir Walter Raleigh 's notion that Nimrod built Nineveh, and the cities in Genesis —12, has also been refuted by scholars. Its ruin and utter desolation are foretold. In fulfillment of prophecy, God made "an utter end of the place". It became a "desolation". The prophet Zephaniah also  predicts its destruction along with the fall of the empire of which it was the capital. Nineveh is also the setting of the Book of Tobit. The Book of Jonah , set in the days of the Assyrian empire, describes it   as an "exceedingly great city of three days' journey in breadth", whose population at that time is given as "more than ,".
The ruins of Kouyunjik , Nimrud , Karamles and Khorsabad form the four corners of an irregular quadrangle. The ruins of Nineveh, with the whole area included within the parallelogram they form by lines drawn from the one to the other, are generally regarded as consisting of these four sites. The Book of Jonah depicts Nineveh as a wicked city worthy of destruction. God sent Jonah to preach to the Ninevites of their coming destruction, and they fasted and repented because of this.
As a result, God spared the city; when Jonah protests against this, God states He is showing mercy for the population who are ignorant of the difference between right and wrong "who cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand"  and mercy for the animals in the city. Nineveh's repentance and salvation from evil can be found in the Jewish Tanakh also read by Christians and the Muslim Quran. The Christians observing this holiday fast by refraining from food and drink.
Churches encourage followers to refrain from meat, fish and dairy products. Before the great archaeological excavations in the 19th century, there was almost no historical knowledge of the great Assyrian empire and of its magnificent capital.
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Other cities that had perished, such as Palmyra , Persepolis , and Thebes , had left ruins to mark their sites and tell of their former greatness; but of this city, imperial Nineveh, no vestige seemed to remain, and the very place on which it had stood became only a matter of conjecture.
It was buried out of sight.
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In his History of the World written c. This was still regarded as correct information when news of Layard's discoveries see below reached the west. The location of Ninevah was known, to some, continuously through the Middle Ages. Benjamin of Tudela visited it in ; Petachiah of Regensburg soon after. Carsten Niebuhr recorded its location during the —67 Danish expedition.
Niebuhr wrote afterwards that "I did not learn that I was at so remarkable a spot, till near the river. Then they showed me a village on a great hill, which they call Nunia, and a mosque, in which the prophet Jonah was buried. Another hill in this district is called Kalla Nunia, or the Castle of Nineveh. On that lies a village Koindsjug. The locals whom he employed in these excavations, to their great surprise, came upon the ruins of a building at the mound of Khorsabad , which, on further exploration, turned out to be the royal palace of Sargon II , in which large numbers of reliefs were found and recorded, though they had been damaged by fire and were mostly too fragile to remove.
In the young British diplomat Austen Henry Layard explored the ruins. He also unearthed the palace and famous library of Ashurbanipal with 22, cuneiform clay tablets. Most of Layard's material was sent to the British Museum , but two large pieces were given to Lady Charlotte Guest and eventually found their way to the Metropolitan Museum. The work of exploration was carried on by George Smith , Hormuzd Rassam a modern Assyrian , and others, and a vast treasury of specimens of Assyria was incrementally exhumed for European museums.
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Palace after palace was discovered, with their decorations and their sculptured slabs, revealing the life and manners of this ancient people, their arts of war and peace, the forms of their religion, the style of their architecture, and the magnificence of their monarchs. The mound of Kouyunjik was excavated again by the archaeologists of the British Museum , led by Leonard William King , at the beginning of the 20th century.
Their efforts concentrated on the site of the Temple of Nabu , the god of writing, where another cuneiform library was supposed to exist. However, no such library was ever found: most likely, it had been destroyed by the activities of later residents. The excavations started again in , under the direction of Campbell Thompson, who had taken part in King's expeditions. Here, near the northwestern corner of the walls, beyond the pavement of a later building, the archaeologists found almost fragments of prisms recording the royal annals of Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, and Ashurbanipal, beside a prism of Esarhaddon which was almost perfect.
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