The concern with monument destruction in times of war is as old as the world’s earliest historical texts and public monuments, and it is first documented in the ancient Near Easter where monuments and images played a significant role in rituals of war.  Yet it is not only destruction, but the urge to preservation and conservation, poetic laments over the ruination of cities and architecture, and rules regarding Just War or laws of war that were central to ancient Mesopotamian thinking about monuments and public architecture. Turning from the scholarship of iconoclasm, this lecture addresses the complex entanglement of site-specific monuments, the city, and rituals of war in antiquity.