Ancient Near East

Marriage in Ancient Mesopotamia and Babylonia

As the bride approaches the ceremonial altar holding on to the arm of her father, the groom nervously takes a peek at the scene surrounding him... Not far away are the gifts, which shortly will be exchanged. Family members stand proudly around in a festive atmosphere. Is this taking place in upstate New York, a tropical garden in Miami, or a quaint old church in old Montreal? Perhaps, but it could well have happened somewhere in ancient Mesopotamia.

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Female Subordination

Women in Ancient Mesopotamia: The Mothers of Female Subordination By Jacqueline K. Hammack. Jackson State University, Department of History. The modern world has seen the liberation of females from male subjugation. Yet there are contemporary culture that consider women property. This phenomenon has existed, codified in law, for more than four thousand years. Why have men dominated women in all civilizations for all of recorded history? What happened in prehistorical times that females came to be subordinated by males for so many thousand years, or have females been in subordinate position since time immemorial?

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Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

The ancient world of Mesopotamia (from Sumer to the subsequent division into Babylonia and Assyria) vividly comes alive in this portrayal of the time period from 3100 BCE to the fall of Assyria (612 BCE) and Babylon (539 BCE). Readers will discover fascinating details about the lives of these people taken from the ancients' own descriptions. Beautifully illustrated, this easy-to-use reference contains a timeline and a historical overview to aid student research.

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Marriage and Divorce Documents

From the Ancient Near East. Old Assyrian, 19th century B.C. Text: B. Hrozný, Inscriptions Cunéiformes du Kultépé (Praha, 1952). Transliteration and translation, Hrozný, in Symbolae Koschaker (Studia et Documenta II, 1939), 108ff. For bibliography of discussions cf. H. Hirsch, Orientalia, xxxv (1966), 259f

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Ancient Mesopotamia: The Role of Women

From the earliest times in ancient Mesopotamia, women who came from a sector of society that could afford to have statues made placed their likenesses in temple shrines. This was done so that their images would stand in constant prayer while they continued to go about their daily chores. This female worshipper statue wears a standard fashion of the time, a simple draped dress with her right shoulder bare and hair done up in elaborate braided coils.

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Ancient Mesopotamia: Daily Life

Plaques such as this one were part of a door-locking system for important buildings in ancient Mesopotamia. The plaque was embedded into the doorjamb and then a peg was inserted into the hole. A hook or cord wrapped around the peg was covered with clay and secured the door.

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Ancient Mesopotamia: Mathematics and Measurement

During the earliest years of recorded history, the ancient Mesopotamians were experimenting with ways to count, measure, and solve mathematical problems. They were the first to give a number a place value and to recognize the concept of zero.

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Odyssey - Near East: Daily Life

For thousands of years, the needs of daily life in the Near East - shelter, tools, and domestic implements - have been resourcefully and creatively made from available natural materials. Houses were, and in some places still are, constructed of mud-brick, with flat roofs that served as sleeping porches in hot weather. Tools, weapons, and vessels were worked from stone.

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Odyssey - Near East: Death & Burial

In the ancient Near East burial, rather than cremation, was usually practiced. This tomb, called Tomb P1 by archaeologists, is from the ancient city of Jericho. It shows us one type of a Near Eastern tomb in its shape and in the contents buried inside.

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Odyssey - Near East: People

In parts of the Near East today, people's lives are in some ways very similar to their ancestors' thousands of years ago. Researchers can observe today's lifestyles along with archaeological evidence from the past to better understand the people of the ancient Near East. Let's look at how people supported themselves over thousands of years and how their lifestyles developed in the "cradle of civilization."

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The Sumerian People

The people of Sumer could own slaves, although the majority of residents were free. Slaves had a number of rights, including the right to borrow money, transact business, and even buy their own freedom. The children of Sumer had few rights -- the authority of their parents was supreme. Children were expected to obey their parents in all cases. For example, the spouse of a Sumerian child was chosen by his/her parent. Those children who chose to disobey the authority of their parents faced being disinherited or sold into slavery. Women also possessed several rights, including the right to engage in business and own property.

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Sumerian Society

Religion was an intricate part of the daily life of a citizen of Sumer. Accordingly, the largest and most important structure in the city was the temple. Each city had a patron deity to which its main temple was dedicated. However, a multitude of gods were recognized and some of them might have shrines located in the main temple complex or have their own smaller temples.

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Everyday Life In Babylonia And Assyria

The way of life with which this book deals flourished for 2000 years of the most formative period of human history, and it would require far more than the space available even touch upon every significant aspect of this subject. I have there,-e had to confine myself to a more modest task. What I have empted has been to give an introduction to the subject by a sketch Babylonian and Assyrian life at a few key-points, seen in the context of the historical setting.

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Ancient Babylonia - Schools

For the most part the only education that a young Babylonian might have received would have been of a scribal type. Those who were sent to school to train as a scribe had to be children of wealthy or influential parents. Boys were admitted and possibly girls as well. There is no doubt that rich women often had a lot of freedom and influence. (Bible History Online)

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Religion in the Ancient Middle East

The Sumerians believed that the forces of nature (rain, wind, floods) were alive. The people couldn't control these forces of nature, so they worshipped them as gods. The people also believed that they were living on Earth only to please the gods.

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Ancient Babylonia - Temples and Rituals

The care and feeding of the gods in the great temples was a matter of daily concern. Elaborate rituals requiring the participation and support of numbers of temple personnel evolved around the daily presentation of offerings, the cleaning of the divine statues' garments, and the purification of the temples. Offerings were provided from the temple's land holdings, endowments by royal and wealthy people, and from occasional gifts such as war booty. (Bible History Online)

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Women In Babylonia Under The Hammurabi Law Code

The best known and most complete of the ancient pre-Roman law codes is that of Hammurabi, Eighteenth Century BCE ruler of Babylon. It was the Hammurabi Code that said that one who destroys the eye of another should have his own eye put out as punishment and one who murders should himself be put to death, thus giving rise to the expression "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth".

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The Ishtar Gate

Ancient Babylonia "" The Ishtar Gate (Bible History Online). The Ishtar Gate, one of the eight gates of the inner city of Babylon, was built during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II (604- 562 BC). Only the foundations of the gate were found, going down some 45 feet, with molded, unglazed figures. The gateway has been reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin, from the glazed bricks found, so its original height is different in size. Reconstructed height is 47 feet.

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Hanging Garden's of Babylon

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. The Greek historian Herodotus described Babylon in great detail. King Nebuchadnezzar built them in 580 BC apparently for his wife Amytis, daughter of the Median King Astyages, who was homesick for the mountains and vegetation of her native land. The site was located by an archaeologist named Koldeway at the northeast corner of Nebuchadnezzar's palace near the Ishtar Gate. The gardens were probably developed on a structure like a ziggurat and built in the form of elevated terraces. Koldeway discovered huge vaults and arches at the site. He also uncovered an ancient hydraulic system like a pump drawing water from the river. The building was about 75 feet high and the gardens were at different levels which grew around and on top of a building. (Bible History Online)

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The Ziggurats

Ancient Babylonia "" The Ziggurats (Bible History Online) One of the most important aspects of Babylonian religion and tradition, and probably the best known, is the ziggurat. Ziggurats were huge "stepped" structures with, on their summit, far above the ground, a temple. This Temple would have been to the city god. The city ziggurat would easily be the most conspicuous building in the city, towering above any visitors coming to their city. Therefore the ziggurat was not just a religious center but also a center of civic pride. Any visitor could not but see the ziggurat. The ziggurats were built on an immense scale: in the time of Hammurapi they would sometimes reach the height of 150 feet. Around the base there might be more temples or in some case accommodation for priests.

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Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III was discovered by the late Henry Layard in 1845. The 7 foot black limestone monument was found in the ruins of the palace of Shalmaneser III at ancient Calah, near Nineveh. It contains many panels displaying the Assyrian kings exploits. The Black Obelisk is one of the most important discoveries in Biblical Archaeology because one of the panels depicts the Hebrew king Jehu, or possibly one of his servants, bringing gifts to Shalmaneser and kneeling at his feet. The inscription above it reads: "The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri, silver, gold, bowls of gold, chalices of gold, cups of gold, vases of gold, lead, a sceptre for the king, and spear-shafts, I have received." (Bible History Online)

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Nebuchadnezzar's Palace

King Nebuchadnezzar's Palace in Ancient Babylon http://architecture.about...com/od/themiddleeast/ig/Iraq-

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Walls of Babylon

Ancient Walls of Babylon, 604 to 562 B.C. In its glory, Babylon was surrounded by thick masonry walls ornamented with images of the ancient God of Marduk.

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Babylon's Original Walls

Original Walls of Babylon, 604 to 562 B.C. In 604 to 562 B.C., thick masonry walls were built around Babylon.

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Reconstructed Images of the City of Babylon in Iraq

Ancient city that was located on the east side of the Euphrates river, and capital of Babylonia in 2nd and 1st millennia BCE. Its ruins are found 90 km south of modern Baghdad in Iraq.The main foundation for Babylon's economy was trade routes between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea, as well as agriculture fed by the rich Euphrates River. Babylon is today famous mainly for its size and architecture from the period of Nebuchadnezzar 2 in the 6th century BCE, when it covered about 10 km² and was by far the largest city in the world. But this city only survived for few decades before it was sacked by the Persians. Saddam Hussein ordered the reconstruction atop the ancient ruins that destroyed a lot of ancient artefacts on the site.

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Palace of Sargon II at Khorsabad

Reconstruction image of the palace of Sargon II at Khorsabad, Iraq

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Hittite Palace in Turkey

Hittite palace area. This photograph shows the ruins of a Hittite palace in Turkey. Rectangular shaped stones show the outline of where rooms had been and grass grows up between them. Three large terra cotta jars can be seen in one of the "rooms". Visitors to the site are kept back from the ruins by barbed wire fences.

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Hattusa

Contains images of monuments on Hattusa. Hattuþa is a fantastic site. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The earliest traces of settlement on the site is from the 6th millennium BCE. Before 2000 BCE the site was settled by the Hatti, the pre-Hittites. Around 1700 BCE, this city was destroyed, apparently by King Anitta from Kushar. A generation later, a Hittite speaking king built Hattuþa. It became the capital of the Hittite Empire. At its peak, the city covered 1.8 km². The city was destroyed around 1200 BCE with the collapse of the Hittite Empire. The city has several large temple complexes, and many fortifications, including a large city wall. Nearby is Yazýlýkaya, a sanctuary of Hattuþa. It has some marvelous reliefs carved in the rock walls. The Hittites ruled a vast Empire in the Middle East.

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Winged Lion of Babylon

Human-headed winged lion (lamassu), 883 859 B.C.;Neo-Assyrian period, reign of Ashurnasirpal II

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Phoenician Ships, Navigation and Commerce

The first attempts of the Phoenicians to navigate the sea which washed their coast were probably as clumsy and rude as those of other primitive nations. They are said to have voyaged from island to island by means of rafts.1 When they reached the shores of the Mediterranean, it can scarcely have been long ere they constructed boats for fishing and coasting purposes, though no doubt such boats were of a very rude construction. Probably, like other races, they began with canoes, roughly hewn out of the trunk of a tree. The torrents which descended from Lebanon would from time to time bring down the stems of fallen trees in their flood-time; and these, floating on the Mediterranean waters, would suggest the idea of navigation. They would, at first, be hollowed out with hatchets and adzes, or else with fire; and, later on, the canoes thus produced would form the models for the earliest efforts in shipbuilding. The great length, however, would soon be found unnecessary, and the canoe would give place to the boat, in the ordinary acceptation of the term. There are models of boats among the Phoenician remains which have a very archaic character,2 and may give us some idea of the vessels in which the Phoenicians of the remoter times braved the perils of the deep. They have a keel, not ill shaped, a rounded hull, bulwarks, a beak, and a high seat for the steersman. The oars, apparently, must have been passed through interstices in the bulwark.

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Phoenican Trading Ship

Marititme History/ Ancient Mesopotamian Ships/ Phoenican Trading Ship Phoenician cargo and trading ships of this design are known from the tomb of Sargon of Nineveh, c.700 B.C. where such ships were depicted loading cedar logs. These symmetrical, 'round', oared, sailing ships had high stem and stern posts upon which were carved horse heads. This ship appears to have a hogging truss which indicates an early design. Round trading ships had advantages for the transport of bulk goods.

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Phoenican Trading Ship

Marititme History/ Ancient Mesopotamian Ships/ Phoenican Trading Ship Phoenician cargo and trading ships of this design are known from the tomb of Sargon of Nineveh, c.700 B.C. where such ships were depicted loading cedar logs. These symmetrical, 'round', oared, sailing ships had high stem and stern posts upon which were carved horse heads. This ship appears to have a hogging truss which indicates an early design. Round trading ships had advantages for the transport of bulk goods.

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Turkey Bodrum

Replica of the Yassiada shipwreck from Byzantine times (7th c.), St. Peter's castle; Bodrum, Turkey

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Reconstruction of the Yassiada shipwreck

Turkey Bodrum (partial) reconstruction of the Yassiada shipwreck from Byzantine times (7th c.), St. Peter's castle; Bodrum, Turkey

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Turkey Bodrum (partial) reconstruction

Turkey Bodrum (partial) reconstruction of the Yassiada shipwreck from Byzantine times (7th c.), St. Peter's castle; Bodrum, Turkey

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Real-size Replica; Uluburun Shipwreck

Turkey Bodrum real-size replica; Uluburun shipwreck, St. Peter's castle, Bodrum, Turkey

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Mesopotamian Boats

The paucity of pictorial representation of Mesopotamian boats makes comparisons difficult. Their watercraft, as presently known, did not survive the ages. Despite advances in the maritime archaeology around the world, the ships and boats of Mesopotamia remain elusive. The little information we have is currently limited to iconography and texts.

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History of Boats and Ships

Humans have tended to live near water, and it is natural to make use of things that float. Logs or bundles of reeds can be lashed together to form rafts; hollow trunks can be improved to become dugout canoes. Once the principle of a watertight hull is understood, animal hides or the bark of trees can be attached to a framework of bamboo or wicker to make a simple coracle. Boats of all these kinds have been made by technologically primitive communities, and many continue to be made into the 20th century.

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Phoenician Ships

The best seafarers and ship builders of the ancient world were the Phoenicians. The famous Lebanese cedar tress covering the slopes of mountains of their native land was a perfect material for construction of strong seaworthy ships. The Phoenicians made important contributions to the marine science, having been credited with the division of a circle into 360 degrees and having reliable celestial reference points.

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Phoenician Cargo Ship

Considered the best shipbuilders of the time, the Phoenicians designed boats that depended more on wind than on manpower. Phoenician ships could carry more cargo than galley ships, which needed room for oars and rowers...

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Archaeological Site of Phoenician Shipwreck

Location of the two Phoenician ships of c. 750 B.C. that foundered 46km off Gaza with cargoes of wine in amphoras. The crew of the U.S. Navy deep submergence research submarine NR-1 discovered the sites in 1997 and in 1999 a team led by Robert Ballard and Harvard University archeology Professor Lawrence Stager investigated the wrecks.

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Ashkelon 1999

In June 1999, IFE mounted an expedition to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The expedition team included archaeologists from the Leon Levy Expedition at Ashkelon under the direction of Dr. Lawrence Stager of Harvard University. Dr. Ballard, Project Leader for the Expedition, was joined by oceanographers and engineers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Johns Hopkins University. The team surveyed two ancient shipwrecks at a depth of more than 1000 feet. The ships are the oldest vessels ever discovered in the deep sea.

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Phoenician Shipwrecks

A team of oceanographers and archaeologists led by Robert D. Ballard of the Institute for Exploration in Mystic, Connecticut, and Lawrence Stager of Harvard University has found two ancient Phoenician shipwrecks in the eastern Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel. Lying more than 1,000 feet (305 meters) below the surface, they are the oldest vessels ever discovered in the deep sea. The ships were most likely lost in a violent storm around 750 B.C., during the time of Homer. The expedition was partly sponsored by the National Geographic Society's Expeditions Council.

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Seytan Deresi

The institute's second excavation of 1975 was conducted near ªeytan Deresi (Devil's Creek), on the north coast of Turkey's Kerme Bay. AINA (now INA) had surveyed the wreck in 1973 and raised two huge pottery vessels, along with a number of pot sherds. The site seemed untouched since then. The jars had been found at the base of a sloping field of rock outcrops and boulders. No traces of wood had been found, to obvious disappointment, nor were there any non-ceramic objects other than a fishing weight, which was not necessarily antique.

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Uluburun Shipwreck

Bronze Age Shipwreck Excavation in Uluburun. The Institute of Nautical Archaeology's (INA) shipwreck excavation between 1984 and 1994 at Uluburun, near Kas in southern Turkey, brought to light one of the wealthiest and largest known assemblages of Late Bronze Age items found in the Mediterranean. The shipwreck lay on a steep rocky slope at a depth of 44 to 52 m, with artifacts scattered down to 61 m.

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Uluburun Shipwreck Website

Explore the wreck and view the artifacts in this website of the Uluburun Shipwreck. In 1984, sponge divers off the coast of Turkey found the remains of ancient shipwreck.

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Cape Gelidonya

Bronze Age Shipwreck Excavation at Cape Gelidonya. Cape Gelidonya, sometimes known also as Khelidonya or Silidonya Burnu, is the Chelidonian promontory of Pliny (Natural History 5.27.97) in Lycia. The cape marks the western extremity of the Bay of Antalya. Running south from the cape is a string of five small islands, the Chelidoniae of antiquity, called Celidoni by Italian sailors, and later, Selidonlar by the Turks, but today known simply as Besadalar (Five Islands). Strabo (14.2.1 and 14.3.8) noted only three of them and Pliny (Natural History 5.35.1 31 ) only four. In about 1200 BC, a merchant vessel apparently ripped its bottom open on a pinnacle of rock that nears the surface of the sea just off the northeast side of Devecitasi Abasi, the largest of the islands (36° 11'40" N, 30° 24'Z7" E). Spilling artifacts in a line as she sank, the ship eventually settled with her stern resting on a large boulder 50 meters or so away to the north; her bow landed on a flat sea-floor of rock. At some point during the hull's disintegration, the stern slipped off the boulder into a natural gully formed by the boulder and the base of the island.

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Mazarron Wrecks

The Vessel I of Mazarrón was excavated in the spring of 1995, inside the context of the 'Nave Fenicia' proyect, it began in October of 1993 and it concluded about June of 1995. In this project it were prospected systematically 72.000 m2 at the Playa de la Isla Mazarrón (Murcia), and it were recovered more than 7.000 fragments of phoenician objects, the wessel I (Mazzarrón I) was excavated, it was carried out an underwater mold of the remains, it was recovered and I carried to the Museum. and the Ship II was located, it is also a phoenician ship, with similar characteristics of the first one. This second ship was covered appropriately and it remains are, even, in the sea bottom of the mentioned bay.

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Shipwreck of lost 'Sea People' Found

The discovery of a shipwreck belonging to the enigmatic "Sea Peoples" is a significant archaeological find that sheds light on one of the ancient world's enduring mysteries. The Sea Peoples were a confederation of seafaring groups who played a role in the political upheaval and conflicts in the Eastern Mediterranean during the late Bronze Age. Here's a brief overview of this discovery:

Discovery:

  • The shipwreck, believed to date back to the late Bronze Age (around 1200 BCE), was found by marine archaeologists in the Eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of a coastal site.
  • The remains of the shipwreck offer insight into the technology, trade, and seafaring skills of this ancient seafaring civilization.

Significance:

  • The discovery is significant because it provides a rare glimpse into the material culture and maritime activities of the Sea Peoples, a group known primarily through ancient inscriptions and historical accounts.
  • Understanding the Sea Peoples and their interactions with established civilizations, such as the Egyptians and Hittites, has long been a subject of intrigue and debate among historians and archaeologists.

Artifacts and Insights:

  • Excavations at the shipwreck site have yielded various artifacts, including pottery, tools, and possibly even the remains of the ship's cargo.
  • These findings can help researchers better understand the trade networks, technological capabilities, and seafaring routes of the Sea Peoples, shedding light on their role in the tumultuous events of the late Bronze Age.

Historical Context:

  • The Sea Peoples are believed to have played a part in the collapse of several ancient empires and city-states, including the Hittites, Mycenaeans, and parts of the Egyptian New Kingdom. Their origins and motives have been the subject of debate among historians.

The discovery of this shipwreck is a valuable addition to the ongoing efforts to unravel the mysteries surrounding the Sea Peoples and their place in ancient history. It provides a tangible link to a civilization that played a significant role in the tumultuous transitions of the late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean.

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Assyrian Stone Altar

Assyrian Stone Altar sketch

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Ancient Lattice Windows

The lattice window looked very much like a fisherman's net, and was used in warm middle eastern countries. It was formed of reticulated work, and highly ornamental. They also had hinges which allowed them to be open or shut. On very hot days then sun is kept out while the air is let in through the trellis openings.

