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The Mines of Moria served as an integral location in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  A former city-state of the dwarven kingdoms, Khazad-Dum (as the dwarves called it) was one of the richest locations in all of Middle Earth.  Moria was home to rich veins of mithril, and was founded prior to the First Age by Durin I. 

In the year III 1980, King During VI unearthed the Balrog of Moria, later known as Durin's Bane, and Khazad-Dum was soon abandoned.  From then forward it was known as Moria (The Black Pit in Elvish) and remained abandoned until Balin's unsuccessful campaign to resettle the mines in III 2989.  The Fellowship of the Ring passed through Moria on its way to Lothlorien, when Galdalf the Grey destroyed Durin's Bane, clearing the way for the mines to be resettled during the Fourth Age. 

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