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Assur: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Assyrian by Charles River Editors

By Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures
*Includes historical money owed describing Assur and the Assyrians
*Includes a bibliography for additional reading
*Includes a desk of contents

“All who listen the scoop of your destruction clap their fingers for pleasure. Did nobody break out your never-ending cruelty?” - Nahum 3:19

In northern Iraq, at the banks of the Tigris River, lie the ruins of the traditional urban of Aššur. This used to be the 1st capital and an important non secular middle of the Assyrian Empire. beneath the canopy of sand and soil are nearly six meters of dense stratigraphic layers that display the passage of millennia. recognized this day as Qal’at Sherqat, and likewise as Kilah Shregat, town dates again to the third millennium BCE. In that point interval, the Assyrian military grew to become the most important but obvious, and their warriors have been either the best and harshest within the land. They conquered an empire from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea; they despoiled the good urban of Babylon, and so they enslaved the tribes of Israel. Even the pharaoh of Egypt paid them tribute. No military had ever carried conflict so far.

Indeed, Aššur used to be the center of 1 of antiquity’s such a lot notorious warfare machines. while students examine the heritage of the traditional close to East, numerous wars that had super brutal effects (at least by means of sleek criteria) usually stand out. pressured removing of whole populations, sieges that decimated complete towns, and wanton destruction of estate have been all strategies utilized by a number of the peoples of the traditional close to East opposed to one another, however the Assyrians have been the 1st humans to make conflict a technology. while the Assyrians are pointed out, photographs of warfare and brutality are one of the first that are evoked, even though their tradition prospered for almost 2,000 years.

Like a few historical contributors and empires in that zone, the detrimental conception of historical Assyrian tradition used to be handed down via Biblical bills, and whatever the accuracy of the Bible’s depiction of yes occasions, the Assyrians in actual fact performed the position of adversary for the Israelites. certainly, Assyria (Biblical Shinar) and the Assyrian humans performed a big position in lots of books of the previous testomony and are first pointed out within the publication of Genesis: “And the start of his country used to be Babel and Erech, and Akkad, and Calneh, within the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Ashur and outfitted Nineveh and town Rehoboth and Kallah.” (Gen. 10:10-11).

Although the Biblical bills of the Assyrians are one of the finest and are usually corroborated with different historic resources, the Assyrians have been even more than simply the enemies of the Israelites and brutal thugs. A ancient survey of old Assyrian tradition unearths that even supposing they have been the best warriors in their time, they have been additionally very good retailers, diplomats, and hugely literate those who recorded their background and spiritual rituals and beliefs in nice element. The Assyrians, like their different buddies in Mesopotamia, have been literate and built their very own dialect of the Akkadian language that they used to write down tens of millions of records within the cuneiform script (Kuhrt 2010, 1:84).

Although warfare performed this kind of relevant position in Assyrian society, they have been additionally lively and filthy rich investors, and exchange used to be an important a part of Aššur’s development from its earliest levels. surprisingly, even in the course of army campaigns, retailers from the town engaged in advertisement interactions with the “enemy,” for instance with the Aramaeans throughout the campaigns of Adad Nirari II. instead of different towns in Mesopotamia, Aššur’s situation intended that it used to be in particular subjected to the affects of its many pals in southern Mesopotamia; Anatolia, Syria, the Zagros Mountains, or even from the barbarian tribes north of the Caucasus Mountains. Their presence could be visible this day within the structure and artifacts of the ruined urban.

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Additional info for Assur: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Assyrian Empire’s Capital City

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The ancient Temple of Ashur was one of the earliest and most important structures in the city, built sometime between 2900 and 2600 BCE. It was located at the highest point of the rock upon which Aššur was situated. [27] Some fine artifacts dating from the earliest periods of occupation have been discovered here, including a small stone vase decorated in high relief designs. The Temple of Ashur was modified and added to under the reigns of successive Assyrian kings. To the west of the Temple of Ashur was the Ziggurat.

Under the rule of Shalmaneser III (858 – 824 BCE), the libbi ali was enclosed by a massive double wall, complete with a deep moat. Access to and from the city center was controlled through three gates: the South gate, West gate, and Tabira gate. [101] While Northern Mesopotamia was fertile; it lacked almost all other important resources. Metal for tools, stone for sculpture, wood for construction and burning, all had to be traded for from neighboring lands, and indeed, long-distance trade from Aššur appears to have started during the Third Dynasty of Ur period.

It is probable that in archaic times, the locals attributed divine attributes to a rocky outcrop named Ashur, above the Tigris River, which is where the city then got its name (Snell 2011, 49). A Neo-Assyrian depiction of the god Aššur Whether the god or the city actually came first may never be known for sure, but the city developed into a substantial state around the year 2000 BCE (Kuhrt 2010, 1:88). From their city, the Assyrians were able to develop far-flung and sophisticated trade networks in the late 3rd and early 2nd millennia BCE that would help establish it as a major urban center in the ancient Near East.

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