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Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. The Greek historian Herodotus described Babylon in great detail. King Nebuchadnezzar built them in 580 BC apparently for his wife Amytis, daughter of the Median King Astyages, who was homesick for the mountains and vegetation of her native land.

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A test with the category link

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Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. The Greek historian Herodotus described Babylon in great detail. King Nebuchadnezzar built them in 580 BC apparently for his wife Amytis, daughter of the Median King Astyages, who was homesick for the mountains and vegetation of her native land. The site was located by an archaeologist named Koldeway at the northeast corner of Nebuchadnezzar's palace near the Ishtar Gate.

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Mesha Stele Photo

Moabite Stone
Language: Moabite (a West Semitic Language)
Medium: basalt stone stele
Size: 1.15 meters high, 60-68 centimeters wide
Length: 35 lines of writing
Honoree: Mesha, king of Moab
(late 9th century BCE)
Approximate Date: 830 BCE
Place of Discovery: Dhiban [in modern Jordan]
Date of Discovery: 1868
Current Location: Louvre Museum (Paris, France)
Inventory number: AO 5066

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Dangerous Archaeology

Archaeology and the Near East

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Selection from the Teachings of MerikaRe

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Tale of Sinuhe among the Asiatics

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Manetho on the Hyksos

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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The 400 Year Inscription at Tanis

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Campaign of Thothmosis III against Megiddo

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Noblemen's Tomb, Rekmire

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Campaign of Thothmosis IV

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Restoration of Tutankhamun

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Theophoric Titles

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Famine story, Tale of Aqhat

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Dying and Rising Baal, Ugaritic Myths

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Animal Sacrifice, Legend of King Keret

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Funerary Rites, Tale of Aqhat

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Rameside Family

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Campaign of Seti I in Northern Palestine

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Major Campaigns of Seti I

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Beth Shan Stela of Seti I

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Merneptah Stela

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Papyrus Anastasi III

Claim that Egyptian records support a centuries-long Exodus. Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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The Pursuit of Runaway Slaves,Papyrus Anastasi V

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Ahiram Sacrophagus Inscription

Alphabets & Writing Systems. Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Mesha Stela

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Ben-Hadad Stela

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Yehimilk's Temple Inscription

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Siloam Pool Inscription

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Sennacherib's Campaign against Judah

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Selection from Lachish Ostraca

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Funerary Inscription of Tabnit of Sidon

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Child Sacrifice, Philo of Byblos

Selected Ancient Near Eastern Texts

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Encarta Online information about Hammurabi

information on Mesopotamia, Sumer, and Hammurabi [People in History] [Searches and Tools]

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Encarta Online information on Hammurabi's Code

Collection of the laws and edicts of the Babylonian king Hammurabi, and the earliest legal code known in its entirety. A copy of the code was unearthed by a team of French archaeologists during the winter of 1901 to 1902 at Susa, in a part of Iran that was once ancient Elam. [People in History] [Searches and Tools]

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Encarta on Hammurabi's Code

Info on Mesopotamia, Sumer, and Hammurabi [People in History] [Searches and Tools]

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Yale Law School with text of Hammurabi's Code

information on Mesopotamia, Sumer, and Hammurabi [People in History] [Searches and Tools]

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Yale Law School with Babylonian background

information on Mesopotamia, Sumer, and Hammurabi [People in History] [Searches and Tools]

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Yale Law School with still more about Hammurabi

information on Mesopotamia, Sumer, and Hammurabi [People in History] [Searches and Tools]

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Myths and Legends

information on Mesopotamia, Sumer, and Hammurabi [People in History] [Searches and Tools]

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Ancient Mesopotamia Teacher's Resource Guide

information on Mesopotamia, Sumer, and Hammurabi [Oriental Institute] [People in History] [Searches and Tools]

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Ancient Mesopotamia Timeline and Links

information on Mesopotamia, Sumer, and Hammurabi [People in History] [Searches and Tools]

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Hammurabi's Code, View a Stela

information on Mesopotamia, Sumer, and Hammurabi [People in History] [Searches and Tools]

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Hammurabi

Hammurabi made Babylon one of the great cities of the ancient world. Archaeologists have discovered that in his city the streets were laid out in straight lines that intersect approximately at right angles, an innovation that bears witness to city planning and strong central government. [information on Mesopotamia, Sumer, and Hammurabi] [People in History] [Searches and Tools]

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Babylonian Clay Tablets, with cuneiform inscriptions

Samples of Babylonian Clay Tablets, with cuneiform inscriptions, dating from 2350 B.C. These tablets are original temple receipts. [Florida State Univ.]

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Cuneiform Inscription on a smal Babylonian clay tablet

An expert working at the British Museum has confirmed the existence of an important Biblical figure after deciphering a cuneiform inscription on a small Babylonian clay tablet. Austrian Assyriologist Dr Michael Jursa made the breakthrough discovery confirming the existence of a Babylonian official mentioned in the Old Testament and connected to the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. The clay document is dated to the 10th year of Nebuchadnezzar II (595 BC) and names the official, Nebo-Sarsekim. According to chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah, he was present at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC with Nebuchadnezzar himself.

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Darius the Great: Naqš-i Rustam inscription

Darius I (Old Persian DÃ-rayavauÅ¡): king of ancient Persia, whose reign lasted from 522 to 486. He seized power after killing king GaumÃ-ta, fought a civil war (described in the Behistun inscription), and was finally able to refound the Achaemenid empire, which had been very loosely organized until then. Darius fought several foreign wars, which brought him to India and Thrace. When he died, the Persian empire had reached its largest extent. He was succeeded by his son Xerxes. Darius was buried at NaqÅ¡-i Rustam. The double inscription on his tomb (see picture) reads as follows:

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Cuneiform Tablets

In the late fourth and third milleniums B.C. a people called the Sumerians began to develop a writing system called "cuneiform" ("wedge-shaped"), written on wet clay with a sharpened stick, or stylus. At first the Sumerians used a series of pictures ("pictograms") to record information having to do with business and administration, but went on to develop a system of symbols that stood for ideas and later sounds (usually syllables). In the later stages of Sumerian writing there were about 600 signs that were used on a regular basis.

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Inscription of Nebuchadnezzar

The reign of Nebuchadnezzar extended from B.C. 604 to 561. In B.C. 598 he laid siege to Jerusalem (2 Kings xxiv.) and made Jehoiachin prisoner, and in 588 again captured the city, and carried Zedekiah, who had rebelled against him, captive to Babylon (2 Kings xxv.). Josephus gives an account of his expeditions against Tyre and Egypt, which are also mentioned with many details in Ezek. xxvii.-xxix. The name Nebuchadnezzar, or more accurately Nebuchadrezzar (Jer. xxi. 2, 7, etc.), is derived from the Jewish Scriptures. But in the inscriptions it reads Nebo-kudurri-ussur, i.e., "may Nebo protect the crown"; a name analogous to that of his father Nebo(Nabu)-habal-ussur. ("Nebo protect the son") and to that of Belshazzar, i.e., "Bel protect the prince." The phonetic writing of Nebuchadnezzar is "An-pa-sa-du-sis," each of which syllables has been identified through the syllabaries. The word "kudurri" is probably the (Hebrew - KeTeR) of (Page 251) Esther vi. 8, and the (Greek - kidaris) of the Greeks. The inscriptions of which a translation follows was found at Babylon by Sir Harford Jones Bridges, and now forms part of the India House Collection. It is engraved on a short column of black basalt, and is divided into ten columns, containing 619 lines.

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Cuneiform Inscriptions of the University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota owns nineteen artifacts inscribed in cuneiform, the script of ancient Mesopotamia. This collection, which is kept in Special Collections and Rare Books at the Elmer L. Andersen Library, comprises sixteen clay tablets, two clay cones, and one inscribed and sealed clay tag. These documents include sixteen administrative records from various cities of Sumer in the Ur III period (late 3rd millennium BCE), and three short royal inscriptions from the cities of Isin and Uruk in the early Old Babylonian period (early 2nd millennium BCE). Most of the texts were published four decades ago by Tom B. Jones, then professor of ancient history at the University of Minnesota, and John W. Snyder. They are now made available to the public in new editions, including transliterations, translations, and photographs, through digital media.

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Persia

Deals with the Persian Empire [People in History] [Tools and Searches]

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Sparta

Deals with the Persian War [People in History] [Tools and Searches]

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Athens

Deals with the Persian War. Ancient Athens Athenian Rule Important Army [People in History] [Tools and Searches]

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The Battle of Issus or Battle of Alexander and the Persians

Details of mosaic from Naples, Italy. They depict a battle between Alexander the Great and Darius III, king of Persia. Photo gallery of 12 pictures for "Mosaic of the Battle of Issus" [Ancient Egypt] [Images]

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Alexander the Great Photo Gallery

Photos: Istanbul Archaeological Museums: Alexander the Great Photo Gallery by Andrys Basten at pbase.com [Ancient Near East] [Images]

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Xerxes

Born about 465 BC, to Darius Hystaspis and Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great. He was king of Persia from 486-465 BC. He tried to continue his father`s plans to conquer Greece from 483-480 BC, after which he returned to Persia. [Famous Battles] [Ancient Greece]

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Xerxes` march route

Interactive game. Xerxes was born about 465 BC, to Darius Hystaspis and Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great. He was king of Persia from 486-465 BC. He tried to continue his father`s plans to conquer Greece from 483-480 BC, after which he returned to Persia. [Maps] [Ancient Near East]

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Xerxes` march route

Born about 465 BC, to Darius Hystaspis and Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great. He was king of Persia from 486-465 BC. He tried to continue his father`s plans to conquer Greece from 483-480 BC, after which he returned to Persia. [Maps] [Ancient Near East]

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Map of the Hellespont

Description: A map showing the Hellespont, and the surrounding territory during the Peloponnesian War. Place Names: Greece, Ilium, Cressa, Abydus, Pactye, Parium, Lampascus, Aenus, Samothrace ISO Topic Categories: intelligenceMilitary, inlandWaters, oceans, location Keywords: Map of the Hellespont, physical, political, historical, peloponnesian war, physical features, local jurisdictions, other military, intelligenceMilitary, inlandWaters, oceans, location, Unknown, 405 B.C. Source: George Willis Botsford, Ph. D., A History of Greece (London, : The Macmillan Company, 1912) 236 Map Credit: The Private Collection of Roy Winkelman.[Maps] [Ancient Near East]

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Empires and Cities (Ancient Near East)

Until this section is finished being indexed into the main database you can click here to see a list of links including the Bible History Online general resources on this subject, although many of these links are outdated. [Ancient Near East]

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Poppa's Ancient World 3500-400 BC. (Timeline)

"From the start of recorded history, the Near East has played an integral part in shaping the world we know. From the first real civilisation, the Sumerians, through the struggle for power between the Egyptian and Hittite empires and the rise and fall of the Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian empires, this region provides a wealth of fascinating facts and stories. Here we will be taking a look at three main areas; Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Syria/Israel, which are all marked on the map below. Although the complete Egyptian history is not included in this section, Egypt did have a big influence and therefore have been included in the timelines." includes maps.

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Map of Ancient Near East

Map of Ancient Near East - Eastern Mediterranean Area- Eastern Mediterranean Area. Yale University.

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Royal Harp From Ur

Royal Harp: from the Tomb of Queen Puabi, Ur; c2685 BC The University Museum, Philadelphia. Wood with inlaid lapis lazuli and shell; 17" high [Image from Yale University]

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Head of an Akkadian Ruler

Nineveh, Iraq: Head of an Akkadian Ruler: c2300-2200 BC Iraq Museum, Baghdad; Bronze 14 3/8" high. [Image from Yale University]

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Gudea of Lagash (Yale Photo)

Gudea of Lagash: c2150 BC Metropolitan Museum of Art, Diorite. [Image from Yale University]

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Ziggurat at Ur (Yale Photo)

Ziggurat at Ur: (Ziggurat of King Urnammo) c2500-2100 BC [Image from Yale University]

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Restored Ishtar Gate (Yale Photo)

Restored Ishtar Gate: Babylon c575 BC; Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Glazed brick. [Image from Yale University]

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Ashurnasirpal II at War (Yale Photo)

Ashurnasirpal II at War: Palace of Nimrud. c875 BC British Museum, London. Limestone Approximately 23" high. [Image from Yale University]

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Stele with Law Code of Hammurabi

The "Stele with Law Code of Hammurabi" is an iconic and historically significant artifact from ancient Mesopotamia. Here's a brief description:

Stele with Law Code of Hammurabi:

  • The Stele with Law Code of Hammurabi, often referred to as the Code of Hammurabi, is a large, inscribed stele (a stone or wooden slab) that bears one of the earliest known legal codes in human history.

Historical Context:

  • Created around 1754 BCE during the reign of Hammurabi, the sixth king of Babylon, the stele is an enduring testament to the legal and administrative practices of ancient Mesopotamia, specifically the Babylonian Empire.

Legal Code:

  • The stele's inscription includes a comprehensive legal code comprising 282 laws that address a wide range of subjects, including civil, criminal, and commercial matters. These laws provided a framework for governance and justice in ancient Babylonia.

Hammurabi's Contribution:

  • Hammurabi's Code is a reflection of his commitment to establishing order and justice in his empire. It's often characterized by its principle of "an eye for an eye," which emphasized proportionate justice.

Artistic Representation:

  • The stele features a carved relief at the top, portraying Hammurabi standing before the sun god, Shamash, who is often associated with justice. This scene symbolizes Hammurabi's divine authority in establishing these laws.

Influence and Legacy:

  • The Code of Hammurabi has had a profound influence on the development of subsequent legal systems and has been used as a reference point in the study of legal history.

Historical Discovery:

  • The stele was discovered in Susa, Iran, in 1901, where it had been taken as spoils of war by the Elamites. Its recovery was a significant moment in the study of ancient Mesopotamian history.

The Stele with Law Code of Hammurabi is not only a legal document but also a historical and cultural treasure that offers a window into the society, values, and governance of ancient Babylonia. It remains a symbol of the enduring human quest for justice and order in a complex world.

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Standard of Ur (War Side)

Sumerian Period: Standard of Ur (War Side): (Wood panel inlaid with shell, lapis lazuli and red limestone). Site: Royal Cemetery at Ur. Country: Mesopotamia. Period Date: c.2700-2300 BCE; Object Date c. 2700 BCE. [Image from Yale University]

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Bronze Statuettes

Syria: Tell Judaidah; Early Bronze Age;(Amuq Phase G), ca. 3100-2900 B.C. Bronze with silver-rich alloy. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1935-6. "Archaeologists found these three statuettes in a cache that contained three male and three female figurines. They are the earliest known metal castings of human figures in the round from Syria. The males wear broad belts and helmets covered with a silver alloy; they probably once held weapons in their upraised hands. The naked females' hair is held in place with a headband and bound in the back in an elaborate chignon. They cross their arms and grasp their breasts in their hands - a common ancient pose that probably connotes fertility. The statuettes were intended to be mounted in some fashion, for a tang projects below the feet of each one. The skill with which these unique pieces were modelled and the technical knowledge that was needed for their casting reveal surprisingly high standards of artistic and technical achievement in Syria at the beginning of the third millennium B.C.

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Male and Female Figurines

Syria: Tell Fakhariyah; ca. 1300-1000 B.C. Gypsum, painted, inlaid with bitumen and stone. Loan to the Oriental Institute. "A naked female and a partially clothed male are represented by this unique pair of red-coated stone figurines. Hair or headdresses made of a separate material were probably once attached to the pegs atop their heads. The male, who stands with his hands at his sides, wears a loincloth tied at the back. The female grasps her breasts with her hands-a common ancient pose that probably connotes fertility. She appears to be naked except for some type of foot-gear applied to her stump-like feet."

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Male and Female Sphinx

Syria: Tell Ta'yinat, Building 1, floor 2; Iron Age (Amuq Phase O), ca. 800 B.C. Basalt inlaid with white and green stone. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1936. "Sphinxes-imaginary creatures composed of a lion's body and a human head-are a motif that originated in Egypt and became common in the art of Western Asia beginning in the latter part of the second millennium B.C. This recumbent sphinx of local Syrian manufacture has an unusually vivacious character due to the position of the head, which is turned sideways with the chin slightly raised, not at the stiff right angle often found in ancient Near Eastern sculpture."

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Victorious Assyrian Soldiers

Syria: Tell Ta'yinat, Building VII; Iron Age (Amuq Phase O), ca. 750-725 B.C. Limestone. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1936. "After they had conquered Tell Ta'yinat, the Assyrians carved these reliefs and used them to decorate a palace or public structure. The scene shows victorious Assyrian soldiers carrying the cut-off heads of their defeated enemies to a location where the number of those slain would be counted. Beneath the soldiers' feet lie the decapitated bodies. Each soldier wears a helmet, carries a bow and quiver over his shoulder, and holds three arrows in his right hand."

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Portrait Head of a Ruler

Iran (Elamite) Portrait Head of a Ruler: ca. 2100-2000 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Neo-Assyrian King

Neo-Assyrian; Hunting scene with the king pouring libation over slain wild bull, attended by the Crown Prince(?) and servants carrying sun shade and fly whisk, detail of relief from NW. Palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud (Kalakh). ca 883-859 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Neo-Assyrian King Closer

Neo-Assyrian; Hunting scene with the king pouring libation over slain wild bull, attended by the Crown Prince(?) and servants carrying sun shade and fly whisk, detail of relief from NW. Palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud (Kalakh). ca 883-859 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Large Pair of Lamassau Figures

Neo-Assyrian; Pair of Lamassau figures flanking a gateway (restored), from the Palace of Sargon II at Khorsabad (Dur-Sharrukin). ca. 713-706 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Large Lamassu Guardian Figure

Neo-Assyrian; Lamassu guardian figure [in background L., relief of the Hero Gilgamesh(?)], from the Palace of Sargon II at Khorsabad (Dur-Sharrukin). ca. 713-706 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Hero (Gilgamesh ?), Mastering a Lion

Neo-Assyrian; Hero (Gilgamesh ?), mastering a lion, relief from facade of the throne room, Palace of Sargon II at Khorsabad (Dur-Sharrukin). ca. 713-706 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Siege of Lachich (Judah)

Neo-Assyrian; Siege of Lachich (Judah): Assyrian army attacking the walls with a siege-engine, relief from SW. Palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 701 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Siege of Lachich (Judah) Close

Neo-Assyrian; Siege of Lachich (Judah): Assyrian army attacking the walls with a siege-engine, relief from SW. Palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 701 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Siege of Lachich (Judah) 3

Neo-Assyrian; Siege of Lachich (Judah): Assyrian army attacking the walls with a siege-engine, relief from SW. Palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 701 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Siege of Lachich (Judah) 4

Neo-Assyrian; Siege of Lachich (Judah): Assyrian army attacking the walls with a siege-engine, relief from SW. Palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 701 B.C. The city defenders hard pressed by the Assyrian attackers, detail [L] From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Siege of Lachich (Judah) 5

Neo-Assyrian; Siege of Lachich (Judah): Assyrian sappers undermine the city walls, detail [L.] relief from SW. Palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 701 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Siege of Lachich (Judah) 6

Neo-Assyrian; Siege of Lachich (Judah): Captives led away from the city; [R.] the Assyrian assault on the city walls, relief from SW. Palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 701 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Siege of Lachich (Judah) 7

Neo-Assyrian; Siege of Lachich (Judah): a city defender falls to his death from the battlements, detail [R.] relief from SW. Palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 701 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Siege of Lachich (Judah) 8

Neo-Assyrian; Siege of Lachich (Judah): amphibious troops use inflated animals skins to cross a river teeming with fish, detail [R.] relief from SW. Palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 701 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Siege of Lachich (Judah) 9

Neo-Assyrian; Siege of Lachich (Judah): captive musicians sing praises to the conqueror, detail of relief from SW. Palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 701 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal

Neo-Assyrian; Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: the king on horseback, spearing a lion, detail of relief from royal palace at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 668-627 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal 2

Neo-Assyrian; Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: bodyguards at the rear of the royal chariot protect the king from a charging lion, detail of relief from royal palace at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 668-627 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal 3

Neo-Assyrian; Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: release of a captive lion into the hunting enclosure, detail of relief from royal palace at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 668-627 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal 4

Neo-Assyrian; Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: the king on foot, slaying a lion (after similar motif on the royal seal), detail of relief from royal palace at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 668-627 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal 5

Neo-Assyrian; Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: a lion, in agony, its head transfixed by an arrow; detail of relief from royal palace at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 668-627 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal 6

Neo-Assyrian; Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: wounded lion, detail of relief from royal palace at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 668-627 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal 7

Neo-Assyrian; Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: wounded lioness, detail of relief from royal palace at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 668-627 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal 8

Neo-Assyrian; Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: detail of wounded lioness, detail of relief from royal palace at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 668-627 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal 9

Neo-Assyrian; Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: dying lion, detail of relief from royal palace at Nineveh (Kuyunjik). ca. 668-627 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Ishtar Gate

Neo-Babylonian; Ishtar Gate, Babylon: (restored)ca. 575 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Ishtar Gate 2

Neo-Babylonian; Ishtar Gate: detail of [R.] flanking tower with motifs of Bulls and Dragons, ca. 575 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Ishtar Gate 3

Neo-Babylonian; Ishtar Gate: Processional Way, guardian lions on Right side, ca. 575 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Ishtar Gate 4

Neo-Babylonian; Ishtar Gate: Processional Way, detail of guardian lions on Left side, ca. 575 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Ishtar Gate 5

Neo-Babylonian; Ishtar Gate, Babylon: detail of single guardian lion from Left side, ca. 575 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Ishtar Gate 6

Neo-Babylonian; Ishtar Gate, Babylon: detail of head of guardian lion from Left side, ca. 575 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Double Bull Capital from the Palace of Darius

Persian, Achaemenid: Double bull capital from the Apadana Hall, Palace of Darius at Persepolis. ca. 500 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Persian Guard in Headdress

Persian, Achaemenid: Persian guard in headdress of one of the Ten Thousand Immortals, fragment of relief from the Palace of Xerxes at Persepolis. ca. 486-464 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

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Ancient Lamps from the Levant

Ancient lamps from the Levant are a diverse and fascinating group of artifacts. They were used for a variety of purposes, including lighting homes, temples, and tombs. They were also used in religious rituals and ceremonies.

