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What is the Mysterious Handbag Seen in Ancient Carvings Across Cultures and Countries?

What is the Mysterious Handbag Seen in Ancient Carvings Across Cultures and Countries?

One of the more mysterious symbols that has been found in ancient carvings is an image that looks uncannily like a handbag. The shape appears in depictions made by the Sumerians of Iraq, in the ruins...
2,800-Year-Old Cursed Assyrian Stele Brings Bad Luck for Police Commissioner

2,800-Year-Old Cursed Assyrian Stele Brings Bad Luck for Police Commissioner

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...
Madyes: Master of Asia, Historical Enigma

Madyes: Master of Asia, Historical Enigma

Madyes, the mysterious Scythian stepped onto the world stage. There is not a great deal of information about him, nor has his name turned up in any of the Assyrian tablets. Herodotus and Strabo are...
The British Museum - Room 6. Foreground: Assyrian Gateway Human Headed Winged Lions 'Lamassu' from the North West Palace of Ashurnasirpal II in Nimrud.

Make Way for the Powerful Assyrian Kings: The History of the Message-Laden Balawat Gates

Over the years, researchers uncovered some remarkable Assyrian gates which led to different areas in the ancient city of Imgur-Enlil, now called Balawat, in Iraq. The huge gates were built during the...
Assyrian relief of a horseman from Nimrud, now in the British Museum

The Iron Army: Assyria - Deadly and Effective Siege Machine - Part II

Assyrian sappers (soldiers for building, demolitions, general construction) would approach the walls possibly under the cover of shield bears, the same type that protected the archers one could...
The Iron Army: Assyria - Terrifying Military of the Ancient World - Part I

The Iron Army: Assyria - Terrifying Military of the Ancient World - Part I

Before the famed Persian Empire, whose borders spanned from India to Thrace, there was another empire—the Assyrians. The Assyrian Empire, while much smaller than the future Persian Empire to come,...
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...
The Powerful Assyrians, Rulers of Empires

The Powerful Assyrians, Rulers of Empires

Much of Assyria's history is closely tied to its southern neighbor, Babylonia. The two Mesopotamian empires spoke similar languages and worshipped most of the same gods. They were often rivals on the...
This photo shows the opening to two of the tombs at the Khalet al-Jam'a necropolis.

4,000-Year-Old Necropolis with more than 100 Tombs Discovered Near Bethlehem

By studying and excavating ancient burial grounds, we can learn about how final respects were paid when people died during ancient times. The artifacts located alongside these remains also provide...
The Gate of Nimrud (Metropolitan Museum)

The Mythical Lamassu: Impressive Symbols for Mesopotamian Protection

Lamassu are human-headed, eagle-winged, bulls or lions that once protected cities in Mesopotamia. They were believed to be very powerful creatures, and served both as a clear reminder of the king’s...
Anonymous Venetian Orientalist painting, The Reception of the Ambassadors in Damascus, 1511, the Louvre.

Damascus: The Ancient City that was Fought Over by Numerous Civilizations is Facing its Biggest Crisis Today

The city of Damascus, which lies in the southwestern part of Syria, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. This city is located in a desert oasis on the eastern foothills of...
Human-headed winged bulls guarding a door in Dur-Sharrukin.

All is not lost in ISIS’s attempt to smash the past

Amy Gazin-Schwartz / The Conversation The archaeological and historical communities are deeply dismayed about ISIS destroying archaeological sites and materials in the last few weeks. We have seen...
Hittite relief from ancient Carchemish depicting Kusarikku

Archaeologists Reveal Secrets Found in Ancient War-Torn City of Karkemish, Turkey

Stunning ancient sculptures and orthostats (large upright stones) are just some of the incredible findings that have been revealed by archaeologists within the factious and ancient city of Karkemish...
Prehistoric bookkeeping tokens

Prehistoric bookkeeping continued long after invention of writing

An ancient token-based recording system from before the dawn of history was rendered obsolete by the birth of writing, according to popular wisdom. But now, latest excavations show that, in fact,...
Eden - Paradise lost

A Paradise Lost: In Search of Eden

Nothing else has fascinated both archaeologists and theologians alike more than the identity to the location of man’s paradise lost; that is, the Garden of Eden. Throughout history, the idea of a...
The tower of Babel

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

The story of the construction of a tower in Babel, which resulted in the confounding of language has also confounded modern scholars. The Book of Genesis tells of a time in which all of the world’s...

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