Assyria

Assyrian attack on a town with archers and a wheeled battering ram, 865–860 BC.

Were the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel Ever Lost?

When examining the mysteries of the 8th century BC, all one has to do is look in the Bible or an ancient history book to realize that Assyria had no outside threats. The Hittites and Egyptians were a...
Astounding Ancient Assyria: The Grand Palace of Assurnasirpal

Astounding Ancient Assyria: The Grand Palace of Assurnasirpal

The grand palace of Assurnasirpal (Ashurnasirpal) II was one of the most incredible sites of ancient Assyria. Located in Nimrud, Iraq, the immense palace was richly decorated with sophisticated...
The Man who Assyria Feared: Demon Gallu and King of the Universe

The Man who Assyria Feared: Demon Gallu and King of the Universe

In 660 BCE, mighty Assyria was about to be shaken. A Scythian named Dugdammi united many nomadic tribes into a confederation. This nomadic confederation pushed at the borders of Assyria which so...
Hunting the Lions: The Last King of Assyria, and the Death of the Empire – Part II

Hunting the Lions: The Last King of Assyria, and the Death of the Empire – Part II

The Assyrian empire, with the death of King Ashurbanipal, was collapsing under the weight of politics and war. Kingdoms and leaders previously held in Assyria’s great grasp fell upon the vulnerable...
A lion is hunted, and is near death. Assyrian relief, Nineveh, north palace, 645-635 BCE

Hunting the Lions: A Dead King, and a Collapsing Assyrian Empire – Part I

The fall of Assyria was with a whimper and in no way ended with a bang. Instead, it ended in a slow, agonizing death. Ashurbanipal, Assyria's last great king, ascended the throne only to inherit a...
The Military Campaigns of Tiglath-pileser III: Priest King and Conqueror – Part 1

The Military Campaigns of Tiglath-pileser III: Priest King and Conqueror – Part 1

The year is 745 BCE and much of the Middle East is about to be conquered and confiscated by the powerful Assyrian Empire under King Tiglath-pileser III. Tiglath-Pileser III: stela from the walls of...
Deriv; 5th century BC Achaemenid-era carving of Persian and Median soldiers in traditional costume and eclipse

Kings of the Umman Manda (Media): Warnings and Omens – Part II

Once Cyaxares had finalized the conquest of Urartu, he handed it over to a certain tribe of Scythians who had inhabited the region of Armenia beforehand and thus extended their domain. It is said...
Apadana Hall, fifth-century BC carving of Persian archers and Median soldiers in traditional costume (Medians are wearing rounded hats and boots)

Kings of the Umman Manda (Media): Their Hidden Origins and History – Part I

The term Medes, as a single ethnic group that encompasses all Media, is generic. It seems that the region of Media encompassed many smaller and independent principalities ruled by chieftains instead...
Metal belt from Metsamor site, Armenia. Second century BC.

The Legacy of Armenia: Trade, Metallurgy, and Forging of Precious Metals of the Ancient World

Since ancient times, demand for metals has been a big part of commercial exchange between countries separated by great distance. The Armenian Highland is situated between the Anatolian and Iranian...
Mitanni invaders

A Forgotten Empire: The Ancient Kingdom of Mitanni

Mitanni was a state that existed between the 16th and 13th centuries BC. This state occupied the land of the Hurrians. This area is located in the upper Tigris-Euphrates basin, and corresponds today...
One of the panels from the Lachish Reliefs depicting the Assyrian assault on Lachish.

The Siege of Lachish: History from Both the Victors and Defeated

The siege of Lachish was an event that happened in 701 BC. During this incident, the Israelite settlement of Lachish was besieged and conquered by the Assyrians. It is often said that “History is...
15th century the basement of a "market house" used as a prison

Prisons and Imprisonment in the Ancient World: Punishments Used to Maintain Public Order

One of the most well-known forms of punishment today is imprisonment. One could argue that for any society to function properly, public order has to be maintained. This is an important function of...
Pharaoh Tutankhamun riding a chariot

Superweapon of the Ancient World: A History of Chariots - Part I

The chariot is often associated with the ancient Egyptian civilization. It became a prominent weapon of war during the New Kingdom. In fact, it is often considered a superweapon of the ancient world...
One of the fifteen gateways of ancient Nineveh. A reconstruction was begun in the 1960s by Iraqis, but was not completed. The lower portions of the stone retaining wall are original.

Tragedy as militants bomb 2,700-year-old Nineveh Wall in Iraq

Militants of the Islamic State have destroyed a large portion of the ancient Nineveh wall in Mosul, which dates back some 2,700 years. The tragic loss adds to a series of archaeological, historical,...
Relief, circa 728 B.C., depicting an Assyrian warrior holding a large shield to protect two archers taking aim, from the Central Palace in Nimrud and now in the British Museum, London.

Weapons and tactics change, but PTSD goes back millennia

The weapons, tactics and strategies of warfare have changed enormously through the centuries, but the hellish aspects of war and the deep psychological scars it leaves on warriors were apparently...
mermaid

Are tales of mythical mermaids inspired by a real-life medical condition?

Mermaids have occupied our imagination for thousands of years, originating in ancient Assyria with the legend of goddess Atargatis, whose worship spread to Greece and Rome. In one account, Atargatis...

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