Levant lamps were made from a variety of materials, including clay, metal, and glass. They were often decorated with elaborate designs and motifs. Some lamps were even shaped like animals or people.

Here are some of the most common types of ancient lamps from the Levant:

  • Open saucer lamps: These lamps were the simplest and most common type of lamp in the Levant. They were made from clay and had a shallow bowl shape. The wicks were placed in the center of the bowl.
  • Closed saucer lamps: These lamps were similar to open saucer lamps, but they had a rim around the edge of the bowl. This rim helped to prevent the oil from spilling out.
  • Discus lamps: These lamps were made from clay and had a round, flat shape. The wicks were placed in the center of the lamp. Discus lamps were often decorated with elaborate designs and motifs.
  • Lampstands: Lampstands were made from metal or clay and had a base and a shaft. The lamp was placed on the top of the shaft. Lampstands were often used in temples and tombs.

Ancient lamps from the Levant are a valuable source of information about the lives and culture of the ancient people of the region. They provide us with insights into their religious beliefs, their values, and their way of life. Ancient lamps from the Levant are also beautiful works of art that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

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Persepolis and Ancient Iran

Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire of ancient Iran (Persia), from 522 to 330 BC. It is situated in the plains of Marvdasht, encircled by southern Zagros mountains of the Iranian plateau. Modern day Shiraz is situated 60 km (37 mi) southwest of the ruins of Persepolis. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture. UNESCO declared the ruins of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979.

Persepolis was founded by Darius I the Great, and it was built on a massive artificial terrace. The city was divided into two main parts: the royal citadel and the lower city. The royal citadel was the center of government and religion, and it contained the palace complex, the treasury, and the Gate of All Nations. The lower city was home to the artisans, merchants, and other residents of Persepolis.

The palace complex at Persepolis is one of the most impressive examples of ancient architecture in the world. It consists of a number of large buildings, including the Apadana, the Hall of One Hundred Columns, and the Palace of Xerxes. The palace complex was decorated with elaborate reliefs and sculptures, which depicted the Achaemenid kings and their subjects.

Persepolis was a symbol of the power and wealth of the Achaemenid Empire. It was also a center of culture and learning. The city was home to a number of scholars and artists, and it was a place where people from all over the empire would come to trade and learn.

Persepolis was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. The city was never rebuilt, but its ruins remain a testament to the greatness of the Achaemenid Empire.

Ancient Iran was a vast and diverse empire, and it had a profound impact on the development of world civilization. The Persians were skilled engineers and builders, and they constructed a network of roads and bridges that helped to connect their empire. They were also skilled traders, and they traded goods with people all over the world.

The Persians were also patrons of the arts and sciences. They built libraries and schools, and they supported the work of scholars and artists. The Persians made significant contributions to mathematics, astronomy, and medicine.

Ancient Iran was a multicultural empire, and the Persians were tolerant of other religions and cultures. They allowed their subjects to practice their own religions, and they built temples and shrines for people of all faiths.

The Persian Empire had a profound impact on the development of world civilization. The Persians made significant contributions to many areas, including engineering, construction, trade, the arts, and sciences. They were also a tolerant and multicultural empire.

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Male Head

The "Male Head" from Northern Arabia, specifically from the ancient site of al-`Ula (formerly known as Dedan), belongs to the Lihyanite culture and dates back to the 4th to 3rd centuries B.C. It is a remarkable archaeological artifact carved from sandstone, providing significant insights into the artistic and cultural achievements of the ancient Arabian world. Here's a description of this historical artifact:

Artifact Description: The "Male Head" is a sculpted representation of a human head, crafted with remarkable attention to detail and precision. It is made from sandstone, a common material used for sculpture in the region. The sculpture portrays the head and upper neck of a male figure, focusing on facial features and the surrounding headdress.

Cultural Context: The artifact originates from al-`Ula, an archaeological site in what is now Saudi Arabia. In antiquity, this region was known as Dedan and was inhabited by the Lihyanite people. Dedan was a prominent oasis and a key center of trade and culture in northern Arabia, making it an important site for archaeological discoveries.

Historical Period: The "Male Head" is dated to the 4th to 3rd centuries B.C., placing it within the Hellenistic period, which saw the influence of Greek culture extending into various parts of the ancient world.

Artistic Details: The sculptor has demonstrated great skill in capturing the human form and facial characteristics. The male figure is depicted with a serene expression, and his features, including the eyes, nose, mouth, and beard, are finely detailed. The headwear or headdress is particularly notable, showcasing intricate patterns and design elements that are characteristic of the Lihyanite style.

Possible Significance: While the precise identity of the depicted individual remains uncertain, it is believed that sculptures like the "Male Head" had a ceremonial or religious function. They may have been placed in temples, tombs, or other significant locations to honor or memorialize individuals or deities.

Archaeological Significance: Artifacts like the "Male Head" play a crucial role in our understanding of the ancient Arabian world and its connections to neighboring regions. They offer glimpses into the artistic, religious, and social practices of the Lihyanite culture and its interactions with other ancient civilizations, including the Hellenistic world.

Preservation: The preservation of such ancient sculptures is of paramount importance. Museums, archaeologists, and cultural institutions work diligently to safeguard and conserve these artifacts, ensuring they can continue to be studied and appreciated by future generations.

In summary, the "Male Head" from al-`Ula in Northern Arabia is a remarkable piece of ancient sculpture that reflects the artistic achievements and cultural richness of the Lihyanite culture during the Hellenistic period. Its meticulous craftsmanship and historical context make it a valuable artifact for the study of ancient Arabian history and art.

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Pitcher with Built-In Strainer

The "Pitcher with Built-In Strainer" from Alishar Huyuk in Turkey, dating back to the Assyrian Colony Period around 1900-1750 B.C., is an archaeological artifact that provides fascinating insights into the daily life and craftsmanship of ancient civilizations. Here's a description of this historical object:

Artifact Description: This pitcher is a finely crafted piece made from baked clay. It features a distinctive design element, a built-in strainer or spout, which sets it apart from typical vessels of its time. The pitcher has been carefully decorated, with the surface of the clay being slipped and burnished, giving it a smooth and polished appearance.

Historical Context: The pitcher hails from the archaeological site of Alishar Huyuk, located in modern-day Turkey. Alishar Huyuk was a prominent settlement during the Assyrian Colony Period, characterized by its interactions with the Mesopotamian cultures, particularly the Assyrians. This period saw significant cultural exchanges and trade networks between Anatolia and Mesopotamia.

Function: The built-in strainer or spout on the pitcher suggests a specialized function. Such vessels were likely used for filtering liquids, such as fermented beverages, grains, or possibly even medicinal concoctions. The strainer would have facilitated the pouring and serving of liquids while preventing solid particles from entering the drinking vessel.

Craftsmanship: The craftsmanship of this pitcher is a testament to the skill and artistry of the ancient potters of Alishar Huyuk. The careful slip and burnishing of the clay demonstrate an attention to detail and a desire for aesthetics, even in utilitarian objects.

Excavation History: The artifact was excavated by the Oriental Institute in 1929. This institute, associated with the University of Chicago, has conducted extensive archaeological work in the Near East, contributing significantly to our understanding of ancient cultures and history.

Cultural Significance: Objects like this pitcher provide valuable insights into the material culture, technological advancements, and daily life of the people of Alishar Huyuk during the Assyrian Colony Period. They offer glimpses into their culinary practices, trade relationships, and domestic routines.

Archaeological Importance: The archaeological excavation of sites like Alishar Huyuk helps archaeologists and historians piece together the puzzle of ancient civilizations and their connections to neighboring cultures. This artifact, in particular, sheds light on the practical innovations and craftsmanship of its time.

In summary, the "Pitcher with Built-In Strainer" from Alishar Huyuk is a remarkable archaeological artifact that speaks to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of ancient civilizations. Its design and purpose reflect the practical needs and cultural exchanges of the Assyrian Colony Period, making it a valuable piece for the study of ancient Anatolian and Mesopotamian history.

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Pair of Bull Statuettes

A pair of bull statuettes is a common find in archaeological sites from the ancient world. Bulls were often revered as symbols of fertility, strength, and power. They were also associated with gods and goddesses, such as Zeus, Hera, and Mithras.

Bull statuettes were made from a variety of materials, including clay, metal, and stone. They were often placed in temples, shrines, and homes as a way to bring good luck and protection. Bull statuettes were also used in religious rituals and ceremonies.

One of the most famous examples of bull statuettes is the pair of golden bulls found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. These bulls are believed to represent the gods Apis and Mnevis. They are now on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Another famous example of bull statuettes is the pair of bronze bulls found at the archaeological site of Knossos on Crete. These bulls are believed to have been used in religious rituals associated with the Minoan bull cult. They are now on display at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.

Bull statuettes continue to be popular today. They are often used as decorative objects or as symbols of strength and power. They are also popular subjects of art and literature.

Here are some possible interpretations of a pair of bull statuettes:

  • A symbol of fertility, strength, and power
  • A representation of a god or goddess
  • A protective amulet
  • A religious object used in rituals and ceremonies
  • A status symbol
  • A work of art

Ultimately, the meaning of a pair of bull statuettes is open to interpretation. However, it is clear that these statuettes have been important symbols in many cultures throughout history.

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Human-headed Winged Bull

A human-headed winged bull, also known as a lamassu, is a mythical creature with the body of a bull, the wings of an eagle, and the head of a human. It is a common motif in Mesopotamian art, and it was often used to guard the entrances to palaces and temples.

Lamassus were believed to be powerful protective spirits, and they were also associated with royalty and divinity. They were often depicted with five legs, which symbolized their ability to see in all directions. They were also often depicted with horns, which symbolized their strength and power.

Lamassus were first depicted in Mesopotamian art in the 4th millennium BCE. They became increasingly popular in the Assyrian period (9th-7th centuries BCE), and they were also used in Babylonian and Persian art.

Some of the most famous examples of lamassus are the human-headed winged bulls from the palace of King Sargon II at Khorsabad. These lamassus are over 5 meters tall and weigh over 40 tons. They are now on display at the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago.

Lamassus continue to fascinate people today. They are often used as symbols of strength, power, and protection. They are also popular subjects of art and literature.

Here are some possible interpretations of the human-headed winged bull:

  • A guardian spirit that protects the entrance to a sacred space
  • A symbol of the power and authority of the king
  • A link between the human and divine worlds
  • A representation of the four elements: earth (bull), air (eagle), fire (human), and water (wings)

Ultimately, the meaning of the human-headed winged bull is open to interpretation. However, it is clear that this mythical creature has been a powerful symbol in Mesopotamian art and culture for centuries.

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Assyrian Soldiers Towing a Boat

Assyrian Soldiers Towing a Boat is a bas-relief sculpture from the palace of King Sargon II at Khorsabad, dating to the 8th century BCE. It depicts a group of Assyrian soldiers towing a boat through a shallow river. The soldiers are naked, except for helmets and belts, and they are pulling the boat with ropes. The boat is carrying a load of supplies, including weapons, armor, and food.

The sculpture is a fine example of Assyrian art, which is characterized by its realism and attention to detail. The figures of the soldiers and the boat are depicted in a very lifelike way, and the details of their clothing and equipment are rendered with great care. The sculpture also provides a valuable glimpse into the military campaigns of the Assyrians.

The Assyrians were a powerful military force, and they often used boats to transport their troops and supplies. The soldiers depicted in the sculpture are likely towing the boat to a new location where they will establish a camp or launch an attack.

The sculpture is now on display at the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago. It is one of the most popular exhibits in the museum, and it is a valuable resource for scholars and students of Assyrian art and military history.

Here are some possible interpretations of the sculpture:

  • The soldiers may be towing the boat to a new location where they will establish a camp.
  • The soldiers may be towing the boat to a new location where they will launch an attack.
  • The soldiers may be towing the boat to transport supplies to a military outpost.
  • The soldiers may be towing the boat to transport prisoners of war.

Ultimately, the meaning of the sculpture is open to interpretation. However, it is clear that the sculpture is a powerful and impressive work of art that provides a valuable glimpse into the military campaigns of the Assyrians.

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Two Assyrian Court Officials

Two Assyrian Court Officials is a bas-relief sculpture from the palace of King Sargon II at Khorsabad, dating to the 8th century BCE. It depicts two high-ranking Assyrian officials, who are likely eunuchs, standing side by side. The figures are dressed in elaborate robes and jewelry, and they both carry ceremonial staffs. The figure on the left is looking directly at the viewer, while the figure on the right is looking to the side.

The sculpture is a fine example of Assyrian art, which is characterized by its realism and attention to detail. The figures are depicted in a very lifelike way, and their clothing and jewelry are rendered with great care. The sculpture also provides a valuable glimpse into the lives and culture of the Assyrian people.

The two officials depicted in the sculpture are likely high-ranking members of the Assyrian court. They may have been advisors to the king, or they may have held other important positions in the government. The fact that they are wearing eunuch robes suggests that they were trusted servants of the king.

The sculpture is now on display at the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago. It is one of the most popular exhibits in the museum, and it is a valuable resource for scholars and students of Assyrian art and culture.

Here are some possible interpretations of the sculpture:

  • The two officials may be waiting for the king to arrive in the throne room.
  • The two officials may be discussing matters of state.
  • The two officials may be participating in a religious ceremony.
  • The two officials may simply be posing for a portrait.

Ultimately, the meaning of the sculpture is open to interpretation. However, it is clear that the sculpture is a powerful and impressive work of art that provides a valuable glimpse into the lives and culture of the Assyrian people.

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Diety Holding a Flowing Vase

Iraq: Khorsabad, Nabu Temple; Neo-Assyrian Period; Reign of Sargon II, 721-705 B.C. Gypsum (?). Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1932-33. "These two statues once flanked a doorway leading into the temple of Nabu, the god of writing and of knowledge. Each of these gods holds a small vessel from which flow four streams of. Figures of this type are common in the art of the ancient Near East; they probably represent fertility deities who are embodiments of the life-giving and life-sustaining forces within fresh water. The statues, when found, were in many pieces. These fragments were cleaned, soaked in a hardening solution, and then reassembled and restored by a member of the technical staff of the Oriental Institute.

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Bronze Band

Iraq: Khorsabad, Shamash Temple; Neo-Assyrian Period; Reign of Sargon II, 721-705 B.C. Bronze. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1931. "The fortress of Sargon II at Khorsabad included a complex of temples, one of which was devoted to the sun god Shamash. This bronze band encircled one of a pair of cedar poles-possibly supports for divine emblems-that once flanked the doorway to this temple. In the upper register, Sargon is shown grasping two massive bulls by the horns. This ancient motif, known as "the master of animals," was well established in Mesopotamian royal iconography and perhaps symbolized the dominance, vitality, and potency of the reigning monarch. To the left of the king and bulls is a large bird depicted in flight, to the right, facing the king and bulls, is an attendant wearing a kilt.

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King Ashurnasirpal II

Iraq: Nimrud, N.W. Palace, Room G. Neo-Assyrian Period Reign of Ashurnasirpal II, ca. 883-859 B.C. Gypsum (?). Exchange with the British Museum, 1974. "Room G in Ashurnasirpal II's palace may have served as the setting for a ritual by which weapons were purified. The walls of this chamber were adorned with exceptionally well-carved and minutely detailed reliefs showing the king standing between, alternately, two courtiers and two winged genies. This fragment shows the king himself, identifiable by his fez-shaped cap surmounted by a conical spike. Originally, this piece formed part of a scene. The king, grasping a bow, stood ready to pour a libation from a cup poised delicately on the tips of his fingers. Facing him was an attendant who carried a fly-whisk with which to banish insects from the royal presence.

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Clay Prism of King Sennacherib

Iraq: Nineveh (?); Neo-Assyrian Period; Reign of Sennacherib, ca. 689 B.C. Baked clay. Purchased in Baghdad, 1919. "On the six inscribed sides of this clay prism, King Sennacherib recorded eight military campaigns undertaken against various peoples who refused to submit to Assyrian domination. In all instances, he claims to have been victorious. As part of the third campaign, he beseiged Jerusalem and imposed heavy tribute on Hezekiah, King of Judah-a story also related in the Bible, where Sennacherib is said to have been defeated by "the angel of the Lord," who slew 185,000 Assyrian soldiers (II Kings 18-19)."

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Colossal Bull Head

Iran: Persepolis, Hundred-Column Hall; Achaemenid Period Reigns of Xerxes/Artaxerxes I, ca. 485-424 B.C. Dark gray limestone; restored. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1932. "Carved in the court style typical of the Achaemenid Empire, this highly polished stone head originally belonged to one of two guardian bulls flanking the portico of the hundred-columned Throne Hall at Persepolis. The heads of the bulls projected in the round and the bodies were carved in relief on the sidewalls of the porch; the ears and horns had been added separately. The use of pairs of guardian figures such as these to protect important buildings was a common architectural feature in the ancient Near East."

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Frieze of Striding Lions

Iran: Persepolis; Achaemenid Period; Reign of Darius I/Xerxes, ca. 522-465 B.C. Limestone. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1932-4. "An Achaemenid artisan carved this piece of stone to represent part of a cloth canopy that was decorated with woven or appliquéd figures of rosettes and striding lions. A pair of diamonds joined as a figure-eight can be seen in three places on the face of this stone. They are the marks of the sculptor or team of sculptors who carved this and numerous other Persepolis reliefs on which the same marks appear."

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Foundation Slab of Xerxes

Iran: Persepolis, Garrison quarters; Achaemenid Period; Reign of Xerxes, ca. 485-465 B.C. Gray limestone. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1935. "This stone tablet inscribed with Babylonian cuneiform characters lists the nations under Persian rule shortly after the uprisings that occurred when Xerxes came to the throne."

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Crater with Ibexes

Iran: Chogha Mish; Middle Susiana 3; Late 5th millennium B.C. Baked clay. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1965-6. "The geographical term "Susiana," referring to the area ruled in the historical period by the city of Susa, is also applied to the prehistoric cultures of lowland southwestern Iran. Representational designs such as the stylized wild goats with long sweeping horns painted beneath the rim of this krater are characteristic for an advanced stage of the Susiana sequence."

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Painted Bowl

Iran: Tall-i-Bakun A, Level III; Bakun A Period; Early 4th millennium B.C. Baked clay. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1932-4. "Many of the pottery vessels from the site of Tall-i-Bakun in the plain of Persepolis show a highly sophisticated use of negative designs in conjunction with more usual painted patterns. On this bowl, two patterns alternate in rhythmic sequence. One is a painted design of anthropomorphic inspiration with a "head" flanked by upraised "arms" facing both the rim and base of the bowl. The other pattern, which is given in negative by the buff surface of the vessel, consists of a cross and two lozenges."

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Disc-Headed Pin

Iran: Surkh Dum-i-Luri, Sanctuary, Level 2B; Early Iron Age III, ca. 750-700 B.C. Copper. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1938. "Large numbers of decorated disc-headed pins were found in the sanctuary at Surkh Dum-i-Luri. They may have been votive offerings to a fertility goddess. The pins were worn with the head hanging down and the shaft pointing up."

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Persian Snarling Lion Roundel

Iran: Ecbatana (?); Achaemenid Period; Reign of Artaxerxes II, ca. 404-359 B.C. Gold. Purchased in New York, 1948. "This snarling winged lion worked in gold repoussé attests to the exceptional skill of Achaemenid goldsmiths. The back of the horned feline's body and the slender twisted cord that surrounds it bear sixteen tiny loops for attachment to a garment or textile. Greek writers often speak of the tremendous wealth of the Persians, and Herodotus writes that King Xerxes' troops "were adorned with the greatest magnificence...they glittered all over with gold, vast quantitites of which they wore about their persons" (vii.83)."

