Store Banner Desktop

Store Banner Mobile


Nestled between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the Assyrian empire spanned over three millennia, leaving an indelible mark on history and shaping the world as we know it today. With its rich cultural heritage, military might, and unparalleled architectural achievements, Ancient Assyria stands as a testament to the ingenuity and resilience of human civilization.

Ancient Assyria, spanning from approximately 2500 BC to 609 BC, witnessed a series of significant events and prominent leaders that shaped its history. Here is a summary of some of the main events and leaders of this ancient civilization:

  1. Rise of Assyria: Assyria began as a small city-state in northern Mesopotamia but gradually expanded its influence and territory. During the early second millennium BC, the city of Ashur emerged as the capital and the Assyrian Empire started to take form.
  2. Middle Assyrian Period: Under leaders like Shamshi-Adad I (1813-1781 BC) and Ashur-Uballit I (1365-1330 BC), Assyria experienced territorial expansion and established its dominance in the region. The empire expanded its borders, including the conquest of Babylon.
  3. Neo-Assyrian Empire: The Neo-Assyrian Empire marked the zenith of Assyrian power and influence. Prominent leaders during this period included Tiglath-Pileser III (744-727 BC), who initiated significant military campaigns and administrative reforms, and Sargon II (721-705 BC), who further expanded the empire.
  4. Assyrian Conquests: The Neo-Assyrian Empire conducted numerous military campaigns to expand its dominion. These conquests included the capture of Samaria, the capital of Israel, by Sargon II in 722 BC, and the siege and fall of the Kingdom of Judah by Sennacherib (705-681 BC) in 701 BC.
  5. Ashurbanipal and the Library of Nineveh: Ashurbanipal (669-627 BC) was a renowned Assyrian king known for his patronage of learning and the establishment of a magnificent library in the city of Nineveh. The library housed an extensive collection of cuneiform tablets and played a crucial role in preserving ancient Mesopotamian knowledge.
  6. Fall of Assyria: Despite its military might, the Neo-Assyrian Empire faced a decline. A coalition led by the Babylonians and the Medes sacked the Assyrian capital of Nineveh in 612 BC. The empire finally fell in 609 BC with the capture of the last Assyrian king, Ashur-Uballit II.

The events and leaders of Ancient Assyria reveal a complex tapestry of conquests, cultural achievements, and power struggles. The empire's rise to prominence, its territorial expansions, and the subsequent downfall highlight the dynamic nature of this ancient civilization.

Detail of a bronze statuette of Pazuzu, circa 800 BC - circa 700 BC. Pazuzu was an Assyrian evil spirit believed to frighten away other evil spirits - protecting humans against plagues and misfortunes.

Mesopotamian Ghostbusters: The Evil Acts of Assyrian Ghosts and How They Were Vanquished

Assyria, like Mesopotamia in general, has always excited the Western imagination. Assyrian beliefs about the spiritual world are no exception. The Assyrians believed that ghosts could return from the...
Archaeologist Henry Layard's image of Nineveh.

Nineveh: Exploring the Ruins of the Crown City of Ancient Assyria

Nineveh was the last capital of the Assyrian Empire, as well as its most populous city. It has even been claimed that Nineveh was the most populated city in the world for a period. In recent times,...
A fragment of the stone stele from the Ishtar temple. It depicts the goddess Ishtar inside a starburst with rosettes. Source: Penn Museum

Assyrian Relics Resurrected at Nimrud, Defying Terrorist Destruction

During recent excavations in the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in Iraq, a team of archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology uncovered an exciting...
Left: front view of the Helmet of Coțofenești Right: Side view of the mythological creatures on the helmet.      Source: Left: National Museum of Romanian History, GFDL Right: © Radu Oltean / Wikimedia Commons

Demystifying the Famous, Fierce, Golden Helmet of Coțofenești

In 1929, a small child discovered an intricate golden helmet in the Poiana Coțofenești village of Romania. Archaeologists determined that it was a stray find from a group of Thracian tribes that...
These ancient Iraq carvings dating to the Assyrian Empire were unearthed near the Mashki Gate in Mosul, escaping destruction by IS in 2016. Source: Iraqi Ministry of Culture

Ancient Assyrian Carvings Found Near Mashki Gate Destroyed by ISIS

Eight stunningly detailed carved stone panels have been discovered near the Mosul, Iraq. They were unearthed near Mashki Gate, a site that was bulldozed by Islamic State (IS) terrorists in 2016. The...
The Nimrud lens. Source: The British Museum / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Is the Assyrian Nimrud Lens the Oldest Telescope in the World?

The Nimrud lens is a 3,000-year-old piece of rock crystal unearthed by Sir John Layard in 1850 at the Assyrian palace of Nimrud, in modern-day Iraq. Since its discovery over a century ago, scientists...
The Tower of Babel. Source: Александр Михальчук / CC BY-SA 4.0

Gateway to the Heavens: The Assyrian Account of the Tower of Babel

The story of the fabled Tower of Babel from the Book of Genesis has come to inspire artists throughout history and to symbolize the idea of human ambition. Once a real-life ziggurat at the center of...
Neo-Assyrian artwork found in a subterranean tunnel complex in Turkey.	Source: Antiquity Publications Ltd

Neo-Assyrian ‘Divine Procession’ Discovered in Hidden Tunnel, Turkey

Ancient Neo-Assyrian artwork showing a procession of deities has been found in an Iron Age tunnel complex carved into the bedrock in Turkey. The unfinished, yet exceptional ancient artwork was...
Excavating Azekah: Defensive Bastion Of The Kingdom Of Judeah

