Hatra belongs to one of the many capitals ruling in ancient Mesopotamia. The desert city existed for nearly 500 years before it got abundant in 241 AD. During the Parthian period, the city flourished into a rich city because it was on the route between Mesopotamia and the Levant, where it goes along with other famous desert cities like Palmyra (in Syria), Baalbek (Libanon), and Petra (Jordan). The city used to have another name “Beit Elaha” which means the “House of God”. When we visit Hatra it becomes clear why it got this name. The structures that were reconstructed and restored before 2003 are part of the walled temple area. Large temple complexes for different gods are lined up around the big center temple of Shamash – the Sun God. The city outside the wall is not excavated yet. The brutal terrorist group Daash was taking the ruins as a military base but only destroyed some statues while the rest of the site is still intact.

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