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Foundation Figurine of King Ur-Nammu

Iraq: Nippur, E-kur Court, S gate, SE tower; Third Dynasty of Ur; Reign of Ur-Nammu, ca. 2111-2095 B.C. Bronze. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1955-6. "King Ur-Nammu rebuilt and enlarged one of the most important temples in ancient Mesopotamia - the E-kur of Enlil, the chief god of the pantheon. This figurine, which was buried in a foundation box beneath one of the temple towers, represents the king at the start of the building project - carrying on his head a basket of clay from which would be made the critically important first brick. The foundation deposit also contained an inscribed stone tablet; beads of frit, stone and gold; chips of various stones; and four ancient date pits found perched atop the basket carried by the king."

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Striding Lion

Iraq: Babylon, Processional Avenue north of the Ishtar Gate Neo-Babylonian Period; Reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, ca. 604-562 B.C. Molded brick with polychrome glaze; Purchased in Berlin, 1931. "This colorful striding lion, its mouth opened in a threatening roar, once decorated a side of the 'Processional Way' in ancient Babylon (the Biblical city of Babel). The 'Processional Way' led out of the city through a massive gate named for the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, Ishtar, whose symbol was the lion. Each year, during the celebration of the great New Year Festival, the images of the city's deities were carried out through the Ishtar Gate and along the 'Processional Way' past some 120 lions such as this one to a special festival house north of the city."

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Female Figurine from Ur

Iraq: Tell Asmar, Trench D; Ur III/Isin-Larsa Period, ca. 2100-1800 B.C. Baked clay. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1935-6. "Figurines like this one have been found in the excavated remains of Mesopotamian houses, temples, and other public buildings of the early second millennium B.C. They have no definite divine attributes and their exact function is not known. This female has characteristic broad, flat hips, a large and elaborately incised pubic triangle, and prominent breasts with applied disk-shaped nipples."

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Cup Supported by Heroes and Animals

Iraq: Tell Agrab, Shara Temple; Jamdat Nasr/Early Dynastic I, ca. 3100-2750 B.C. Gypsum (?). Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1935-6. This elaborate vessel was discovered in the Shara Temple where it was probably used to place offerings before the god. The decoration of its openwork support shows a hero, naked except for a double-strand belt, grasping the rumps of two lions in his hands. The curling tails of two additional lions are tucked under his arms, and all four felines menace a bearded bull at the opposite end of the stand. Series of figures such as these, engaged in static combats, are common in ancient Mesopotamian art. Their exact meaning is unknown.

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Four-Faced God and Goddess

Iraq: Ishchali (?); Old Babylonian Period, 18th-17th century B.C. Bronze. Purchased in Baghdad, 1930. "Illicit diggers found these four-faced statuettes, which may represent a god of the four winds and a goddess of rainstorms. The god wears a low cap with a pair of horns meeting above each face. He carries a scimitar in his right hand and places his left foot upon the back of a crouching ram. The goddess's tall crown, again with a pair of horns above each face, has the shape of a temple facade or altar. She grasps in her hands a vase from which flow streams of water; a rippled water pattern covers her garment."

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Sumerian Statuette

Iraq: Tell Asmar, Square Temple I, Shrine II; Early Dynastic I-II, ca. 2900-2600 B.C. Gypsum (?) inlaid with shell and black limestone(?). Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1933-4. "During the Early Dynastic Period in Mesopotamia, statuettes were placed in sanctuaries as votive offerings and were later buried when the temple was remodelled or rebuilt. This representation of a Sumerian standing reverently before his god is one of a group of sculptures found buried in a pit next to the altar of the Abu Temple at Tell Asmar. It is thought to depict a priest because it lacks the full beard and long hair of other male statues of its type."

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Persian Spearman

5th century B.C.; Iranian, Achaemenid Dynasty; Limestone. This fragment from a stair balustrade depicts a file of Persian spearmen wearing the characteristic fluted felt or feathered headdress. Only the head of one warrior survives with a portion of his spear and that of the soldier behind him. Although unfinished (the beard`s curls are not defined), the smooth contours of the suave profile and the richly curled hair demonstrate the elegance of Achaemenid court art. Text and images courtesy The Detroit Institute of Arts.

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Court Official

359-338 B.C.; Iranian, Achaemenid Dynasty; Limestone.The palace of Darius the Great was restored by Artaxerxes III by the addition of a western staircase with relief representations of dignitaries from the twenty-six subject states of the empire bearing gifts to the "king of kings." Each foreign group is led by a Persian official holding a staff. This relief illustrates such a marshall wearing the Persian headdress and robe with a dagger thrust into the belt. His left hand once grasped that of the leader of the next delegation. In front of him a fragment of the garment of another envoy survives. This late relief, flatter and more linear than those of the reigns of Darius and Xerxes, nonetheless still conveys the power and refinement of the Achaemenid court. Text and images courtesy The Detroit Institute of Arts.

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Earring

Late 5th to early 4th century B.C.; Iranian, Achaemenid Dynasty; Gold and faience. Many of the Persian courtiers and delegates on the reliefs of Persepolis are shown wearing elaborate earrings. This earring, probably from Susa (the southern administrative capital of the empire), is characteristic of jewelry of this period. When in motion, the beads tremble like a tiny chandelier and the gold surfaces brilliantly reflect the light. Text and images courtesy The Detroit Institute of Arts.

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Court Servant with Covered Tray

5th century B.C.; Iranian, Achaemenid Dynasty; Limestone. This relief depicts a Persian court servant holding a covered tray on his shoulder. He wears the distinctive Persian garment of long sleeves and draped skirt, with a folded soft cap. Text and images courtesy The Detroit Institute of Arts.

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Court Servant with Covered Tray

From The Detroit Institute of Arts: Court Servant with Covered Tray; 5th century B.C.; Iranian, Achaemenid Dynasty; Limestone; height 54.6 cm (21 1/2 in.); Gift of Lillian Henkel Haass; 31.340. "This relief depicts a Persian court servant holding a covered tray on his shoulder. He wears the distinctive Persian garment of long sleeves and draped skirt, with a folded soft cap." [The AMICA Library]

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Whetstone with bronze handle

Luristan culture, about 1000-700 BC This is a whetstone, used to sharpen weapons and tools of bronze and iron. It dates to the early first millennium BC. Although by this time the use of iron had become widespread, bronze remained one of the most commonly used metals. Normally they were very simple tools: just a stone perforated at the top and fitted with a metal ring, for suspension from a belt. This example, however, comes from Luristan in western Iran where, as nowhere else in the Near East, whetstones had richly decorated bronze handles. The combination of animals in the decoration is known earlier in Elam in south west Iran and this may have been a source of inspiration for the Luristan metal workers.

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Cheekpiece from Horse Bit

Cheekpiece from Horse Bit. Western Iran, Luristan ca. 8th - 7th centuries B.C. Bronze.

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Quiver Plaque Luristan Bronze

Quiver Plaque. Western Iran, Luristan, 8th - 7th centuries B.C. Bronze. 8TH-6TH CENTURY B.C. The sheet bronze decorated with three rectangular compartments divided by moulded ribs, each bordered by rows of repouss"š bosses, similar bosses contained within the rectangles and between the dividing ribs, the narrow everted edges and each end pierced with multiple holes for attachment to the quiver, repaired with slight restoration 22 7/8 in. (58.1 cm.) long NOTES Cf. P. Calmeyer, Altiranische Bronzen der Sammlung Br"ckelschen, Berlin, 1964, p. 48, pl. 50, no. 104 for a similar example of a quiver with rectangular panels and rows of repouss"š bosses. This quiver was the original from which the replica on the Urartian archer waxwork model (lot 12) was made.

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Luristan Bronze Quiver Plaque

Quiver Plaque. Western Iran, Luristan, 8th - 7th centuries B.C. Bronze. 8TH-6TH CENTURY B.C. The sheet bronze decorated with three rectangular compartments divided by moulded ribs, each bordered by rows of repouss"š bosses, similar bosses contained within the rectangles and between the dividing ribs, the narrow everted edges and each end pierced with multiple holes for attachment to the quiver, repaired with slight restoration 22 7/8 in. (58.1 cm.) long NOTES Cf. P. Calmeyer, Altiranische Bronzen der Sammlung Br"ckelschen, Berlin, 1964, p. 48, pl. 50, no. 104 for a similar example of a quiver with rectangular panels and rows of repouss"š bosses. This quiver was the original from which the replica on the Urartian archer waxwork model (lot 12) was made.

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Ancient Iran Site Map

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. This first installment of the Oriental Institute Map Series presents seven Site Maps covering the ancient Near East (Egypt, Sudan, The Levant, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran), locating primary archaeological sites, modern cities, and river courses set against a plain background. They enlarge to 300 dpi.

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Ancient Iraq Site Map

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. This first installment of the Oriental Institute Map Series presents seven Site Maps covering the ancient Near East (Egypt, Sudan, The Levant, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran), locating primary archaeological sites, modern cities, and river courses set against a plain background. They enlarge to 300 dpi.

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Banquet Plaque

Iraq: Khafajah, Sin Temple IX; Early Dynastic II-III, ca. 2700-2600 B.C. Gypsum. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1933-4. "The top register of this plaque shows a seated man and woman celebrating an unidentified event or ritual by participating in a banquet. Two servants attend them while others bring a jar (probably filled with beer), an animal to be slaughtered, and other edibles carried in bundles on their heads. Musicians and dancers in the bottom register add to the festivities. Plaques such as this were part of a door-locking system for important buildings. The plaque was embedded in the doorjamb and a peg, inserted into the central perforation, was used to hold a hook or cord that secured the door and was covered with clay impressed by one or more seals.

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Clay Tablet and Envelope

Iraq: Nuzi; Mitannian Period; Second half of the 15th century B.C. Baked clay. Oriental Museum. Gift of the Iraq Museum and the American Schools of Oriental Research, 1934. "Enclosed in its clay envelope, this tablet was stored in a private archive of more than 1,000 texts. The tablet records the outcome of a litigation between two men, both of whom claimed to own the same estate. The judges ruled in favor of the individual who provided written statements attesting to his ownership of the land from residents of nine neighboring towns. Two court officials rolled their cylinder seals across the front of the tablet after it was inscribed, guaranteeing that the information it contained was correct."

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Gazelle Head Stamp Seal

Iraq: Tell Agrab; Jamdat Nasr/Early Dynastic I, ca. 3100-2750 B.C. Gypsum (?). Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1935-6. "In central and southern Mesopotamia, both stamp and cylinder seals appeared together near the end of the third millennium B.C. Many stamp seals were carved in the form of an animal or an animal head, and the sealing surface was decorated with simple designs - often representing animals - comprised of drill-holes and incised lines. It is possible that many of the stamps were not actually used as seals but were worn primarily as amulets."

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Cylinder Seal

Iraq; Akkadian Period; Reign of Naramsin or Sharkalishari, ca. 2254-2193 B.C. Black stone. Oriental Museum. Purchased in New York, 1947. "This cylinder seal was dedicated to a little-known goddess, Ninishkun, who is shown interceding on the owner's behalf with the great goddess Ishtar. Ishtar places her right foot upon a roaring lion, which she restrains with a leash. The scimitar in her left hand and the weapons sprouting from her winged shoulders indicate her war-like nature."

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Pazuzu Demon

Iraq; ca. 800-600 B.C. Bronze. Oriental Museum. Purchased in New York, 1943. "The demon Pazuzu represented by this figurine stands like a human but has a scorpion's body, feathered wings and legs, talons, and a lion-like face on both front and back. Pazuzu, the "king of the evil wind demons," was not entirely unfriendly to mankind. As an enemy of the dreaded Lamashtu demon, bearer of sickness especially to women and children, Pazuzu is often portrayed on amulets used as protection in childbirth. The ring at the top of this figurine suggests that it was such an amulet."

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Duck Weights

Iraq: Ishchali(?); Early second millennium B.C. Hematite. Oriental Museum. Purchased in Baghdad, 1930. "The Mesopotamians used sets of standard weights in conducting business and set stiff penalities for those who used false weights. The weights themselves were usually made of a very hard stone like hematite. A simple barrel shape was the most common form, but weights such as these in the form of a duck, with its neck and head resting along its back, were also prevalent."

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Plaque Showing a Harpist

Iraq: Ishchali (?); Isin-Larsa / Old Babylonian Period, ca. 2000-1600 B.C. Baked clay. Oriental Museum. Purchased in Baghdad, 1930. "Harps are known from the earliest period of written history, but the fringed robe and close-fitting cap of this harpist are typical for the early second millennium B.C. in Mesopotamia. Clay plaques from this period depict musicians playing a variety of stringed, percussion, and wind instruments. The casting of plaques was a simple and inexpensive way to produce relief images, since numerous plaques could be made from a single mold."

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Ancient Near East Mythology

Ancient Near East mythology refers to the complex and diverse system of myths, legends, and religious beliefs that were practiced in the region known as the Ancient Near East. This vast geographical area encompassed parts of modern-day Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. Ancient Near East mythology is a rich and varied tradition that encompasses numerous cultures and civilizations, including Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Hittite, Canaanite, and Egyptian, among others.

Key characteristics and features of Ancient Near East mythology include:

  1. Polytheism: Ancient Near East mythology is characterized by the worship of multiple deities, each associated with specific aspects of life, nature, or celestial bodies. These deities often had complex relationships and hierarchies within the pantheon.
  2. Creation Myths: Many cultures in the Ancient Near East had creation myths that explained the origins of the world and humanity. These myths often involved the actions of powerful gods and goddesses shaping the cosmos and creating humanity.
  3. Epic Tales: The region is known for its epic narratives, such as the Sumerian "Epic of Gilgamesh," the Akkadian "Enuma Elish," and the Canaanite "Ba'al Cycle." These stories often revolve around heroes, gods, and the struggles between cosmic forces.
  4. Cosmic Battles: Ancient Near East mythology frequently features cosmic battles between gods and divine beings, reflecting the cultural and political conflicts of the time. These battles often symbolize the struggle between order and chaos.
  5. Cultural and Religious Syncretism: The region's diverse cultures and empires led to the blending and borrowing of religious and mythological elements. Deities from one culture might be incorporated into the beliefs of another, resulting in syncretism.
  6. Religious Rituals and Temples: Worship in the Ancient Near East often involved elaborate rituals, sacrifices, and the construction of temples dedicated to specific deities. These practices were integral to daily life and were seen as a means of maintaining cosmic order and ensuring the favor of the gods.
  7. Cuneiform Writing: Many myths and religious texts from the Ancient Near East were recorded in cuneiform script on clay tablets. These texts have provided valuable insights into the religious beliefs and practices of these civilizations.
  8. Influence on Abrahamic Religions: The mythology and religious beliefs of the Ancient Near East have had a significant influence on later monotheistic religions, particularly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Elements of these ancient myths can be seen in the stories, symbols, and cosmologies of these faiths.

It's important to note that the Ancient Near East was home to a multitude of cultures and civilizations over time, each with its own unique mythology and religious practices. As a result, the mythology of the region is incredibly diverse and complex. Scholars and historians continue to study and interpret these ancient texts and artifacts to gain a deeper understanding of the beliefs and worldviews of the people who lived in this region in antiquity.

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Christus Rex et Redemptor Mundi

"Christus Rex et Redemptor Mundi," translated as "Christ the King and Redeemer of the World," is a Latin phrase that encapsulates the central theological and symbolic significance of Jesus Christ in Christian faith and art. It represents the divine roles of Jesus as both a universal ruler and the savior of humanity. This phrase has inspired numerous artistic depictions and religious symbolism throughout Christian history.

Key elements and meanings associated with "Christus Rex et Redemptor Mundi" include:

  1. Christ as King: In the title, "Christus Rex" refers to "Christ the King." This title emphasizes Jesus's sovereignty over the spiritual realm and his divine authority as the ruler of all creation. It reflects the belief that Jesus is the ultimate and eternal king.
  2. Christ as Redeemer: "Redemptor Mundi" means "Redeemer of the World." It underscores Jesus's role as the savior of humanity, who offers redemption, salvation, and forgiveness of sins through his sacrifice on the cross. This aspect of Christ emphasizes his compassionate and merciful nature.
  3. Theological Significance: The combination of these two titles reflects fundamental theological concepts in Christianity. It signifies Jesus's dual nature as both fully divine and fully human, as well as his mission to reconcile humanity with God.
  4. Artistic Depictions: "Christus Rex et Redemptor Mundi" has inspired countless artworks in Christian tradition. In these representations, Jesus is often depicted enthroned as a majestic and benevolent ruler, wearing a crown or halo to symbolize his divine authority.
  5. Religious Symbolism: The phrase carries deep religious symbolism, emphasizing Christ's central role in Christian belief. It is associated with the idea of Jesus as the "Lamb of God" and the "Good Shepherd," themes that highlight his sacrificial love and guidance for his followers.
  6. Liturgical Use: The concept of "Christus Rex et Redemptor Mundi" is often invoked in Christian liturgy and hymns, particularly during the liturgical season of Christ the King, which is celebrated in many Christian denominations.
  7. Devotional Practices: Devotion to Christ as both king and redeemer is a common theme in Christian spirituality. Many Christians turn to these aspects of Christ in prayer, seeking guidance, forgiveness, and salvation.
  8. Universal Message: The phrase conveys a universal message of hope, love, and redemption, extending Christ's offer of salvation to all people, regardless of their background or circumstances.

"Christus Rex et Redemptor Mundi" serves as a reminder of the central role that Jesus Christ plays in the Christian faith. It encapsulates the multifaceted nature of Christ's identity and mission, as both a divine ruler and the source of redemption and salvation for humanity. This phrase continues to inspire worship, reflection, and artistic expression within the Christian tradition.

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Assyro-Babylonian Mythology FAQ

The Assyro-Babylonian Mythology FAQ is a comprehensive online resource for information on the myths and religions of the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians. The FAQ was created by Christopher B. Siren in 1994 and has been updated and expanded over the years.

The FAQ covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • The Assyro-Babylonian pantheon of gods and goddesses
  • Assyro-Babylonian myths and legends
  • Assyro-Babylonian religious practices
  • The relationship between Assyro-Babylonian and Sumerian religion
  • The influence of Assyro-Babylonian religion on other religions, such as Judaism and Christianity

The FAQ is written in a clear and accessible style, and it is a valuable resource for anyone interested in Assyro-Babylonian mythology. It is also a useful resource for students and researchers who are studying the history and culture of the ancient Near East.

Here are some of the key features of the Assyro-Babylonian Mythology FAQ:

  • It covers a wide range of topics in a comprehensive and informative way.
  • It is written in a clear and accessible style.
  • It is updated regularly with new information and insights.
  • It includes a bibliography of sources for further reading.

If you are interested in learning more about Assyro-Babylonian mythology, I highly recommend visiting the Assyro-Babylonian Mythology FAQ. It is a valuable resource that is sure to have something for everyone.

Here are some additional details about Assyro-Babylonian mythology:

  • The Assyro-Babylonian pantheon of gods and goddesses is very similar to the Sumerian pantheon, with some notable differences. For example, the Assyrians and Babylonians elevated the god Marduk to the head of the pantheon, while the Sumerians placed Enlil in that position.
  • Assyro-Babylonian myths and legends are often concerned with the creation of the world, the struggles between the gods, and the relationship between gods and humans. Some of the most famous Assyro-Babylonian myths include the Enuma Elish, which tells the story of Marduk's creation of the world, and the Atrahasis, which is a flood story similar to the biblical story of Noah.
  • Assyro-Babylonian religious practices were complex and varied. The Assyrians and Babylonians worshipped their gods in temples, where they offered sacrifices and prayers. They also celebrated a variety of religious festivals throughout the year.
  • Assyro-Babylonian religion had a profound influence on other religions in the ancient Near East, including Judaism and Christianity. Many of the stories and ideas in the Bible can be traced back to Assyro-Babylonian mythology.

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Canaanite/Ugaritic Mythology FAQ

The Canaanite/Ugaritic Mythology FAQ is a comprehensive online resource for information on the myths and religions of the ancient Canaanites and Ugarites. The FAQ was created by Christopher B. Siren in 1996 and has been updated and expanded over the years.

The FAQ covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • The Canaanite pantheon of gods and goddesses
  • Canaanite myths and legends
  • Canaanite religious practices
  • The relationship between Canaanite and Ugaritic religion
  • The influence of Canaanite religion on other religions, such as Judaism and Christianity

The FAQ is written in a clear and accessible style, and it is a valuable resource for anyone interested in Canaanite/Ugaritic mythology. It is also a useful resource for students and researchers who are studying the history and culture of the ancient Near East.

Here are some of the key features of the Canaanite/Ugaritic Mythology FAQ:

  • It covers a wide range of topics in a comprehensive and informative way.
  • It is written in a clear and accessible style.
  • It is updated regularly with new information and insights.
  • It includes a bibliography of sources for further reading.