Excavating Azekah: Defensive Bastion Of The Kingdom Of Judeah

Describing the fortress of Azekah 2,700 years ago the mighty Assyrian King Sennacherib wrote that “its walls were strong and rivalled the highest mountains…by means of beaten earth ramos, battering...
Assyrian relief panel, 883–859 BC. Source: Public Domain / Met Museum

Mesopotamian Kings Were Slapped in the Face in the Ancient Akitu Festival

The Akitu festival was one of the oldest Mesopotamian festivals, dating back to the middle of the third millennium BC. It was during this twelve-day ceremonial event, which began at the first New...
An aerial photo of the Tel Lachish in central Israel, which was quickly conquered by the Assyrians with their powerful siege ramp in 701 BC. The Assyrian siege ramp is the focus of a new study published in Oxford Journal of Archaeology. 	Source: The Lachish Expedition / Southern Adventist University

New Study Reveals How Legendary Assyrian Siege Ramp Overcame Lachish

Israeli archaeologists have revealed the secrets behind the Assyrian siege ramp that conquered the ancient Judean town of Lachish. A recent study published in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology shows...
Excavators work at the site of the archaeological dig on the eastern bank of the Faidi canal, just north of Mosul, where evidence of an Assyrian wine press has been discovered. Source: The Kurdish-Italian Faida and Khinnis Archaeological Project

2,700-Year-Old Assyrian Wine Press Found in Northern Iraq

A team of Italian archaeologists exploring ruins connected to the legendary Neo-Assyrian Empire have discovered an ancient industrial wine press. Dating to approximately 700 BC, the remains of the...
A bronze statue of Lama, Lamma, or Lamassu, an Assyrian protective deity that became one of the Urartian gods.	Source: EvgenyGenkin / CC BY-SA 4.0

Who Were The Enigmatic Urartian Gods?

One of the more enigmatic entities of ancient history, Urartu rose to power in the 9th century BC, spreading its influence around illustrious Van Lake in present-day Turkey. From the start, Urartu...
Meeting Between Cambyses II and Psammetichus III by Adrien Guignet (Public Domain)

The Assyrian, Persian And Greek Conquest Of Ancient Egypt

During the eighth century BC, ancient Egypt was experiencing turbulent times. The country was split with a pharaoh ruling in Lower Egypt, but powerful priests of Amun were ruling Middle and Upper...
Mesopotamian relief of Assyrian warriors. Credit: kmiragaya / Adobe Stock

Ancient Mesopotamia and the Rise of Civilization

In ancient times, Mesopotamia, meaning ‘land between two rivers’, was a vast region that lay between the Tigris and Euphrates river systems, and it is where civilization emerged over 7,000 years ago...
Hegmataneh hill, Hamadan City, Iran, where the new Iranian Median Empire discoveries were made Source: IRNA

New Digs Provide Insights into the Median Empire and Capital

The Median Empire and the Medes people are one of the most important in the ancient world. However, relatively little is known about them or their capital city, thought to be Ecbatana. Now, Iranian...
A collection of fake artifacts (figurines) seized by customs at Heathrow.         Source: Trustees of the British Museum

Trunks of Fake Artifacts from the Middle East Seized at Heathrow

Sent from the underworld of the Kingdom of Bahrain , the sovereign state in the Persian Gulf, to a private address in the U.K., the stash of apparently ancient, but in reality, fake artifacts,...
Assyrian Palace Discovered in Terrorists’ Treasure Tunnels

Assyrian Palace Discovered in Terrorists’ Treasure Tunnels

On June 4, 2014, the Northern Iraq offensive began when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL; sometimes referred to as the Islamic State (IS)) launched a major offensive against government...
The leader of the excavation, archaeologist Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, and one of the Assyrian relief carvings unearthed in the northern Kurdistan region of Iraq.    Source: Alberto Savioli / Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project / University of Udine

3000-Year-Old Assyrian Reliefs Unearthed in ISIS Stomping Ground

Archaeologists have unearthed ancient carved Assyrian reliefs of a king in a procession of gods and goddesses riding on animals and mythical creatures. The Assyrian carvings are almost 3,000 years...
Deriv; Stone statue of Gilgamesh (CC BY 2.0), used here as a representation of an ancient Mesopotamian man. Background: Solar event. (CC0) Information provided by ancient Assyrian astrologers can help modern scientists predict future solar storms.

Ancient Assyrian Astrologers Teach Us About Solar Storms

What exactly goes on high above our heads? Why do the stars and celestial spheres seem to dance around the sky? What is the sun up to when it seems to “randomly” disappear in the day, or when it...
Representation of the cuneiform inscription discovery about the ancient city of Karkemish

Ancient Inscription Details Conquest of Assyrian King Sargon II

In "A New Historical Inscription of Sargon II from Karkemish," published in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies , Gianni Marchesi translates a recently discovered inscription of the Assyrian King...
Medieval stargazers. People have been fascinated by the stars and their possible influence over our lives, long before and after the time of Babylonian astrology.

Complex Astronomical and Astrological Systems Detailed on Ancient Assyrian Tablets

Archaeologists studying a group of five unique stone tablets dating to the first millennium in Babylonia and Assyria have announced that they reveal a hitherto unknown level of astronomical...
Bronze figurines found at Lchashen

The Fascinating Lchashen Settlement, Armenia: Where Elite Warriors Emerged from a Watery Grave

Thanks to globalization, the world is getting smaller and we can now travel to sites and places that were once difficult to see. Besides a long history and rich culture, there are many extraordinary...

Ninurta: God of War and Agriculture

Ninurta was a Mesopotamian deity associated with war, agriculture, and the scribal arts. He could be thought of as a defender of civilization against chaos. Ninurta was originally revered in southern...