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Assyria

Aerial image of the excavations at Kültepe Kanesh, Anatolia.              Source: Keyseri Provincial Directorate of Culture & Tourism

Oldest Start-up? First Company in Anatolia Founded 4000 Years Ago

An extraordinary discovery in Kültepe has shed light on the ancient origins of commerce in Anatolia. A 4000-year-old cuneiform tablet reveals that the first company in the region was founded by a...
Late 19th century drawings of the eagle and bull symbols published by French excavator Victor Place. 	Source: New York Public Library

Unknown Assyrian Symbols Solved as ‘Tag’ of Sargon II

Ancient symbols on a 2,700-year-old temple which have baffled experts for over a century have been explained by Trinity Assyriologist Dr Martin Worthington. The sequence of ‘mystery symbols’ were on...
Poseidon, god of the Mediterranean Sea. Source: Luke / Adobe Stock

Poseidon’s Wrath: The Scourge of the Sea Peoples

Perhaps 3,000 years from now archaeologists will be debating the reasons for the diaspora that occurred in the lands around the Mediterranean Sea during the early 21st century. What would have...
Digital reconstruction of Northwest Palace, Nimrud. Source: YouTube Screenshot / The Met.

Digital Reconstruction of the Northwest Palace, Nimrud, Assyria (Video)

In 2014, the Metropolitan Museum of Art unveiled a captivating digital reconstruction of the Northwest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II in Nimrud, Assyria (near modern Mosul in northern Iraq). This...
Relief carving of Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (r. ca. 883-859 BC). Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art / Public Domain.

Realism in Ancient Mesopotamian Relief Carvings (Video)

In the domain of ancient Mesopotamian art, the reliefs from Ashurnasirpal II's palace reign supreme. These monumental creations , though dispersed far and wide by Henry Austen Layard, possess a...
Assyrian king. Source: dani3315 / Adobe Stock.

Ashurbanipal: The Most Powerful Man on Earth (Video)

Ashurbanipal, the last formidable king of Assyria , stood as the epitome of power and dominance in the ancient world. With his empire extending from Egypt to Persia, he reigned as the most powerful...
Ancient Sumerian city of Eridu, early city in southern Mesopotamia, close to the Persian Gulf near the mouth of the Euphrates River. Source: Rick/Adobe Stock

15 Fascinating Facts About The Sumerians

The ancient civilization of Sumer never ceases to captivate and intrigue. Scholars and historians are constantly busy uncovering new details and aspects of this civilization, even centuries after the...
Are Mermaid Myths Inspired by a Rare Medical Condition?

Are Mermaid Myths Inspired by a Rare Medical Condition?

Mermaids have occupied our imagination for thousands of years. The mesmerizing aquatic creatures, hybrid half-human and half-fish beings, have been spotted in seas around the world and appear in...
Assyrian soldiers carry beheaded heads of their prisoners as depicted on a wall in the South-West Palace at Nineveh, during the “First” Fall of Neneveh.          Source: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin / CC BY-SA 4.0

August 10 612 BC: Nineveh, the Largest City in the World, Fell

On this day, 2,632 years ago, the ancient metropolis of Nineveh fell. “ ABC 3 ” is a historiographical text from ancient Babylonia which records August 10th 612 BC as the date of this dramatic...
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...
Ancient demon. Credit: pixelleo / Adobe Stock

Mesopotamian ‘Demon of Epilepsy’ Discovered on 2700-Year-Old Tablet

A researcher studying an ancient Assyrian cuneiform tablet has found an image of a demon. The demon was believed to have been the cause of epilepsy. The tablet was used to treat health conditions,...
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...
Top image: A photo of Assur. Inset: Head most likely of Sargon of Akkad.

Both Religion and Royalty Reigned in the Assyrian City of Assur

Known today also as Qal’at Sherqat, the ancient Assyrian city of Assur is located in the Saladin Governorate of modern day Iraq, about 280 km (174 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad. This city was...
Babylonian/Assyrian king by Angus McBride. (Public Domain) Background: Detail of a relief reconstruction from the processional way that lead to the Ishtar Gate.

Nabopolassar: The Rebel Ruler of Babylonia Who Had the Gods on His Side

Nabopolassar was the founder of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, which existed between the 7th and 6th centuries BC. But the Neo-Assyrians that were losing power at the time didn’t make his rise easy. If...
Fragment of talisman used to exorcise the sick, Assyrian era.

Mixing Magic and Medicine: New Study Shows Mesopotamian Doctors Had to Battle Demons

Analysis of a collection of clay tablets confirms that a Mesopotamian doctor had to deal with more than just physical ailments. The ancient healer was expected to exorcise demons, ward off witchcraft...
 The broken top and bottom sections of the Assyrian stele.

British Museum Decided Against Uniting a Cursed Assyrian Stele and Bad Luck Fell to the Police

“Whoever discards this image from the presence of Salmanu puts it into another place, whether he throws it into water or covers it with earth or brings and places it into a taboo house where it is...
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...
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...

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