If you are interested in learning more about Canaanite/Ugaritic mythology, I highly recommend visiting the Canaanite/Ugaritic Mythology FAQ. It is a valuable resource that is sure to have something for everyone.

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Hittite/Hurrian Mythology FAQ

What is Hittite/Hurrian mythology?

Hittite/Hurrian mythology is the body of myths and legends that were told by the Hittites and Hurrians, two ancient civilizations that lived in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) from the 2nd to the 1st millennium BCE. The Hittites were an Indo-European people, while the Hurrians were a non-Indo-European people, but their mythologies were closely intertwined.

What are some of the key features of Hittite/Hurrian mythology?

Hittite/Hurrian mythology is characterized by its rich and diverse pantheon of gods and goddesses, its epic tales of heroes and monsters, and its complex and nuanced understanding of the relationship between the human and divine worlds.

Some of the most important gods and goddesses in Hittite/Hurrian mythology include:

  • Kumarbi: The eldest god and father of the Hittite gods and goddesses
  • Anu: The sky god and king of the gods
  • Antas: The sun god
  • Inanna: The goddess of love, fertility, and war
  • El: The Hurrian storm god
  • Teshub: The Hittite storm god
  • Hepat: The Hittite sun goddess

Some of the most famous myths in Hittite/Hurrian mythology include:

  • The Kumarbi Cycle: A series of myths that tell the story of Kumarbi's overthrow of his father Anu and his subsequent defeat by Teshub
  • The Song of Kumarbi: A poetic account of the Kumarbi Cycle
  • The Tale of Illuyanka: A myth about the battle between Teshub and the serpent Illuyanka
  • The Myth of Telepinu: A myth about the disappearance of the fertility god Telepinu and the efforts to bring him back
  • The Hurrian Creation Myth: A myth about the creation of the world and the gods

How has Hittite/Hurrian mythology influenced other cultures?

Hittite/Hurrian mythology has had a significant influence on other cultures, including Greek, Mesopotamian, and biblical mythology. For example, the Greek god Zeus is thought to be based on the Hittite god Teshub, and the Greek goddess Hera is thought to be based on the Hittite goddess Hepat.

Where can I learn more about Hittite/Hurrian mythology?

There are a number of books and articles available on Hittite/Hurrian mythology. Some good starting points include:

  • Myths of the Hittites and Hurrians by Gary Beckman (2000)
  • Hittite Myths by H.G. Güterbock (1997)
  • Hurrian Mythology by Enrique Quintana López (2010)
  • The Hittite Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses by Volkert Haas (2008)
  • The Hurrian Pantheon by Piotr Taracha (2010)

You can also find information about Hittite/Hurrian mythology on a number of websites, including:

  • The Hittite HomePage
  • The Hurrian Pantheon
  • Hittite Texts Online
  • The Chicago Hittite Dictionary Project
  • HATTI-English Database

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Persian & Iranian Kings in Ancient Near East

Persian and Iranian kings played a significant role in the history of the Ancient Near East, particularly during the Achaemenid Empire, one of the most influential and expansive empires of the ancient world.

Achaemenid Empire: The Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BCE, was the first Persian Empire and one of the largest empires in antiquity. Persian kings of the Achaemenid dynasty are among the most well-known figures in ancient history.

Cyrus the Great (r. 559–530 BCE): Cyrus is celebrated for his remarkable conquests and his policy of tolerance toward conquered peoples. His famous Cylinder, known as the Cyrus Cylinder, is considered an early declaration of human rights and religious freedom.

Darius the Great (r. 522–486 BCE): Darius expanded the Achaemenid Empire to its greatest territorial extent. He organized the empire into provinces called satrapies and initiated major construction projects, including the construction of the Royal Road, a vast network of roads facilitating communication and trade.

Xerxes I (r. 486–465 BCE): Xerxes is known for his ambitious invasion of Greece, which led to the famous Battle of Thermopylae and the Greco-Persian Wars, events that feature prominently in ancient Greek history.

Artaxerxes I (r. 465–424 BCE) and Beyond: Several Artaxerxes ruled the Achaemenid Empire, with the dynasty continuing for centuries. The empire faced challenges from internal and external forces, ultimately falling to Alexander the Great in 330 BCE.

Sassanid Empire: Following the fall of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian kings continued to rule during the Sassanid Empire (224–651 CE). Notable Sassanid monarchs include Shapur I, who expanded the empire's territory, and Khosrow I, who instituted administrative reforms.

Cultural Contributions: Persian and Iranian kings made significant contributions to art, architecture, and literature. The Achaemenid Empire's magnificent palaces, such as Persepolis, showcased their architectural prowess. Persian literature, notably the epic poem Shahnameh, also played a crucial role in preserving Persian culture.

Legacy: The legacy of Persian and Iranian kings in the Ancient Near East includes their influence on subsequent Persian dynasties, such as the Parthians and the Sassanids. Additionally, their impact on the cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road continues to be a subject of historical study.

Persian and Iranian kings left an indelible mark on the history of the Ancient Near East. Their empires, achievements, and contributions to human civilization continue to be studied and admired for their enduring influence on the region and beyond.

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The Assyrian Kings List

Names. Dates, etc. [People in History]

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Mesopotamian Timeline

The Mesopotamian timeline is a long and complex one, spanning over 3,000 years. The region has been home to a variety of cultures and civilizations, each with its own unique history and contributions.

Here is a brief overview of some of the key events in Mesopotamian history:

  • Prehistory (c. 10,000-3000 BCE): The earliest known human settlements in Mesopotamia date back to the 10th millennium BCE. During this period, the region was inhabited by a number of different cultures, including the Ubaid culture and the Uruk culture.
  • Early Dynastic Period (c. 2900-2350 BCE): The Early Dynastic Period saw the rise of the first city-states in Mesopotamia. These city-states were often at war with each other, but they also made significant advances in agriculture, trade, and technology.
  • Akkadian Empire (c. 2340-2150 BCE): The Akkadian Empire was the first empire to unite Mesopotamia under one rule. It was founded by Sargon of Akkad, and reached its peak under his grandson, Naram-Sin. The Akkadian Empire was known for its strong military, efficient administration, and patronage of the arts.
  • Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2100-1950 BCE): The Third Dynasty of Ur was another major empire in Mesopotamia. It was founded by Ur-Nammu, and united most of the region under one rule. The Third Dynasty of Ur was known for its strong economy, efficient administration, and patronage of the arts.
  • Old Babylonian Period (c. 1800-1595 BCE): The Old Babylonian Period was a period of great cultural and intellectual flourishing in Mesopotamia. The city of Babylon became a major center of trade, learning, and religion. The Code of Hammurabi, one of the oldest known sets of laws, was written during this period.
  • Middle Assyrian Period (c. 1365-1076 BCE): The Middle Assyrian Period saw the rise of the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians were known for their powerful military and their ruthless tactics. They conquered much of Mesopotamia and the surrounding regions during this period.
  • Neo-Assyrian Empire (c. 911-612 BCE): The Neo-Assyrian Empire was the most powerful empire in Mesopotamian history. It was ruled by a series of ambitious and ruthless kings, such as Ashurnasirpal II and Tiglath-Pileser III. The Neo-Assyrian Empire conquered a vast territory, stretching from Anatolia in the west to Egypt in the south.
  • Neo-Babylonian Empire (c. 612-539 BCE): The Neo-Babylonian Empire was the last major empire in Mesopotamia. It was founded by Nabopolassar, and united most of the region under one rule. The Neo-Babylonian Empire was known for its strong economy, efficient administration, and patronage of the arts.

In 539 BCE, the Neo-Babylonian Empire was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. Mesopotamia then became a part of the Persian Empire, and later of the Roman Empire.

The Mesopotamian civilization had a profound impact on the development of Western civilization. The Mesopotamians invented writing, the wheel, and the plow. They also made significant advances in astronomy, mathematics, and medicine.

The Mesopotamian timeline is a long and complex one, but it is a story of innovation, achievement, and resilience. The Mesopotamians were a remarkable people who made significant contributions to the world we live in today.

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Cleopatra's Children

Check out this unique series brought to you by Bible History Online Includes Real Audio. Trace the interesting history of the children of the great Queen of Egypt [Ancient Egypt Rome] [People] [Cleopatra]

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Banquet of Ashurnasirpal

The Banquet of Ashurnasirpal II is a famous relief sculpture that depicts a lavish feast held by the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II in 879 BC to celebrate the completion of his new palace at Kalhu (modern-day Nimrud). The relief is carved into a large slab of alabaster and measures over 10 feet tall by 7 feet wide.

The relief depicts Ashurnasirpal II seated on a throne at the head of a long table. He is surrounded by his family, nobles, and other dignitaries. In front of him is a table laden with food and drink. The guests are all seated on cushions and are dressed in elaborate clothing.

The relief also shows a number of servants serving food and drink to the guests. There are also musicians playing instruments and dancers performing. The relief is a remarkable example of Assyrian art and provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Assyrian court.

The Banquet of Ashurnasirpal II relief is now on display at the British Museum in London. It is one of the most important and iconic works of Assyrian art in the world.

The relief is significant because it provides a wealth of information about Assyrian culture and society. It shows the Assyrians as a wealthy and powerful people who enjoyed the finer things in life. The relief also shows the importance of feasting and drinking in Assyrian culture. Feasts were often held to celebrate important events, such as the completion of a new palace or a military victory.

The Banquet of Ashurnasirpal II relief is a beautiful and impressive work of art. It is also a valuable historical document that provides us with a glimpse into the life of the Assyrian court in the 9th century BC.

The following account comes from the Royal Archives of Assyria and dates from the seventh century BCE. The speaker is the Emperor Ashurnasirpal (883-859 BCE) displaying his royal power. The feast was held to commemorate the inauguration of his new palace in the capital city of Calah.

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The Code of Hammurabi: Introduction

The Code of Hammurabi is one of the most famous and influential legal documents from ancient history. Created around 1754 BC during the reign of King Hammurabi, the sixth king of Babylon, this code of laws provides a remarkable insight into the legal and social structure of ancient Mesopotamia, specifically the city of Babylon. Here is an introduction to the Code of Hammurabi:

Historical Significance: The Code of Hammurabi is often regarded as one of the earliest known legal codes in human history. It was established in ancient Babylon, a flourishing city-state in Mesopotamia, which is present-day Iraq. Hammurabi's code predates other well-known legal codes, such as the Mosaic Law of the Hebrew Bible, making it a foundational document in the history of law.

Purpose: The primary purpose of the Code of Hammurabi was to provide a comprehensive set of laws and regulations to govern the people of Babylon. It aimed to establish a sense of justice and order in society by specifying legal standards, rights, and responsibilities for individuals and different classes.

Content: The code consists of 282 individual laws, inscribed in cuneiform script on a large stone stele, which was placed in a public location for people to see. These laws covered a wide range of subjects, including civil matters like contracts, property rights, marriage, and inheritance, as well as criminal offenses such as theft, assault, and perjury.

Principles: One of the most famous principles found in the Code of Hammurabi is the concept of "lex talionis," often summarized as "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." This principle reflects the idea of proportionate justice, where the punishment should match the crime. However, the code also included fines, penalties, and compensation as forms of restitution.

Social Hierarchies: The code recognized different social classes and applied varying penalties based on a person's status, reflecting the hierarchical structure of Babylonian society. It sought to maintain order and protect the interests of property owners and merchants.

Legal Precedent: Babylonian law, including the Code of Hammurabi, relied on precedent and case law. Judges and legal officials would refer to previous cases and decisions when resolving disputes. This practice contributed to consistency and fairness in legal proceedings.

Legacy: The Code of Hammurabi has left a lasting legacy, influencing subsequent legal systems and serving as a model for the development of laws and justice in many cultures. Its emphasis on written laws, legal principles, and the role of the state in maintaining order set important precedents for later legal traditions.

The Code of Hammurabi stands as a remarkable testament to the early efforts to codify laws and administer justice in ancient Mesopotamia. It remains a significant historical and legal document that sheds light on the social, political, and legal structures of Babylonian civilization.

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Babylonian Law

Babylonian law refers to the legal system and legal codes that were developed and enforced in ancient Babylon, one of the most prominent cities in Mesopotamia. The most famous of these legal codes is the "Code of Hammurabi," which dates back to around 1754 BC during the rule of Hammurabi, the sixth king of Babylon. Here's a short description of Babylonian law:

Code of Hammurabi: The Code of Hammurabi is one of the earliest known legal codes in human history. It consists of a set of laws inscribed on a tall stone pillar, or stele, which was placed in the city of Babylon. The code contains 282 laws that cover various aspects of daily life, including commerce, property rights, family matters, and criminal offenses. It is best known for its principle of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," which reflects the concept of proportionate justice.

Legal Precedence: Babylonian law was characterized by its reliance on precedent and case law. Judges and legal officials would often reference previous cases and decisions when adjudicating disputes. This contributed to a sense of consistency and fairness in legal proceedings.

Cuneiform Writing: The legal codes, along with other administrative documents, were written in cuneiform script on clay tablets. This writing system used wedge-shaped characters pressed into clay, making the laws durable and resistant to tampering.

Civil and Criminal Law: The Code of Hammurabi addressed both civil and criminal matters. It provided guidelines for resolving disputes related to contracts, property, marriage, and inheritance. Additionally, it specified penalties for various crimes, including theft, assault, and false accusations.

Social and Class Distinctions: Babylonian law recognized different social classes and applied different penalties based on a person's status. The code sought to maintain social order and protect the interests of property owners and merchants.

Legacy: The Code of Hammurabi has had a profound influence on the development of legal systems throughout history. Its emphasis on written laws, precedent, and the concept of justice as a function of the state set important precedents for later legal traditions.

Babylonian law, as exemplified by the Code of Hammurabi, offers valuable insights into the legal and social structure of one of the earliest known civilizations. It demonstrates the ancient Mesopotamians' efforts to create a system of laws and justice that would govern their society and maintain order.

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The Code of Hammurabi

The Code of Hammurabi is one of the earliest and most complete written legal codes. It was inscribed on a stone stele by the Babylonian king Hammurabi in the 18th century BC. The code consists of 282 laws, which cover a wide range of topics, including criminal law, family law, and property law.

The Code of Hammurabi is significant for a number of reasons. First, it is one of the earliest known examples of a written legal code. Second, it is a comprehensive and well-organized code of laws. Third, it reflects the values and priorities of Babylonian society.

One of the most famous aspects of the Code of Hammurabi is its emphasis on the principle of lex talionis, or "an eye for an eye." This principle is reflected in laws such as "If a man puts out the eye of another man, then his own eye shall be put out." However, the Code of Hammurabi is not simply a punitive code of laws. It also includes laws that protect the rights of the weak and vulnerable, such as widows and orphans.

The Code of Hammurabi was a major influence on the development of law in Mesopotamia and other parts of the ancient world. It also had a significant impact on the development of Western law. For example, the principle of lex talionis can be found in the laws of the ancient Romans and the medieval Hebrews.

The Code of Hammurabi is an important historical document that provides insights into the law and society of ancient Babylon. It is also a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of law.

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Ancient Near East

The Ancient Near East is a historical and geographical region located in Western Asia and parts of North Africa. It is often regarded as one of the cradles of human civilization, with a rich history that spans several millennia. This region encompasses a diverse array of ancient cultures and civilizations, each making significant contributions to human history. Key features and civilizations of the Ancient Near East include:

  1. Mesopotamia: This is one of the most well-known regions within the Ancient Near East, often referred to as the "land between the rivers" due to its location between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Mesopotamia was home to early civilizations such as Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, and Assyria. It is renowned for its advancements in agriculture, writing (cuneiform script), and governance.
  2. Egypt: While geographically adjacent to the Ancient Near East, ancient Egypt is often considered part of this historical region. The Egyptian civilization along the Nile River is famous for its pyramids, hieroglyphic writing, and intricate religious practices.
  3. Hittites: An ancient Anatolian civilization based in what is now modern Turkey, the Hittites were known for their military prowess and contributions to the development of ironworking.
  4. Phoenicia: Situated along the eastern Mediterranean coast (modern-day Lebanon and parts of Syria), the Phoenicians were skilled seafarers and traders who developed the Phoenician alphabet, which influenced several later writing systems.
  5. Persian Empire: Founded by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC, the Persian Empire became one of the largest empires in history, stretching from Egypt to India. It is known for its administrative efficiency and cultural achievements.
  6. Assyrian Empire: The Neo-Assyrian Empire, centered in Mesopotamia, was known for its military expansion and advanced administrative system.
  7. Biblical Lands: Many regions within the Ancient Near East are mentioned in religious texts such as the Bible. These include ancient Israel, Judah, Babylon, and Egypt, which hold immense historical and cultural significance.

The Ancient Near East played a pivotal role in shaping the course of human history. It was a hub of innovation, with developments in writing, law, mathematics, astronomy, and religious thought. The study of this region provides valuable insights into the origins of civilization and the foundations of modern society.

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Ancient Near East (Babylonia) Glossary and Texts

The Ancient Near East (Babylonia) Glossary and Texts is a comprehensive and authoritative resource for the study of ancient Babylonian culture and language. It is edited by renowned scholars Hermann Hunger and Johannes Renger, and it includes contributions from a number of leading experts in the field.

The glossary contains over 2,500 entries, defining and explaining key Babylonian terms from a wide range of fields, including history, law, religion, literature, and science. The texts section includes a selection of important Babylonian texts, such as the Enuma Elish (the Babylonian creation myth), the Gilgamesh epic, and the Code of Hammurabi.

The Ancient Near East (Babylonia) Glossary and Texts is an essential resource for anyone interested in the study of ancient Babylon. It is a valuable tool for students, scholars, and general readers alike.

Here are some examples of the types of entries that can be found in the glossary:

  • Historical terms: such as "king," "empire," and "city-state"
  • Legal terms: such as "contract," "debt," and "punishment"
  • Religious terms: such as "god," "temple," and "ritual"
  • Literary terms: such as "epic," "poem," and "proverb"
  • Scientific terms: such as "mathematics," "astronomy," and "medicine"

The texts section includes a variety of different types of texts, such as:

  • Mythological texts: such as the Enuma Elish and the Gilgamesh epic
  • Legal texts: such as the Code of Hammurabi and other legal documents
  • Religious texts: such as prayers, hymns, and rituals
  • Literary texts: such as poems, stories, and letters
  • Scientific texts: such as astronomical and mathematical tables

The Ancient Near East (Babylonia) Glossary and Texts is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the study of ancient Babylon. It is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the Babylonian language and culture.

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Gods and Placenames

"Gods and Placenames" is a broad topic that encompasses the study of deities or divine beings associated with specific geographic locations or landmarks. It involves understanding the cultural, religious, and mythological significance of these entities in relation to the places they are linked to. Here's a short description of this concept:

Gods and placenames refer to the intricate connection between mythology, religion, and geography. In various cultures and belief systems worldwide, gods, goddesses, and other divine figures have often been associated with specific places. These places can range from natural features like mountains, rivers, and forests to man-made structures like temples, shrines, and cities.

The significance of these associations lies in the belief that certain deities inhabit or hold sway over particular locales, and these places often become centers of worship and pilgrimage. The mythology and stories surrounding these divine beings are intertwined with the history and identity of these regions.

For example, in ancient Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was believed to be the dwelling place of the twelve Olympian gods and goddesses. In Hinduism, the Ganges River is considered sacred and is personified as the goddess Ganga. Similarly, Jerusalem holds immense importance in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam due to its association with various religious figures and events.

Studying gods and placenames provides insights into the cultural, religious, and historical contexts of different societies. It sheds light on how people have forged connections between the divine and the earthly, and how these associations have shaped the landscapes and spiritual practices of various regions throughout history.

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Glossary of Gods and Placenames

A "Glossary of Gods and Placenames" is a reference tool or compilation that provides concise explanations and definitions for the names of deities and geographic locations found in various mythologies, religions, or historical contexts. This glossary serves as a valuable resource for researchers, scholars, and readers interested in understanding the significance and cultural context of these names.

In such a glossary, entries typically include:

  1. Deities: Names of gods, goddesses, and divine beings from different mythologies, along with their attributes, roles, and cultural significance. This can encompass gods and goddesses from ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Hindu, and various other mythologies.
  2. Placenames: Geographic locations, landmarks, and regions with historical, mythological, or religious importance. These may include cities, mountains, rivers, temples, and sacred sites.
  3. Cultural Context: Brief explanations or historical information regarding how these names were used, worshipped, or referenced within the respective cultures and belief systems.
  4. Variations: Variations or alternate names for the same deity or place in different cultures or languages.

A "Glossary of Gods and Placenames" is a valuable tool for those seeking to explore and comprehend the multifaceted world of mythology, religion, and historical geography, as it aids in unraveling the rich tapestry of human beliefs and the landscapes that have inspired them throughout history.

