By Charles River Editors
*Includes historic bills describing Assur and the Assyrians
*Includes a bibliography for extra reading
*Includes a desk of contents
“All who listen the inside track of your destruction clap their arms for pleasure. Did not anyone 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 was once the 1st capital and crucial spiritual heart 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. identified 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, they usually enslaved the tribes of Israel. Even the pharaoh of Egypt paid them tribute. No military had ever carried battle so far.
Indeed, Aššur was once the guts of 1 of antiquity’s so much notorious conflict machines. while students learn the heritage of the traditional close to East, a number of wars that had super brutal outcomes (at least by way of smooth criteria) frequently stand out. compelled 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 warfare a technological know-how. 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 historic contributors and empires in that area, the unfavorable conception of historic Assyrian tradition was once handed down via Biblical money owed, and whatever the accuracy of the Bible’s depiction of yes occasions, the Assyrians in actual fact performed the function of adversary for the Israelites. certainly, Assyria (Biblical Shinar) and the Assyrian humans performed a massive function in lots of books of the outdated testomony and are first pointed out within the e-book of Genesis: “And the start of his state used to be Babel and Erech, and Akkad, and Calneh, within the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 the town Rehoboth and Kallah.” (Gen. 10:10-11).
Although the Biblical bills of the Assyrians are one of the finest and are frequently corroborated with different old assets, the Assyrians have been even more than simply the enemies of the Israelites and brutal thugs. A historic survey of historic Assyrian tradition unearths that even if they have been the very best warriors in their time, they have been additionally very good retailers, diplomats, and hugely literate those who recorded their historical past and non secular rituals and beliefs in nice aspect. The Assyrians, like their different associates in Mesopotamia, have been literate and built their very own dialect of the Akkadian language that they used to write down tens of hundreds of thousands of records within the cuneiform script (Kuhrt 2010, 1:84).
Although battle performed this type of imperative function in Assyrian society, they have been additionally lively and filthy rich investors, and alternate used to be a necessary a part of Aššur’s development from its earliest levels. unusually, even in the course of army campaigns, retailers from 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 place intended that it used to be specially subjected to the affects of its many friends in southern Mesopotamia; Anatolia, Syria, the Zagros Mountains, or even from the barbarian tribes north of the Caucasus Mountains. Their presence may 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
Six of their cities, which lay at the foot of the mountain of Beshri, I captured, I burned with fire, I laid (them) waste, I destroyed (them). ” (Luckenbill 1989, 1:83). However, despite Tiglath-pileser’s best efforts, the Aramean hordes eventually reduced the Assyrian Empire to its original heartland around Ashur by 1050 BCE (van de Mieroop 2007, 182). The Arameans and the general collapse of the period may have reduced the land the Assyrians held, but Robert Drews has argued that their use of infantry helped them survive the collapse, whereas others, such as the Hittites, did not (Drews 1993, 140).
26] Access to the Old City was from the west, during the later periods of occupation via a series of heavily fortified gates. 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.  Some fine artifacts dating from the earliest periods of occupation have been discovered here, including a small stone vase decorated in high relief designs.
One of the most important exports from Aššur would have been glass products, faience, and glazes of various types and colors.  The strategic location of the city meant that the Assyrian rulers could monitor the traffic and trade that moved along the Tigris River Valley. By the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE, grave goods recovered from burial tombs at the Old Palace site indicate the complexity and scale of the trading network Aššur was part of. By the 14th century BCE, the connections forged by this trade had resulted in a remarkable fusion of cultures in the city, with artistic and architectural elements from Egypt, Anatolia, Southern Mesopotamia, Syria, and the northern Mediterranean all found in the city.
Assur: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Assyrian Empire’s Capital City by Charles River Editors