Connect with us

Ancient

Ashur – First Capital And Powerful Religious Center Of The Assyrian Empire

A. Sutherland  – AncientPages.com – The beginnings of the city of Ashur, (also known as Assur) date back to the third millennium. The city was located about sixty miles to the south of the city of Mosul, Iraq, where today, there is a small village named Shergat (or Qalat Shergat), built of stones and bricks taken from the ruins of the city of Ashur (Asshur).

Ruins of the Assyrian city of AshurRuins of the Assyrian city, Ashur. Image source

From the 14th to the 9th century BC, Ashur was a thriving city. It developed fast and became an important trade center with trade routes leading to Anatolia (modern Turkey). The city exported tin from western Iran, textiles in return for copper, and provided transport of timber from Syria. Many merchants frequently visited the city, and the inhabitants of Ashur themselves began to deal with trade, who even founded their own trade colonies.

Around 1800 BC, the Amorite ruler Shamshi-Adad I included Ashur into his domain, where it became a ceremonial center and the first imperial capital of the Assyrian Empire, unquestionably, one of the greatest of the ancient world.

In Genesis 10:11 we read: “Out of that land came forth Asshur and built Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Kalah…”  Asshur was the second son of Shem and a grandson of Noah, however, in this case, the name Asshur is often used to refer to the place where his descendants dwelled (Ezekiel 27:23, Numbers 24:22, 24).

Ashur (its name was at the same time, the name of a god) was not particularly large city; it had probably no more than 15,000 inhabitants and was situated south of Nineveh and on the western bank of the river Tigris, in northern Mesopotamia, corresponding to modern country of Iraq, northeastern Syria northwestern Iran and southeastern Turkey.

Assyrian’s Vulnerable Location

Assyria had a vulnerable location in the vicinity of the major trading and raiding routes connecting north and east and stretching from Anatolia in the north to Babylon in the south. All cities near Ashur, located on the eastern side of the Tigris valley, in the foothills of Zagros, were easily accessible to foreign intrusions or armed invasions of mountain tribes, so the Assyrians still had to be ready for combat.

Ashur, the chief god of the Assyrian pantheon in Mesopotamian religion, worshipped mainly in the northern half of Mesopotamia, and parts of north-east Syria and south-east Asia Minor (old Assyria Ashur, the chief god of the Assyrian pantheon in Mesopotamian religion, worshipped mainly in the northern half of Mesopotamia, and parts of north-east Syria and south-east Asia Minor (old Assyria).

It was crucial to build a perfectly functioned self-defense in order to survive both in cities and within the borders of the empire. And yet, the city of Ashur was better situated strategically and easier to defend.

Fortifications were massive and the strongest of them were built on the southern part of the city as it was definitely its most vulnerable point. From one side, the city was well-protected by the cliffs and later in front by an immense high wall with eight huge gates and a 15-meter-wide moat.

On the other three sites, the first capital of Assyria was almost invincible.

Ashur – Important Religious Center

The city was Assyria’s oldest capital, which was already known during Akkadian and Sumerian times. It was also an important religious center for worship of the supreme god Ashur, who became the national god of Assyria and protected the Assyrian kings. He was venerated along with Enlil and Ninurta, god of agriculture, scribes, hunting, and war. Several Assyrian kings had the god Ashur’s protection in their names.

Ziggurat at AshurRuins of ziggurat at Ashur. source

In the city, there was an early cult of the gods Adad, Assur and the goddess Ishtar. Ashur contained a large number of important religious buildings, and a handful of palaces (more exactly three of them and thirty four temples, based on ancient sources dated to 7th century BC).

Many ruined structures (many of them had never been excavated) include several major buildings such as the double-temple of Anu and Adad (the god of storms), another was that of Bel, the lord and of the Sumerian goddess of love and war, Ishtar, known to the Hebrews as Ashtaroth and the Starte of the Greeks. There are also ruins of the Old Palace with its royal tombs and several living quarters scattered across the city.

However, the most striking construction among the ruins of Ashur is the ziggurat, built of backed bricks on the top of a rectangular platform composed of several layers, dedicated to the god Ashur, as well as the ground temple nearby devoted to the same god and called “Temple of the Universe”. There are also temples devoted to the gods of the sun and the moon, and one with two towers sacred to Anu, god of the sky, and Adad, god of storms. Assyrian rulers were buried in vaulted tombs beneath palaces, ancient records say, but these places were already robbed in antiquity.

Mesopotamia in 2nd millennium BC

Mesopotamia in 2nd millennium BC. source

Many clay tablets and bricks, covered with cuneiform inscriptions about historical events, conquests, eulogies of rulers, were discovered in the excavated ruins of Ashur.

When Assyria’s strategical value increased in the region, the capital of the empire was transferred from Ashur to Kalah and later to Nineveh about 880 BC, but Ashur still remained a highly prestigious city for a long time.