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Myths & Legends

Quite exhaustive Myths and Mythology

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King Darius

In 521 BC Cambyses, the King of Persia, dies and the person who takes over his job is named Darius. Many of the smaller cities that made up the Persian Empire thought that King Darius and his huge army were invincible. They were so afraid that they listened to his commands and never disobeyed him. [People in History] [Tools and Searches]

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King Darius (Maps)

Maps of Persian Empire. Deals with the Persian Empire battles locations. [People in History] [Tools and Searches]

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King Darius Battles

Achaemenid Persia w/ Persian battles and army info. Deals with the Persian Empire battles: The Ionian Revolt, The Battle of Marathon, The Battle of Thermopylae [People in History] [Tools and Searches]

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King Darius War Timeline 521 - 480 BC

Persian Empire wars timeline [People in History] [Tools and Searches]

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Warfare in the Ancient Near East

Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC Holy Warriors at the Dawn of History Author: William J. Hamblin...* recruitment and training of the infantry * the logistics and weaponry of warfare * the shift from stone to metal weapons * the role played by magic * narratives of combat and artistic representations of battle * the origins and development of the chariot as military transportation * fortifications and siegecraft *developments in naval warfare. [General Ancient War Links]

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Warfare in the Ancient Near East

Book which covers * recruitment and training of the infantry * the logistics and weaponry of warfare * the shift from stone to metal weapons * the role played by magic * narratives of combat and artistic representations of battle * the origins and development of the chariot as military transportation * fortifications and siegecraft *developments in naval warfare. [General Ancient War Links]

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The Coins and History of Asia

Containing information and scans of over 3000 coins, these pages are to be a resource for students of Near Eastern, Persian, Indian, Central Asian and Chinese history from 600 BC to 1600 AD. Permanent exhibits with emphasis on Sasanian, Hunnic and Central Asian coinages. Check back often and reload everything because I'm adding all the time. Begun in July 1996, I've resigned myself to the fact that this will take the better part of several dozen more years to complete. Oh well. In a state of continuous flux, Summer, 2008. Want to learn more about Oriental coins? Join the Oriental Numismatic Society. AV=Gold, AR=Silver, AE=Bronze, Brass, Copper, etc., PB=Lead, FE=Iron, Billon=an alloy of AE and AR v. after a catalogue number means it is a variant of that type (?) means i'm not sure; (!) signifies an unusual or unique aspect [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Seleucid Empire (coins)

The coins and history of asia. The Seleucid empire at its greatest stretched from Thrace to India and included almost all of Alexander the Great's conquests, except Egypt. Seleucus, one of Alexander's generals, became satrap of Babylonia in 321 BC. In a prolonged power struggle between the "Successors" (Diadochoi) -- Ptolemy (Egypt), Lysimachos (Thrace), Cassander (Macedon and Greece) and Seleucus ganged up on Antigonas (Asia), defeating him at the battle of Ipsus in 301 BC. Seleucus was assassinated by the disgruntled son of Ptolemy in 281 BC. The kingdom was a major center of Hellenistic culture, maintaining the pre-eminence of Greek customs and manners over the Middle East. It began to decline in 190 BC after a first defeat by the Romans and lasted until 64 BC when the last Seleucid king, Antiochus XIII, was murdered by Sampsiceramus, an Arab emir, at the behest of Pompey. [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Kerkenes Dag Project

Here you will find web pages giving summaries of the main aspects of the project, illustrations of methods employed and results obtained, and a selection of reports and research papers.

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Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit

The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Scholarship. An Exhibit at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. The Library's exhibition describes the historical context of the scrolls and the Qumran community from whence they may have originated; it also relates the story of their discovery 2,000 years later. In addition, the exhibition encourages a better understanding of the challenges and complexities connected with scroll research.

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Les Petroglyphes du Fujairah

(Emirats Arabes Unis). Grégoire de Ceuninck - page personnelle.

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Finnish Archaeological Project in Petra

Monastery on the Mount of Aaron. Magnificent and mysterious Petra is known best for its royal tombs cut in soft sandstone. Being the most important tourist site in Jordan today, the city used to serve as the center of trade and agriculture in the area at the crosspoint of great caravan routes. Charred papyri from 513 A.D., found in an excavated church in Petra, mention also a nearby monastery on the Mount of St. Aaron, the high priest and brother of Moses.

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National Museum of Asian Art

The Freer Gallery Of Art and The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery - The National Museum of Asian Art For the United States

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Second Temple Synagogues

This site is devoted to the study of Second Temple Synagogues""that is, synagogues which existed prior to the Jerusalem Temple's destruction in year 70 A.D.

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Tell Ahmar Excavations

Historical Significance of Til Barsib.

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Tel Dor Archaeological Expediton

Tel Dor Archaeological Excavations/The Voyage of the Planaet Mag

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Eric Kondratieff's Tel Dor Web Site

Also known as Tantura or Khirbet el-Burq (its Arabic names), Tel Dor is located fifteen miles south of Haifa, and just eight miles north of Caesarea; As you will see from some of the pictures on the following pages, Dor had some of the best harbor facilities available on this part of the coast in antiquity; that is, until Herod the Great built his man-made harbor at Caesarea ca. 20 B.C., from which point in time one can date the beginning of the decline of Dor's fortunes.

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Hoplite Sword (Greece)

The hoplite sword was essentially a slashing weapon and was generally worn slung from a baldric over the right shoulder so that it hung almost horizontally on the left. Alexander the Great is shown with a sword of this type in a period mosaic from Pompeii.

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Parthian Empire (coins)

The coins and history of asia. In 247 BC, Arsaces, leader of a Scythian group in Central Asia called the Parni (a branch of the Dahae) is crowned king. He overthrows the Seleucid governor of Parthia in 238 BC and establishes a nation that lasts for almost 500 years. 95 - 57 BC is referred to as the Parthian 'dark age,' and civil wars make the chronology of this period a matter of conjecture. At the height of their power, the Parthians were second only to Rome and were the only civilized nation able to stand up to her. The empire began its decline in the 2nd century AD and the rebellion of Ardashir of Persis in 220 AD was its death knell. The last Parthian king, Artabanos IV, was killed in the battle of Hormuzdagan in 224 AD and Ardashir became the first Sasanian king. [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Sasanian 4 (coins) Sasanian Empire

The coins and history of asia [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Sasanian 5 (coins)

The coins and history of asia [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Sasanian 6 (coins)

The coins and history of asia [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Sasanian 7 (coins)

The coins and history of asia [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Table of mints (Pahlavi) (coins)

The coins and history of asia. PAHLAVI ALPHABET Pahlavi (Middle Persian) is read from right to left. Many letterforms are similar: B and Y; R and L; D and K; G and Z; U, V, W and N. [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Table of Dates (Pahlavi) (coins)

The coins and history of asia. Based on Mochiri's tables of dates (circa Khusro I through Khusro II), with a newer transliteration scheme; variations abound. I'll probably end up changing it some more... [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Mint signatures and locations (Pahlavi) (coins)

Map of mint cities. The coins and history of asia [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Parthian Empire 2 (coins)

The coins and history of asia. About Parthian related coins - Saka/Sacaraucae issues, Sanabares, Farn-Sasan, etc. [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Elymais (coins)

The coins and history of asia. Not much is known of the history of the Elymaid rulers. It seems they were quasi-independent but subject to the Parthian kings. Their kingdom was located south of Susa and northwest of Persis, at the head of the Persian Gulf in what would be modern southwestern Iran. Their coinage commences about 150 BC and lasts until about 225 AD, when the Parthians are overthrown by the Sasanians. Elamais is the 'Graecized' form of the more ancient name, Elam. [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Characene (coins)

The coins and history of asia. The Kingdom of Characene, located at the head of the Persian Gulf near the mouth of the Tigris, served as a trading center between the Roman Empire and the East for over three centuries. It fell under Sasanian rule in 228 AD. [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Sasanian (coins) Empire

The coins and history of asia. Ardashir I, a king of Persis, defeats the Parthian king Artabanos IV and two years later is crowned as the first Sasanian king in 226 AD. His son, Shapur I, expands the borders to include all of modern Iran and parts of Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the Gulf Coast of the Arabian peninsula. 400 years of war with Rome, Kushans, Chionites and Hephthalites takes its toll and in the mid 7th century the Arabs overrun the Sasanians, replacing Zoroastrianism with Islam. [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Sasanian 2 (coins) Imitations

The coins and history of asia [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Sasanian 3 (coins) Seals

The coins and history of asia [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Armenia (coins)

The coins and history of asia. Armenia is a mountainous country to the northeast of Asia Minor, once part of the Achaemenid, Alexandrine and Seleucid Empires. After the defeat of Antiochus III by the Romans in 190 BC, an independent kingdom was set up under her guidance. A 600 year long tug-of-war followed between Rome, the Parthians and later, the Sasanians, ending in the late 4th century division of the country between the east Romans and the Persians. Armenia was the first land to adopt the Christian religion officially and the oldest Christian nation to survive into modern times. [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Islamic dynasties (coins)

The coins and history of asia. The Islamic Era year AH 1 is equal to the western year 622 AD, the year Mohammed fled from Mecca to Medina (on July 15th). Based on the lunar year, it is 11 days shorter. To (roughly) calculate an AH date from the AD, subtract 622 and then add 3%. [Persian Empire] [coins]

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Arabia (coins)

Several small kingdoms that existed in what is now Syria, Jordan and the southern Arabian penninsula, bordering the Indian Ocean and Red Sea (modern Yemen). [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Judaean Kingdom (coins)

Judaea was part of the Persian Empire until Alexander the Great subjugated it in 332 BC. After Alexander's death, the Jews came under the rule of the Ptolomies of Egypt and the Seleucids in 198 BC. Before the end of the 2nd century the Hasmoneans had won full autonomy from their former Greek rulers. In 63 BC Pompey incorporated Israel into the Roman Empire and in 6 AD it had become a Roman province. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Phoenicia (coins)

Existing as several city-states, the Phoenicians replaced the Mycenaeans as the principal eastern Mediterranean seafaring power in the 10th century BC. Its long and complex history includes the founding of colonies throughout the Mediterranean, including Carthage in north Africa circa 800 BC. Defeated by Alexander in 332 BC, Phoenicia became subject to the Ptolemies, Seleucids and finally to the Romans in 63 BC. The Phoenicians regarded themselves as Canaanites. Cities listed from north to south. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Cappadocia (coins)

Eastern Turkey. Once part of the Hittite, Persian and Seleucid Empires, it was independent by the middle of the 3rd century BC. In 17 AD it became part of the Roman Empire. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Commagene (coins)

Commagene was an ancient kingdom located in the region of present-day southeastern Turkey and northern Syria. Its rulers issued a distinctive series of coins that offer insights into the kingdom's history, culture, and political connections. These coins provide valuable information about Commagene's interactions with neighboring empires and its unique blend of Greek, Persian, and local influences.

Key features of Commagene's coins include:

  1. Dynastic Portraits: Commagene's coins often featured portraits of its ruling dynasties, notably the Antiochus and Mithridates lines. These portraits depicted the kings and queens in a Hellenistic style, reflecting the cultural fusion of Greek and Persian elements in the region.
  2. Deities and Symbols: The coins frequently showcased deities associated with both Greek and Persian pantheons. Apollo, Hercules, and Tyche are common Greek deities depicted, while Persian deities like Ahura Mazda also appeared. These symbols highlighted the kingdom's religious diversity.
  3. Greek and Aramaic Inscriptions: Coins were inscribed with Greek and sometimes Aramaic text, reflecting the linguistic diversity of the region. These inscriptions often included the names of rulers, their titles, and references to local deities.
  4. Cultural Syncretism: Commagene's coins exemplify the cultural syncretism of the kingdom, blending Greek, Persian, and local Anatolian influences. This fusion is evident in the combination of Greek artistic styles with Eastern motifs.
  5. Royal Titles and Genealogy: Coins conveyed the royal titles, honors, and genealogy of the ruling dynasties. The coins' inscriptions and iconography reinforced the legitimacy and ancestry of the rulers.
  6. Roman Influence: Commagene maintained diplomatic ties with the Roman Empire, and some coins featured portraits of Roman emperors, highlighting the kingdom's relationship with the dominant power of the time.
  7. Architectural Imagery: Some coins depicted architectural elements such as the famous "Throne of the Gods," a large monument built by King Antiochus I Theos on Mount Nemrut. This monument featured colossal statues of deities and rulers.

Commagene's coins serve as valuable historical artifacts, shedding light on the kingdom's political alliances, cultural identity, and religious practices. They offer a tangible link to the past, allowing researchers to piece together the history and legacy of this unique and culturally diverse ancient kingdom.

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Osrhoene (coins)

The Kingdom of Osrhoene was an independent kingdom, alternately under Parthian and Roman domination, from the end of the Seleucid period until it became a Roman province in 244 A.D. This coin was minted in the name of Lucilla, Augusta and wife of the emperor Lucius Verus. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Kings of Scythia (coins)

About the Kings of Scythia. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Kings of Bosporus (coins)

A kingdom situated at the northern end of the Black Sea, running between it and the Sea of Maeotis. Begun in the 5th century B.C., it remained a semi-autonomous client kingdom under the Romans and continued into the 4th century A.D. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Romaion/Byzantine Empire (coins)

Renamed Constantinople in 330 AD, the ancient city of Byzantion gave its name to a combined Greek and Roman culture that lasted for almost 1000 years. The `Byzantines` never referred to each other as such; they called themselves Romaioi, the Greek word for Roman. In 1453 AD, the Ottoman Turks overran Constantinople, putting an end to the Romaioi and the Middle Ages. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Romaion/Byzantine Empire 2 (coins)

Renamed Constantinople in 330 AD, the ancient city of Byzantion gave its name to a combined Greek and Roman culture that lasted for almost 1000 years. The `Byzantines` never referred to each other as such; they called themselves Romaioi, the Greek word for Roman. In 1453 AD, the Ottoman Turks overran Constantinople, putting an end to the Romaioi and the Middle Ages. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Romaion/Byzantine Empire 3 (coins)

Renamed Constantinople in 330 AD, the ancient city of Byzantion gave its name to a combined Greek and Roman culture that lasted for almost 1000 years. The `Byzantines` never referred to each other as such; they called themselves Romaioi, the Greek word for Roman. In 1453 AD, the Ottoman Turks overran Constantinople, putting an end to the Romaioi and the Middle Ages. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Crusader Kingdoms (coins)

About the Crusaders. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Historical Timeline 600 BC - 1400 AD

Nicely done, in color. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Map of Asia Minor/Near East circa 150 BC

Nicely done, in color. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Map of Asia Persia/Central Asia

Nicely done, topographic and in color. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Coins references/bibliography

numismatic references. [Ancient Near East] [Coins]

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Babylonian calendar

The ancient Babylonians used a calendar with alternating 29- and 30-day months. This system required the addition of an extra month three times every eight years, and as a further adjustment the king would periodically order the insertion of an additional extra month into the calendar.

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Other calendars used in the ancient Near East

Of the calendars of other peoples of the ancient Near East, very little is known. Thus, though the names of all or of some months are known, their order is not. The months were probably everywhere lunar, but evidence for intercalation is often lacking; the Assyrians, the Hittites and Iran.

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The Legend of Solomon

Solomon, the King of Israel, the son of David and Bathsheba, ascended the throne of his kingdom 2989 years after the creation of the world, and 1015 years before the Christian era. He was they only twenty years of age, but the youthful monarch is said to have commenced his reign with the decision of a legal question of some difficulty, in which he exhibited the first promise of that wise judgement for which he was ever afterward distinguished....[Mesopotamia] [People]

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The Sumerians

[Mesopotamia] [People]

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Hittite Home Page

Introduction] / [Hittite Studies] / [Ancient Anatolia] / [Museums and Institutes] / [Excavations and Places] / [Other Web Sites] / [Images] / [Books] / [In the Neighborhood] [Mesopotamia] [People]

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Kassites

[Mesopotamia] [People]

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Nebuchadnezzar II

(r. 605""562 bc), greatest king of the neo-Babylonian, or Chaldean, dynasty, who conquered much of southwestern Asia; known also for his extensive building in the major cities of Babylonia. [Mesopotamia] [People]

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New Societies in West Asia

[Mesopotamia] [People]

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The Persians

[Mesopotamia] [People]

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Sumerians of Mesopotamia

These Sumerians were constantly at war with one another and other peoples, for water was a scarce and valuable resource. The result over time of these wars was the growth of larger city-states as the more powerful swallowed up the smaller city-states. Eventually, the Sumerians would have to battle another peoples, the Akkadians, who migrated up from the Arabian Peninsula. The Akkadians were a Semitic people, that is, they spoke a Semitic language related to languages such as Hebrew and Arabic. When the two peoples clashed, the Sumerians gradually lost control over the city-states they had so brilliantly created and fell under the hegemony of the Akkadian kingdom which was based in Akkad, the city that was later to become Babylon. [Mesopotamia] [People]

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Ancient Near East Links

[Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Archaeology of the Land of Israel

An important part of the collection is devoted to ancient Hebrew script, with a wide range of items with inscriptions in Paleo-Hebrew. These include inscribed jars, ostraca, seals, papyri, and burial inscriptions. [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Garden of Eden (Judeo-Christian Tradition)

Hanging Gardens of Babylon [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Genesis in Sumer

History of the Sumerians and their origin. [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The approach to the Garden sloped like a hillside and the several parts of the structure rose from one another tier on tier... On all this, the earth had been piled... and was thickly planted with trees of every kind that, by their great size and other charm, gave pleasure to the beholder... The water machines [raised] the water in great abundance from the river, although no one outside could see it. [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Hatti , homeland of the Hittites

HATTI, homeland of the Hittites, was one of the most powerful near-eastern empire of the second millennium B.C. The heart of HATTI-land and hittite power was located in central Anatolia. From terrible wars to peaceful and prosperous trade, the Assyrians and the Egyptians learned to respect the Hittites. [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Jericho

Jericho is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in Israel. The Jericho of the Old Testament period before the Hellenistic is called Tell es-Sultan and is located in the Jordan valley approximately 16 km (10 miles) northwest of the northern bank of Dead Sea and 825 ft below sea level. The University of Texas at Austin [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Political Change in Ancient Mesopotamia 3000-1000 BCE

Shockwave (University of Oregon) [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Political Change in Ancient Mesopotamia 3000-1000 BCE (map)

Shockwave (University of Oregon) [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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The Late Aegean Bronze Age: cities & palaces 1250-1000 BCE

map. (University of Oregon) [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Sea Peoples: in the Late Bronze Age (map)

map. (University of Oregon) [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Ancient Near East: Empires from 700-300 BCE (map)

map. Shockwave. (University of Oregon) [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Natural Resources of the Eastern Mediterranean (map)

map. (University of Oregon) [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Map of Israel's 12 Tribes (map)

map. [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

I have lying, over me in Halicarnassus, a gigantic monument such as no other dead person has, adorned in the finest way with statues of horses and men carved most realistically from the best quality marble. - King Maussollos in Lucian`s "Dialogues of the Dead" [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Mesopotamia 8000-2000 B.C. timeline

timeline [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Ancient Mesopotamia

Ancient Mesopotamia is a seventh gradeWorld History/World Geography unit designed to be used by both students and teachers. It is designed in such a way that it can be used by students as an educational resource supplementary to the traditional social studies textbook, or it can be used by teachers in order to attain important vocabulary terms, vocabulary exercises, a study guide, an example quiz, hands-on activities, and final unit evaluations. [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Mesopotamia - Maps and History

The word 'Mesopotamia' is in origin a Greek name (mesos `middle' and 'potamos' - 'river' so `land between the rivers'). 'Mesopotamia' translated from Old Persian Miyanrudan means "the fertile cresent". Aramaic name being Beth-Nahrain "House of Two Rivers") is a region of Southwest Asia. [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Nineveh

Nineveh, Assyrian Ninua was an important city in ancient Assyria. This "exceeding great city", as it is called in the Book of Jonah, lay on the eastern bank of the Tigris (modern-day Mosul, Iraq). Ancient Nineveh's mound-ruins are located on a level part of the plain near the river within an 1800-acre area circumscribed by a seven and one-half mile brick-rampart. This whole extensive space is now one immense area of ruins. If Jonah is referring to what some scholars call Greater Nineveh, the term could include the region around Nineveh proper with a sixty mile perimeter including Kuyunjik, Khorsabad, and Nimrud. Situated at the confluence of the Tigris and Khosr, Nineveh was an important junction for commercial routes crossing the Tigris. Occupying a central position on the great highway between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, thus uniting the East and the West, wealth flowed into it from many sources, so that it became one of the greatest of all ancient cities. [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Nippur -Sacred City of Enlil

[Mesopotamia] [Places]

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History of Babylonia

The city of Babylon was the capital of the ancient land of Babylonia in southern Mesopotamia. It was situated on the Euphrates River about 50 miles south of modern Baghdad, just north of what is now the modern Iraqi town of al-Hillah. The tremendous wealth and power of this city, along with its monumental size and appearance, were certainly considered a Biblical myth, that is, until its foundations were unearthed and its riches substantiated during the 19th century. Archaeologists stood in awe as their discoveries revealed that certain stories in the Bible were an actual situation that had happened in time.

