Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Simo Parpola about Assyrians
Assyria in earliest historical times referred to a region on the Upper Tigris river, named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur. Later, as a nation and Empire, it also came to include roughly the northern half of Mesopotamia (the southern half being Babylonia). The capital is Nineveh.

Assyria proper was located in a mountainous region, extending along the Tigris as far as the high Gordiaean or Carduchian mountain range of Armenia, sometimes called the "Mountains of Ashur".

The Assyrian kings controlled a large kingdom at three different times in history. These are called the Old, Middle, and Neo-Assyrian kingdoms, or periods. The most powerful and best-known nation of these periods is the Neo-Assyrian kingdom, 911-612 BC.

Early history
The most important prehistoric (Neolithic) site in Assyria is at Tell Hassuna, the center of the Hassuna culture.

Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria, little is positively known. According to some Judeo-Christian traditions, the city of Ashur (also spelled Assur or Aššur) was founded by Ashur (also Asshur) the second son of Shem, who was deified by later generations as the city's patron god.

The upper Tigris river valley seems to have been ruled from Sumer, Akkad, and northern Babylonia in its earliest stages, being part of Sargon of Akkad's empire. Destroyed by barbarians in the Gutian period, it was rebuilt, and ended up being governed as part of the Empire of the 3rd dynasty of Ur.


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