Civil wars tormented and significantly weakened the region, including  the city of Ashur, especially under the reign of Shamshi Adad (824-811 BC). Later, under the next kings who followed including Tiglath Pileser III (745-727 BC) and Ashurbanipal (668-627 BC), the city was rebuilt and its walls strengthened.

Ashur was finally captured and destroyed by the Babylonians in 614 BC and did not fully recover until the Parthian Empire controlled the city from the 1st century AD until the Romans sacked it in 257. Then, the city was populated again until the 14th century before Timur (1336-1405), the founder of the Timurid Empire (1370-1507) sacked the city and murdered its inhabitants.

The city today serves as an important example of the past Assyrian Empire.

Written by – A. Sutherland  – AncientPages.com Senior Staff Writer

Copyright © AncientPages.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of AncientPages.com

Expand for references

References:

Kriwaczek, P. Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization

Claude Hermann Walter Johns, Ancient Assyria

Source link

Advertisement
Comments

Ancient

Archaeologists amazed to find a 2100 years old phone like object

A group of archaeologists has found a strange black rectangular object next to the skeleton of a woman in a grave at the excavation site of Ala-Tey, in the mountainous Republic of Tuvá (Russia). The 2100 years old phone like device amazed the Archaeologists.

2100 years old phone

The researchers nicknamed “Natasha” to the ancestral woman, while the mysterious object that accompanied her was called “iPhone” because of her resemblance to Apple’s product. The 2100 years old phone like device has holes in the top and bottom just like the modern device.

However, and far from being an oopart, the object is actually a belt buckle more than 2,100 years old, unearthed in a tomb in the so-called «Russian Atlantis», the name given to a mountainous region in Siberia, already It is covered with water and only appears for a few weeks a year.

Pavel Leus, one of the archaeologists who participate in the excavations, explained that the team has been carrying out expeditions to the Ala-Tey burial site for several years. Leus added that the finding of that interesting 2100 years old phone like device was made in 2016, but the results have been made public only now.

“The burial of” Natasha “with an” iPhone “of the Xiongnu era remains one of the most interesting in this burial site,” said the expert.

The buckle, 18 by 9 centimeters, is made of precious stones inlaid with turquoise, carnelian, and mother of pearl, and is decorated with Chinese Wu Zhu coins. These coins have helped scientists date the object 2,137 years ago when they were minted.

Source: The Siberian Times

Continue Reading

Ancient

Just Myths? | Enoch, Great Pyramid of Egypt, and the Anunnaki Civilization Saga?

Since the dawn of man, the time has been his ruthless enemy. There was nothing man could do to escape his earthly demise.

But the pyramids towering over man and his creations fear no time.

Much has been said about the origins of these mysterious structures, so much that the truth has been concealed within piles of false assumptions.

But an archaic figure has cracked the riddle of both time and pyramid.

His name is Enoch – the man who cheated death to go rule over the otherworldly kingdom of a higher force.

Before departing for these higher beings, Enoch had left a luxuriant cultural heritage for the generations to come.

He wished for them to solve the riddle of time, just like him, so he concealed the answers within his teachings, and within the greatest architectural mystery of present-day – The Great Pyramid of Egypt.

Sumerian and Mayan accounts remind of Enoch as the one who conquered time and who encoded this secret within the time-defying pyramids – his masterpiece.

It is now up to YOU to decipher this timeworn knowledge and garner its unimaginable benefits.

Anunnaki is believed to be a group of deities in several ancient Mesopotamian cultures such as the Babylonian, Sumerian, Assyrian, and Akkadian.

The name Anunnaki is a derivative of the names heaven “Anu”, and earth “Ki”. However, some groups translate them as “princely offspring” or “Those of Royal Blood”.

The Sumerian legends and the ancient texts use the word Annunaki to refer to a group of gods who came from heaven.

They were considered as the main gods of the Sumerian pantheon. The Sumerians worshipped these gods long before the great pantheon of ancient Greece and before the ancient Egyptian gods.

The Anunnaki descended from An, the supreme being that reigned over all the Sumerian gods.

The Babylonian myths of creation say there were 300 Anunnaki who kept the heavens and 300 others who guarded the underworld.

These deities were so important that they were also mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh.

The development of Sumerian civilization occurred in the Persian Gulf while growing to strength over time.

The “Plain of the Land of Shinar” is the territory that was renamed to Babylon after 2000 B.C.

These people lived in the Middle East on the territory we know as Iran and Iraq today.

Source: Matrix World Disclosure

Continue Reading

Ancient

Revealed Photos Show Something Huge May be Hidden in Ancient Egypt

A recent discovery at a notable ancient Egyptian site, which for some reason, is yet to be shared with the public or reported in the headlines. It’s from the ancient Egyptians.

Continue Reading

Trending