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The Old Babylonian Period

The Old Babylonian Period (2000-1595 BC). [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Amorites

Most scholars date the beginning of Babylonia to the fall of the third dynasty of Ur, around 2000 BC because many Amorites apparently migrated from the desert into Mesopotamia. The Amorites were a group of Semitic speaking nomads, who captured the local city-states where they established new dynasties and adapted to the culture of the surrounding area. The Amorites had helped destroy the Sumerian civilization and dominated Mesopotamia for about 300 years (1900-1600 BC). They ruled the land out of the city of Babylon. But soon the Amorite immigrants and the previous locals began fighting for power, in this caused considerable confusion during this early period. [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Isin and Larsa

Around the middle of the 18th century BC two cities, Isin and Larsa ultimately dominated the scene so that the era has been called the Isin-Larsa period. The city-state of Larsa was soon captured by an Amorite ruler named Kudur-mabug, who appointed his two sons Warad-Sin and Rim-Sin, to rule over Larsa while he was away on military campaigns. Larsa's period of glory lasted for little while longer, approximately 30 years (1763 BC), when Hammurapi of Babylon came to conquer, thus ushering in a new era. [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Detailed Map of Ancient Mesopotamia

Black and white printable map.

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Abraham

Catholic Encyclopedia [Mesopotamia] [People]

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Time-Line for the History of Judaism

Timeline of Jewish History [Mesopotamia] [People]

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The Story of Abraham from the Hebrew Bible

Importance of Abraham to both the Muslims and the Jews. [Mesopotamia] [People]

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Assyrians

beginnings of Jewish Diaspora. [Mesopotamia] [People]

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Medical Arts in Ancient Mesopotamia

The ancient Babylonians developed a systematic practice of the Medical Arts. Writings found on cuneiform tablets include specific herbal remedies to treat eye infections, intestinal disorders and other maladies. In 1990, archeologists working in Iraq discovered the remains of an enormous temple (c. 1300 bce), nearly the size of a football field, dedicated to the ancient goddess of medicine, Gula. Pilgrims travelled to the temple, it is believed, to secure healing. Often they brought figures or figurines with them to register their complaint. These figures are from the Temple of Gula, goddess of Medicine, excavated at Nippur (ancient Mesopotamia), Iraq. Earlier known as Bau, or Ninkarrak, in Mesopotamian religion, city goddess of Urukug in the Lagash region and, under the name Nininsina, the Queen of Isin, city goddess of Isin, south of Nippur. [Mesopotamia] [People]

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Chaldeans: Historical Background

Information on history, language, and religion. [Mesopotamia] [People]

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Cyrus the Great

Artwork and information. Has info about cylinder.[Mesopotamia] [People]

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King David

from Timeline of Jewish History [Mesopotamia] [People]

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David: a Man after God's Heart

[Mesopotamia] [People]

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Gudea of Lagash

Of all the rulers of ancient Mesopotamia, Gudea, ensi (governor) of Lagash, emerges the most clearly across the millennia due to the survival of many of his religious texts and statues. He ruled his city-state in southeast Iraq for twenty years, bringing peace and prosperity at a time when the Guti, tribesmen from the northeastern mountains, occupied the land. His inscriptions describe vast building programs of temples for his gods. [Mesopotamia] [People]

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Code of Hammurabi

[Hammurabi] was the ruler who chiefly established the greatness of Babylon, the world`s first metropolis. Many relics of Hammurabi`s reign ([1795-1750 BC]) have been preserved, and today we can study this remarkable King....as a wise law-giver in his celebrated code. . . [Mesopotamia] [People]

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The Hebrews

The ancient Middle East and Mesopotamia was a dynamically multicultural society composed of small, often insignificant kingdoms frequently torn between the forces of mighty empires, from Babylon to Egypt to Greece to Rome. But one of these small kingdoms, for the most part utterly insignificant in the drama of early civilization, became through its religion, philosophy, and law one of the most important cultures in Middle Eastern and Western history. Beginning inauspiciously as a closely-knit, war-like group of wandering tribes, this culture enjoyed for a blink of a historical eye a mighty empire, but it soon lapsed into a small and besieged state. Curiously, it was in defeat, dominated over by foreigners whose fathers came from across the Mediteranean sea, that the Hebrews would emerge as one of the most significant progenitors of the culture of the West and Middle East, giving us monotheism, law, and a new history for the west. The journey is an epic one, from dim and unpromising beginnings to empire to the loss of home and dispersion throughout the world, from Hebrew to Israelite to Jew, carrying with them always the promise that the one god would protect and preserve them over all others. [Mesopotamia] [People]

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The Hebrews

[Mesopotamia] [People]

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The Assyrian Army: A Fearsome Force that Conquered the Ancient World

Step back in time to an era of relentless conquest and unparalleled military might as you delve into the fascinating world of the Assyrian Army. In "The Assyrian Army: A Fearsome Force that Conquered the Ancient World," we unlock the secrets of an ancient superpower's military prowess and its unparalleled impact on the annals of history.

The Assyrian Empire, which spanned from the 25th to the 7th century BC, was known for its unwavering ambition, fierce determination, and a military machine that struck terror into the hearts of neighboring nations. This meticulously researched book offers an in-depth exploration of the military strategies, innovations, and organizational brilliance that propelled the Assyrian Army to the forefront of the ancient world.

Readers will be transported to the battlefields of Mesopotamia and beyond, where the Assyrian Army displayed remarkable discipline and tactics, including the use of iron weapons, siege warfare, and chariots. The book paints a vivid portrait of their conquests, from the subjugation of the mighty Babylon to the sacking of Jerusalem and the far-reaching campaigns that expanded their empire.

This gripping narrative goes beyond the battlefield to unveil the societal and cultural influences that fueled the Assyrian war machine. Discover how the empire's leaders harnessed the power of propaganda, intimidation, and fear to maintain control and dominance over an expansive and diverse realm.

"The Assyrian Army" is a comprehensive journey through the annals of military history, offering a deep understanding of the ancient world's most formidable fighting force. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a scholar, or a casual reader, this book promises to captivate and enlighten, shedding light on the rise and fall of an empire that left an indelible mark on human history. Prepare to be enthralled by the epic tale of The Assyrian Army: A Fearsome Force that Conquered the Ancient World.

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Nebuchadnezzar II

Nebuchadnezzar II marched back to Babylon and was crowned king, which inaugurated one of the most powerful periods in Babylonian history. Nebuchadnezzar continued his brilliant campaigns focusing his military maneuvers on the west, which he effectively brought under his control. It was the kingdom of Judah who had called upon Egypt to assist them against the Babylonians. King Nebuchadnezzar continued his attacks and on his second conquest the conquered Jerusalem in 586 BC taking the survivors as prisoners back to Babylon. This was known in Jewish history has "the Babylonian captivity" and "the exile". After he destroyed Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar focused his attacks upon Egypt and he conquered it in 668 BC though there has been no detailed account of this invasion ever discovered, it remains a tremendous success for the king of Babylon and the first time any Chaldean king had ever conquered Egypt. [Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Fall of Babylon

In 539 BC Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylon. The Bible records in the Book of Daniel about the "Handwriting on the Wall" where Belshazzar who had been ruling in Babylon on behalf of his father Nabonidus, saw handwriting on his palace wall during a feast, which Daniel the Hebrew interpreted as the end of the Babylonian Empire. [Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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List of Kings and Neo-Babylonian Rulers

Following is a partial list of the 22 kings who ruled until the destruction of Babylon by Sennacherib, when the Assyrian kings assumed direct control. Ashurbanipal, however, introduced a new policy and viceroys were appointed. [Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Persian Rulers of Babylonia (List)

Cyrus 538-529 BC to Darius III 335-331 BC [Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Literature of Ancient Babylonia

Sumerian origins, scribes, epics, prophecy and cuneiform. [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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Religion of Ancient Babylon

Marduk, Gods, Temples, Astreology, Prophecy and more. [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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Law and Justice in Ancient Babylon

Shamash, Legal Documents, Disputes, Criminals and more. [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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King and State in Ancient Babylon

the King's Palace, Harem, Scribes and Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar's palace was considered by Herodotus to be the most magnificent building ever erected on earth. [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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Economy and Social Structure in Ancient Babylon

Houses, Families, Schools and more. [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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Science in Ancient Babylon

Astronomy, the Calendar, Mathematics and more. We Owe Much of our Calendar System to the Babylonians. [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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Archaeology of Ancient Babylon

Many discoveries. The modern recovery of the history of Babylonia began in the 19th century, following in the wake of the great archaeological discoveries in Assyria. Although initially the finds were not as spectacular as those in the northern region, the gradual exploration of Babylonia has awakened knowledge of its great civilization, which has developed throughout the 20th century. [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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Questions about Babylon Answered in the Bible

What does the Bible say about Babylonia? [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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Maps of Ancient Babylonia

This ancient tablet from the 7th Century BC depicts the world at the time of Sargon (2300 BC) as a circle surrounded by water, with Babylon at its center. (British Museum) [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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Geography of Ancient Babylonia

Babylonia was situated in the area known as Mesopotamia (Greek for "between the rivers"). Mesopotamia was in the Near East in roughly the same geographical position as modern Iraq. Two great rivers flowed through this land: the Tigris and the Euphrates. Along these two rivers were many great trading cities such as Ur and Babylon on the Euphrates. [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia was known as "The land between the rivers", which was a name given by Polybius and Strabo of the lands lying between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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The Tigris River

The Tigris River was known by the Hebrews as "Hiddekel" and is one of the two large rivers of Mesopotamia, which the Bible says, flowed from the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:14). It is formed by the confluence of two rivers that flow from the mountains of Armenia. In ancient times the courses of the Tigris and Euphrates were separate. Their confluence before they flow into the Persian Gulf is very recent. The Tigris has a greater volume of water than the Euphrates and flows faster, making upstream navigating impossible. The powerful and prosperous cities of Nineveh, Calah and Ashur flourished along its shores. [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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The Euphrates River

The Euphrates River is one of the largest rivers of western Asia, about 1700 miles long. In the Bible it is referred to by several names such as the "great river" or just "the river" and is among the four rivers, which flowed from the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:14). It formed the northeastern limit of the Promised Land (Gen 15:18). The river, which receives its waters from the mountains of Armenia, flows through a deep and narrow gorge, but as it descends toward Babylon, the Euphrates and the Tigris take different routes, which form the great broad plain of Mesopotamia. [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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Bibliography

[Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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Predictions Concerning Babylon

Jeremiah and Isaiah. [Ancient Babylonia] Bible History Online

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The Old City: King David's Capital

PEACE OF JERUSALEM | JEWISH UNIVERSE | HOLY CITY | CULTURE | KING DAVID'S CAPITAL | CAPITAL OF ISRAEL [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Palace of Ashurnasirpal (movie)

These short movie clips are part of a larger 3-D animated fly-through of the Palace of Ashurnasirpal. [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Persian History

Around 1200 BC, some new people invaded West Asia from the north. These people were called the Persians and the Medes. Both of them were Indo-European people, distantly related to the Hittites, the Greeks and the Romans. Like the Scythians, the Medes and the Persians were nomadic people. They travelled around Siberia with their horses and their cattle, and grazed the cattle and the horses on the great fields of grass there. Usually they lived well enough this way. [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Petra: Myth and Reality

[Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Stolen Stones

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold. (Byron, "The Destruction of Sennacherib," 1815) [Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Virtual Tour of Jerusalem

[Mesopotamia] [Places]

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Hammurapi of Babylon

The remainder of the Old Babylonian Period (1763-1595 BC) was characterized by a shift of power in the north with Hammurapi of Babylon (1792-1750 BC) as the main figure. Hammurapi was the sixth king of the first dynasty of Babylon. During his reign he dealt with his enemies through diplomacy or military force. His main rivals consisted of Larsa, Eshunna, Mari and Shamshi-Adad I of Assyria (1813-1781 BC). [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Code of Hammurapi

Hammurapi realized that he could not rule by sword alone and therefore gathered laws into a unified code and then had them administered by judges closely supervised by his own advisors. This code had a profound effect upon the whole near-Orient world. [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Full Text of Hammurapi's Law Code

2500 B.C. Translated by L. W. King. With commentary from Charles F. Horne, Ph.D. (1915) [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Classical Period of the Babylonians

The Old Babylonian period and mainly the Hammurapi Age are generally referred to as the classical period in Babylonian civilization. This is when the "Babylonian" culture really began to develop. The culture was the product of a conglomeration of various ethnic strains, mainly the earlier Sumero-Akkadian civilization that had flourished in the Babylonian plain during the third millennium BC. [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Language of the Babylonians

The Babylonian language was a dialect of Akkadian, a Semitic language, written in cuneiform script. Politically and economically Babylonia remained a number of small autonomous city-states ruled by local dynasties and later emerging into an imperial structure. [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Religion, Law Science and the Arts

Religion, law, science and the arts altered very little. The three main gods, An, Enlil and Enki (Ea in Akkadian) headed the pantheon of gods, but when Babylon rose as a dynasty the chief God of that city was Marduk. Marduk rose in status almost to that of Enki, who was said to be his father. [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Babylon in the Old Babylonian Period

The city-state of Babylon, especially under the leadership of Hammurapi, made an impressive mark upon history and Babylon was regarded as a natural capital, even when it was not the actual capital. After Hammurapi's death, the imperial structure, which he founded, was being continually challenged. Foreign peoples and powers were placing an unbearable strain upon Hammurapi's successors. One of these forces were the horse-riding Kassites who descended on Babylon and put an end to the Amorites as well as civilized progress for the next 400 years. [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Kassites

Just exactly who The Kassites were, and anything about their origins and history, is very obscure. Before entering Mesopotamia they were illiterate mountain people speaking a language that is not known today. According to history, what we do know is that they first appeared as a military force in the time of Samsuiluna (1749-1712 BC), Hammurapi's successor, but that is all we know about them until the time that they established a dynasty in Babylonia, around 1595 BC. [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The People of the Sealand

A second group of people who proved to be a formidable force was the people of the Sealand, a kingdom to the extreme south of Babylonia along the Persian Gulf. Little is known about these people as well, a list of the names of their Kings is all that has been discovered, but no native sources. We do know that it was a powerful nation that continually challenged Hammurapi's successors, and for a period of time controlled Nippur in the center of the plain. Because of their location in the south they were strongly Sumerian in character. The Kassites eventually conquered the people of the Sealand. [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Hittite Kingdom

It was the Hittite kingdom in Anatolia (Asia Minor) who brought to an end the first dynasty of Babylon. Mursilis I, king of the Hittites, invaded Babylonia by surprise and sacked Babylon. But for some strange reason he withdrew from the area after he had exceeded. The Kassites saw this power vacuum and seized control. [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The First Dynasty of Babylon List of Kings

About the time the Nisin Dynasty came to a close, and while the Larsa Dynasty was ruling, the First Dynasty of Babylon was established. Following is a list of 11 rulers of this dynasty who ruled 300 years: [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Time chart of Early Mesopotamian History

3200-539 B.C. [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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HISTORICAL TIME CHART (Biblical and Historical)

2090 B.C. - 70 A.D. [Old Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Middle Babylonian Period

Various dynasties and culture [Middle Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Kassite Dynasty

The Kassite Dynasty was founded in Babylonia (1595 BC) and, as previously mentioned, very little is known about them other than a list of the names of their kings. One of the early kings after 1595 BC was Agum-kakrime, who boasted that he ruled over most of Babylonia and that he brought back to statue of the god Marduk, which had been carried off by the Hittites when they had sacked Babylon. There is an ancient literary composition in which Marduk himself described his sojourn in the land of the Hittites. [Middle Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Kadashman-Enlil I and Burnaburiash II

The next period of Babylonian history for which we have limited information is the 14th century BC There was a discovery at Amarna in Egypt of a cache of clay tablets inscribed in cuneiform, which has shed considerable light on this time period. These tablets contain letters to the Egyptian pharaohs (Tuthmosis III to Amenophis IV) from various parts of the Fertile Crescent, including Babylonia. The letters were written in Akkadian, which had been the language of international relations for some time. [Middle Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Kurigalzu II

Toward the end of the reign of Burnaburiash II there was a conflict with the Assyrians and as a result Kurigalzu II (1332-1308 BC) took the throne. This was a great period in Kassite history, for Kurigalzu led his army on many successful military campaigns with victories over various enemies including the Elamites and the Assyrians. [Middle Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Elam and Assyria

There is little known about the history of Babylonia after the Amarna Age until the latter days of the Kassite dynasty. Most of this time period was characterized by many wars between Babylonia and her two closest neighbors, Elam and Assyria. At one point Babylonia was invaded and the city of Babylon was captured by an Assyrian king named Tukulti-Ninurta (1243-1207 BC), who carried off the image of the god Marduk to Assyria. It wasn't too long before the Babylonians recaptured the city and brought back the statue of their deity. The battles between Babylonia and her two rivals Elam and Assyria continued for decades, but suddenly both enemies made an attack in one year that brought to an end the Kassite dynasty (1155 BC). [Middle Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Dur Kurigalzu, a New Capital

Though there is not a lot of information concerning the Kassite period, the information we have indicates that it was not a culturally deprived era. The new capital that was created was called Dur-Kurigalzu (its modern name is Aqar Quf near Baghdad), after King Kurigalzu. The city developed extensive building projects and great artistic achievements. The Kassite rulers had so revered the Babylonian civilization that there are very few traces of anything distinctively Kassite. [Middle Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Kudurru

Something interesting appeared during this time, and object called a Kudurru. It was a large stone with inscribed details of land grants that were grants of tax exemption on land. Most of the Kudurru were actually large boundary stones bearing the symbols of the deities, which were invoked in the text to guard from terrestrial encroachment. [Middle Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Nebuchadnezzar I

There soon emerged a new line of rulers who had descended from Isin, who were known as the second dynasty of Isin. At this time Babylon became the capital again, and it was at Babylon that the most important members of this dynasty reigned. One of the great rulers in this time period who had become a legend in Babylonian tradition was Nebuchadnezzar I (1125-1104 BC). Many important literary texts come from this period. A successful war against Elam resulted in bringing back the divine image of Marduk from the Elamites who had carried it off at the fall of the Kassite dynasty. Marduk was once again installed in his temple in Babylon and for the first time publicly declared "King of all gods", even above the ancient god An of the Sumerians. Nebuchadnezzar did a great deal of building both in Babylon and other Babylonian cities. He protected the plain and made Babylonia prosperous. [Middle Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Aramaeans

Toward the end of the millennium Babylonia was raided continuously by a group of nomads called the Aramaeans. Gradually the Aramaeans created so much chaos and confusion across the Babylonian plain that Babylonia entered into another dark phase in her history. Their effects were felt for a long time to come. [Middle Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Culture

Though information regarding the period of the second dynasty of Isin is rather scarce, evidence from later Babylonian history indicates that the time of Nebuchadnezzar I was a very important period culturally. There were major religious developments in connection with the god Marduk, and in literature there was a movement to almost canonize the writings that had been passed on from the Old Babylonian and earlier periods. [Middle Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Kassite and Isin Dynasty List of Kings

The First Dynasty of Babylon came to an end through an invasion of the Hittites. They plundered Babylon and perhaps ruled that city for a number of years. A new dynasty emerged about 1750 BC by a foreign people known as the Kassites. There were 36 kings in this dynasty ruling 576 years and 9 months. Unfortunately the tablet containing the list is fragmentary. [Middle Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Neo Babylonian Period

Little is known about events during the early centuries of the first millennium BC because of the continual invasions by the Aramaeans. Though these people caused much disruption they eventually settled down and became part of Babylonian society. Because of them some changes did occur, for example the Aramaic language soon replaced Babylonian as a common language. Babylonian continued to be written and spoken by the educated classes. [Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Assyria

Around the 9th century, Assyria, Babylonia's neighbor, was a major political power yet they made no real threats against Babylonia. They were even treaties signed showing mutual respect between Assyrian and Babylonian Kings. At one point a revolution broke out in during the reign of Marduk-zakir-shumi I, and Shalmanaser III (858-824 BC) of Assyria came to the aid of the Babylonian King and helped him regain his throne. But it wasn't long before friction developed and hostilities began to break out. During this time Assyria was the weaker of the two powers. [Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Nabu-nasir

Nabu-nasir (747-734 BC) ushered in a new era in Babylonian history during his reign. The practice of astrology became highly developed and worship of astrological deities was popular among the people. [Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Hebrews to 1000 BCE

History of the Hebrews. [Mesopotamia] [People]

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Tiglath pileser III

During Nabu-nasir's reign a great Assyrian king named Tiglath-pileser III (744-727 BC) marched right into Babylonia and took the crown for himself. [Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Hittites

[Mesopotamia] [People]

