Sargon II ruled from 722-705 BCE. In 713 BC, Sargon ordered the construction of a new palace and town 20 km north of Niniveh at the foot of the Gebel Musri. Land was bought, and the debts of construction workers were nullified in order to attract a sufficient labour force. The land in the environs of the town was taken under cultivation, and olive groves were planted to increase Assyria's deficient oil-production.
The town was of rectangular layout and measured 1760 * 1635 m. The enclosed area comprised 3 square kilometres, or 700 acres. The length of the walls was 16280 Assyrian units, which corresponded to the numerical value of Sargon's name. The city walls were massive and 157 towers protected its sides. Seven gates entered the city from all directions. A walled terrace contained temples and the royal palace. The main temples were dedicated to the gods Nabu, Shamash and Sin, while Adad, Ningal and Ninurta had smaller shrines. A temple tower, ziqqurat, was also constructed. The palace was adorned with sculptures and wall reliefs, and the gates were flanked with winged bulls shedu statues (weighing upto 40 tons. Sargon supposedly lost at least one of these winged bulls in the river.
The court moved to Dur-Sharrukin in 706 BC, although it was not completely finished yet. Sargon was killed during a battle in 705 BC. His son and successor Sennacherib abandoned the project, and relocated the capital with its administration to the city of Nineveh. The city was never completed and was finally abandoned a century later when the Assyrian empire fell.
Paul Emile Botta and Victor Place attempted to move 2 30 ton colossi to Paris from Khorsabad in 1853. In order to facilitate their shipment to Paris they were sawed in pieces and they still ran into problems. One of them fell into the river into the Tigris never to be retrieved. The other made it to Paris. They made a plaster replica to replace the lost one in 1957.
In 1928 Eward Chiera unearthed a colossal Bull estimated to weigh 40 tons In Khorsabad. This was split into three large fragments. the torso alone weighed about 20 tons. this was shipped to Chicago. It was to big too fit through some tunnels and had to be rerouted from New York to Chicago via New Orleans.
Descriptions of how these bulls were constructed and moved were found at the palace of Senacherrib in Ninevah.