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ancient Assyrian city located northeast of Nineveh, in Iraq. Built between 717 and 707 BC by the Assyrian king Sargon II (reigned 721-705), Dur Sharrukin exhibits careful town planning. The city measured about one mile square (2.59 square km); its outer walls were pierced by seven fortified gates. An inner wall enclosed a temple to Nabu (a god of vegetation and the patron of the art of writing), the royal palace, and the elaborate dwellings of important officials. Soon after the city was finished, however, Sargon was killed in battle, and Dur Sharrukin was quickly deserted.