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The Babylonian Chronicles

During this time the Babylonian chronicles were written, a recording of events in Babylonia for the remainder of her history. A portion of this has been discovered. This clay tablet is a Babylonian chronicle recording events from 605-594 BC. It was first translated in 1956 and is now in the British Museum. The cuneiform text on this clay tablet tells, among other things, 3 main events:
1. The Battle of Carchemish (famous battle for world supremacy where Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated Pharoah Necho of Egypt, 605 BC.),
2. The Accession to the Throne of Nebuchadnezzar II, the Chaldean, and
3. The Capture of Jerusalem on the 16th of March, 598 BC. [Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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1200 BC: The Phoenicians

Includes information about their alphabet. [Mesopotamia] [People]

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The Chaldeans

Toward the end of the 8th century BC a great leader arose from a tribe of the Semitic-speaking peoples near the coast of the Persian Gulf. He was a Chaldean, of the Yakin tribe, named Merodach-baladan II. This Chaldean ruler attempted to seize the Babylonian crown, with the help of the Elamites, and he actually succeeded on two occasions, 721-710 and 703 BC. Even the Assyrians made attempts to defeat and capture Merodach-baladan II but he outwitted them every time. Sometimes he would withdraw into the marshes of the southern plain, which seemed to be almost impenetrable. It seemed as though the during this time period the political power in Babylonia passed back and forth between the Chaldeans, the Assyrians and Babylonians.[Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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The Queen of Sheba

[Mesopotamia] [People]

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Sennacherib

Tiglath-Pileser III and other Assyrian kings had assumed Babylonian sovereignty except the periods when Merodach-baladan II ruled. But when the mighty Assyrian monarch Sennacherib (704-681 BC) gained power and built his empire, he placed puppet kings throughout his empire to assure non-resistance. This system worked well for Sennacherib's empire, that is until his own son was captured by the Babylonians and handed over to the Elamites. Sennacherib was so outraged that he not only led fierce campaigns against the Elamites, but he conquered and then destroyed Babylon in 689 BC. [Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Tablet of Sargon's 8th Campaign

His Eighth Campaign was meant to put an end to the dispute over Mannea and produce a lasting pro-Assyrian government. In the form of a letter to the god Assur, this tablet relates the eighth military campaign led by Sargon II against, among others, the kingdom of Urartu, which englobed Armenia and Kurdistan. The text, of 430 lines, tells how the king led the operations and captured the holy town of Musasir." [Mesopotamia] [People]

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Ashurbanipal

After Sennacherib had died, Babylon and the surrounding territories were so appalled over the fact that he had sacked Babylon, that his successors found it very difficult to establish any sort of peace. A major rebellion broke out and lasted for four years (652-648 BC) during the reign of Shamash-shuma-ukin, an Assyrian king who had been placed to rule in what was left of Babylon. Shamash-shuma-ukin was also the brother of the new Assyrian monarch Ashurbanipal (668-627 BC). When the Babylonians, the Elamites and all their Arab allies came against Ashurbanipal, they were defeated. [Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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King Saul: The Bible's Tragic Hero

Summary .. Saul Chosen as King .. The Rescue of Jabesh .. Saul's First Disobedience .. Saul's Foolish Order .. Saul's Downfall Foretold .. Saul's Jealousy of David .. Saul Murders the High Priest .. David Spares Saul's Life .. David Again Spares Saul's Life .. The Witch of Endor .. Saul's Death [Mesopotamia] [People]

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Nabopolassar

About 20 years after this rebellion, the Chaldeans regrouped and gained control of the whole Babylonian plain. They established a dynasty that became the most powerful in all of Babylonian history. The famous leader of the Chaldean dynasty was Nabopolassar (625-605 BC). He defeated the Assyrians and was crowned king of Babylon. He brought in the Medes as allies and came to conquer Assyrian territory. He pushed through one city after another until finally he conquered the capital, Nineveh, after a three-month siege in 612 BC. The Assyrians would not give up easily and the dynasty which was in the West at Harran merged with Egypt to fight against Nabopolassar's armies. In 605 BC it was actually Nabopolassar's son, Nebuchadnezzar II who defeated them at Carchemish when he received word that his father had died thus Babylonia won not only the battle but also the Assyrian Empire. [Neo Babylonian Period] Bible History Online

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Solomon

[Mesopotamia] [People]

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Questions about Babylon Answered in the Bible

"Bible Study Questions" serve as a valuable tool for individuals seeking to engage deeply with the biblical text and explore its meaning, significance, and relevance. These questions are designed to prompt thoughtful reflection, discussion, and analysis of various passages, stories, and themes found within the Bible.

Covering both the Old and New Testaments, Bible study questions address a wide range of topics, including historical narratives, moral teachings, theological concepts, and personal applications. These questions encourage readers to delve beyond the surface of the text and consider its cultural context, literary style, and the intended messages of the authors.

Bible study questions are commonly used in individual and group settings, such as church study groups, academic courses, and personal devotionals. They foster a deeper connection to the scriptures, allowing readers to gain insights into the timeless wisdom and spiritual truths conveyed in the Bible.

Whether exploring questions about faith, ethics, salvation, or the nature of God, Bible study questions provide a framework for meaningful exploration and discussion. They empower individuals to connect with the scripture on a personal level, encouraging personal growth, spiritual enrichment, and a greater appreciation for the sacred texts that have shaped countless lives throughout history.

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Chronology: The Near East

Historical Timeline of Near East. That dates from 4500 BC to 1286 BC with the Hitties fight off invading Egyptians. Images are included

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Ancient Near East Internet Resource

Chronology of rise of civilizations in Ancient Near East the real-life game of age of Empires. A brief timeline of events and achievements of ancient Near East.

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Ancient Near Eastern Cross-Cultural Time Line

Egypt, Nubia, Mesopotamia, and Persia comparing dates.

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Timelines and Chronologies

This collection of links for timelines and chronologies includes country histories, significant events, and chronologies of historical individuals. Interested in other historical facts?

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Sumerian Timeline

This site provides an historical overview of ancient Sumeria. The text is supplemented by definitions, maps, a timeline, and examples of art and architecture. The History of Ancient Sumeria (Sumer) including its cities, kings, religions culture and contributions or civilization

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Mesopotamian Timeline

This site provides a timeline of the ancient Near East, color-coded for the various civilizations. There is an historical and cultural overview provided for each civilization.

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Ancient Near Eastern Timeline

Time Line Of The Ancient Near East Prior to the rise of the Persian Empire

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Art Timeline

Timeline of Art Printable version in vertical format ... Golden Age Alexander the Great,Rome dominates Near East, Peak of Roman Empire, Rome falls, Charlemagne,etc...

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Rewriting The Timeline Of The Bronze And Iron Ages

Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg (Germany) have given a new kind of precision to the timeline of the Bronze and Iron Ages in the Aegean and the Near East.

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The Media History Project Timeline

King Asoka's edicts. 250: In Near East city of Pergamum, parchment is ... the Project Sources for the timeline and accompanying information.

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Plaque with Male Head

The Detroit Institute of Arts: South Arabian Sculpture; Plaque with Male Head (100-1 BCE). 1st century B.C.; South Arabian (Yemen); Alabaster; The eyes and brows of this head were originally inlaid in a darker stone and the "dimple" on the chin with bronze, indicating perhaps a tattoo which was probably meant as a mark of nobility or power. The South Arabian taste for abstract forms is reflected in the treatment of the smooth beard and geometric hairstyle, combined here with a more naturalistic rendering of the face derived from a Greco-Roman style of sculpture.

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Funerary Stele

The Detroit Institute of Arts: South Arabian Sculpture; Funerary Stele; 3rd century B.C.; South Arabian (Yemen); Alabaster. This commemorative stele is decorated with the head of a bull, symbol of the moon god `Anbay, chief of the state. It is inserted into a separate alabaster base inscribed in the South Arabian alphabetic script with "Taba`karib," the name of the deceased or dedicant and by "M`dm," his clan or tribe name.

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Whetstone Handle in the Form of a Leaping Ibex

Whetstone with bronze handle 1000-700 BC Luristan Culture. Whetstone Handle in the Form of a Leaping Ibex. Western Iran, Luristan; 10th - 8th centuries B.C. Bronze, modern whetstone.

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Trefoil Juglet

A very large Phoenician trefoil jug, Eastern Mediterranean. Late 6th - 5th centuries B.C. Glass, core-formed.

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Unguentaria (Perfume Bottles)

Unguentaria (Perfume Bottles) 1st-4th Centuries AD.

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A Scene from the Gilgamesh Epic

From K. C. Hanson's Photo Gallery of Mesopotamia. A scene from the Gilgamesh Epic Tablet 11: The Flood Narrative ? century BC. Gilgamesh (cylinder seal impression).

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Assyrian Officers

From K. C. Hanson's Photo Gallery of Mesopotamia. Assyrian Officers; 8th century BC; bas relief; Pergamon Museum, Berlin.

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Assyrian Spearmen

From K. C. Hanson's Photo Gallery of Mesopotamia. Assyrian Soldiers #1: Spearmen; bas relief; 8th century BC; Pergamon Museum, Berlin

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Shamshi-Adad V

From K. C. Hanson's Photo Gallery of Mesopotamia. Shamshi-Adad V; Assyrian Emperor; (reigned 823""811 BC); limestone stele; Pergamon Museum, Berlin

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Esarhaddon

From K. C. Hanson's Photo Gallery of Mesopotamia. Esarhaddon; Assyrian Emperor; (ruled 681""669 BC); stele; Pergamon Museum, Berlin

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Esarhaddon and Vassals

From K. C. Hanson's Photo Gallery of Mesopotamia. Esarhaddon; Assyrian Emperor; (ruled 681""669 BC); with Tirhaka (Ethiopian King of Egypt); and Ba'alu (King of Tyre); dolerite stele; 3.22 meters high; Pergamon Museum, Berlin

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Assyrian Warrior King

Assyrian Cavalry (bas relief)7th century BC

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Dr. K. C. Hanson's Photo Galleries

Map of the Ancient Near East from Dr. K. C. Hanson's home page. © 1995 Fortress Press

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Map of Near Eastern Sites

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. Oriental Institute expeditions have worked in virtually every region of the Near East, excavating the remains of these ancient cultures and studying and recording their monuments. The scattering of red dots (each representing a site where the Institute has worked) on the map attests to the broad range of that involvement.

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Map of Sites in Southern Syria and Palestine

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. ORIENTAL INSTITUTE MAP SERIES - LEVANT SITE MAP. This Map enlarges to 300 dpi for a great picture.

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Ancient Near East Site Maps

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. This first installment of the Oriental Institute Map Series presents seven Site Maps covering the ancient Near East (Egypt, Sudan, The Levant, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran), locating primary archaeological sites, modern cities, and river courses set against a plain background.

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Ancient Syria Site Map

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. This first installment of the Oriental Institute Map Series presents seven Site Maps covering the ancient Near East (Egypt, Sudan, The Levant, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran), locating primary archaeological sites, modern cities, and river courses set against a plain background. They enlarge to 300 dpi.

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Ancient Turkey Site Map

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. This first installment of the Oriental Institute Map Series presents seven Site Maps covering the ancient Near East (Egypt, Sudan, The Levant, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran), locating primary archaeological sites, modern cities, and river courses set against a plain background. They enlarge to 300 dpi.

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Tell Ahmar Excavations

Til Barsib (also spelled Til Barsip; also called Tell Ahmar) is located along the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, c.100km northeast of Aleppo, Syria. The site (enclosed by a D-shaped fortification wall) is situated on the edge of a terrace, on elevated ground, overlooking the alluvial plain of the Euphrates.

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MESOPOTAMIA Art Gallery

After an extensive study, it became quite certain to us that Native Iraqis (Chaldean/ Syriac & Jews of Iraq) community, are in an indispensable need of such an innovative art gallery such as Mesopotamia (Learning Studio & Art Gallery).

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Zagarell's Archaeology Page: Bakhtiari Archaeological Finds

Bakhtiari Mountains of Southwest Iran The Bakhtiari project was begun in 1974 and was interrupted in 1978 by the Iranian Revolution. The project focused upon the long-term history (Epi-paleolithic-Bronze Age-Iron Age) and changing patterns of settlement over time. The research has also focused on the long-term adaptations, in an ecological and historical context of the peoples of this high mountain zone bordering the heartland of Mesopotamian civilization.

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Sumerian and Babylonian Numerals

The Babylonian civilisation in Mesopotamia replaced the Sumerian civilisation and the Akkadian civilisation. We give a little historical background to these events in our article Babylonian mathematics. Certainly in terms of their number system the Babylonians inherited ideas from the Sumerians and from the Akkadians. From the number systems of these earlier peoples came the base of 60, that is the sexagesimal system. Yet neither the Sumerian nor the Akkadian system was a positional system and this advance by the Babylonians was undoubtedly their greatest achievement in terms of developing the number system. Some would argue that it was their biggest achievement in mathematics.

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Babylon Lingua

Language: Akkadian. Links and fonts.

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A history of ancient Babylon

Babylonia, A history of ancient Babylon (Babylonia) including its cities, laws, kings and legacy to civilization. Babylonia (Babylonian BÃ-bili,"gate of God"; Old Persian Babirush),Was the ancient country of Mesopotamia, known originally as Sumer and later as Sumer and Akkad, lying between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, south of modern BaghdÃ-d, Iraq. The International History Project

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The Code of Hammurabi (Full Text)

Hammurabi`s Code of Laws Translated by L. W. King

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Ancient Economies II

Ancient Economies II deals with more speculative matters such as the economic content in ancient mythology. Morris Silver Economics Department City College of New York

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Medicine in Ancient Mesopotamia

Most of the information available to modern scholars comes from cuneiform tablets. There are no useful pictorial representations that have survived in ancient Mesopotamian art, nor has a significant amount of skeletal material yet been analyzed. Unfortunately, while an abundance of cuneiform tablets have survived from ancient Mesopotamia, relatively few are concerned with medical issues. Many of the tablets that do mention medical practices have survived from the library of Asshurbanipal, the last great king of Assyria.

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Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Mesopotamia

Ancient Near East
Sumeria (c. 3100-c. 2000 BC)
Akkadia (c.2350-2200 BC)
Babylonia (c.2000-1600 BC)
Kassites and Hittites (c.1600-717 BC)
Assyria (c.1350- 612 BC)
Chaldea/Neo-Babylonia (612-539 BC)
Syrian Cities: Ebla, Ugarit, Emar
Phoenicia 950 BC
Carthage: The Punic Empire
ANE Arts and Architecture
ANE Mathematics and Astronomy
Gender and Sexuality
Modern Perspectives on Mesopotamia
Common Issues: Mesopotamian/Egyptian/Hebrew/Greek History

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Mesopotamia 9000 B.C. -500 B.C.

The name Mesopotamia (meaning "the land between the rivers") refers to the geographic region which lies near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and not to any particular civilization. In fact, over the course of several millennia, many civilizations developed, collapsed, and were replaced in this fertile region. The land of Mesopotamia is made fertile by the irregular and often violent flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. While these floods aided agricultural endeavors by adding rich silt to the soil every year, it took a tremendous amount of human labor to successfully irrigate the land and to protect the young plants from the surging flood waters. Given the combination of fertile soil and the need for organized human labor, perhaps it is not surprising that the first civilization developed in Mesopotamia. The origins of civilization can be traced to a group of people living in southern Mesopotamia called the Sumerians. By c.3500 BCE, the Sumerians had developed many of the features that characterized subsequent civilizations.

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Mesopotamia: Root Entry

Mesopotamia stands at the very dawn of human recorded history; we are often fooled into thinking of Mesopotamia as some distant relative, but it is, in fact, a culture stunningly different from our own. We are going to tour the mysteries of this foundational civilization: it's life, it's words, it's gods, and it's writing; you're invited to browse through the dust and heat of one of first cultures to inscribe for the future the story of its existence. History and Peoples, Mesopotamian History and Peoples, The Sumerians, The Akkadians, The Amorites, The Hittites, The Kassites, The Assyrians, The Chaldeans, Mesopotamian Culture , Cuneiform , Resources , A Gallery of Mesopotamia , Mesopotamian Timeline , An Anthology of Mesopotamian Readings , A Glossary of Mesopotamia , Internet Resources on Mesopotamia

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Mesopotamian Bronze Age

[Sargon of Akkad] [Naram-Sin] [Sack of Akkad] [Neo Sumerian Renaiessance] [Gudea of Lagash] [Third Dynasty of Ur] [Urnammu] [Shulgi] [End of the URIII Period] [Old Babylonian Period] [Amorites] [Isin-Larsa Period] [Hammurabi of Babylon] [Old Assyrian Period] [Kültepe texts] [The Commercial Process] [Merchandise]

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Mesopotamian Year Names

Neo-Sumerian and Old Babylonian Date Formulae. The list of more than 2,000 year names which is made accessible here has been compiled as a tool for the dating of cuneiform tablets as well as for supporting historical studies on early bookkeeping techniques. This tool essentially consists of a collection of date formulae in administrative documents as they were used by the scribes in ancient Mesopotamia, and of computer generated indices for a quick identification of incomplete date formulae on damaged cuneiform tablets and of issues and events mentioned in these formulae.

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NASA Observatorium Education- Ubar: The Lost City

The legend goes like this: Ubar, a rich and fabulous trading center of ancient Arabia rose out of the desert and then mysteriously vanished back into the sands. References to Ubar in the Koran, the Arabian Nights, and countless Bedouin tales told around desert campfires have captivated the imaginations of explorers and archaeologists. But all searches were fruitless and the city remained lost. Now, centuries after Ubar's disappearance, a combination of hard work, dedicated research, and remote sensing technology has perhaps unraveled this ancient mystery.

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The Nation of Iraq

History, Geography, Business, Culture, Transportation and more. ArabNet

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Near East Map

Oriental Institute Map Series - Site Maps Combining the separate 300 dpi prints will produce a composite map of the ancient Near East approximately 14" to 19" square, depending upon the printing methods used. The Site Maps will be updated periodically, so check back for the latest versions. Each Site Map is presented as a 300 dpi grayscale image sized for convenient printing on an 8 1/2" x 11" laser printer.

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Photographs of Mesopotamia

Sam Ruff's Photographs of Mesopotamia 1954-1956

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A Political Collapse in the Old Babylonian Period

Political Change and Cultural Continuity in Eshnunna from the Ur III to the Old Babylonian Period A dissertation proposal presented to The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

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Mesopotamian Protohistory

[Writing] [The Sumerians] [The Sumerian King Lists] [Early Cities] [The Flood Story] [Jemdet Nasr Period] [Old Sumerian Age] [The Golden Age] [The Heroic Age] [Early Dynastic-III]

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The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Some stories indicate the Hanging Gardens towered hundreds of feet into the air, but archaeological explorations indicate a more modest, but still impressive, height.

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Sumerian Beer:

Did beer come before bread? To answer the question scholars helped concoct a Mesopotamian brew from a 3,800-year-old recipe etched in clay. By Solomon H. Katz and Fritz Maytag.

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Women`s Lives in Ancient Mesopotamia

Ancient Tablets, Ancient Graves: Accessing Women`s Lives in Mesopotamia. Women In World History Curriculum

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Ba'al Ugaritic god of Storms & War

Ba'al Ugaritic god of Storms & War From K. C. Hanson's Gallery of Photos of Syria & Israel. Ba'al Ugaritic God of Storms & War (14th century BC) Louvre Museum, Paris

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Mesopotamian Mythology

The Gods Of Mesopotamian Mythology. Many Mesopotamian Gods have Sumerian and Akkadian variations. They're virtually identical, but with cunning changes of name. For example, TAMMUZ is the Akkadian equivalent of DUMUZI. (This can become confusing; is that one God or two? For the purposes of Godchecker we've tended to treat them separately.) Things became a little easier when the two regions joined together to form Babylonia. At least until the Tower of Babel came along and confused it all again.

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Ugaritic Clay Tablet

From K. C. Hanson's Gallery of Photos of Syria & Israel. Ugaritic clay tablet From Sapanu. Banco de Datos Filolsgicos Semmticos Noroccidentales (CSIC-Instituto de Filologma, Madrid) note: The Semitic language of ancient Ugarit closely related to Phoenician and Hebrew

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Ancient Art: Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, was the fertile river plain where civilization was born and where writing first appeared. Southern Mesopotamia was under the control of a series of kings from 3000 B.C. to the 6th century B.C. In its early history, Mesopotamia was a collection of agricultural city-states. These later gave way to centrally controlled empires which spread through conquest.

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Carlos Museum - Ancient Near Eastern Art: Introduction

The Near Eastern collections of the Carlos Museum embody the legacy of the ancient Near East from the beginnings of agriculture and writing to the growth of the first cities and empires.

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Aramean Queen (?) with servant

From K. C. Hanson's Gallery of Photos of Syria & Israel. Aramean Queen(?)and servant; funerary stele; 8th century BCE (Berlin VA 2995) Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Note: Aramaean is in Latin Aramaeus, from Greek Aramaios, from Hebrew `ArAm Aramaic, ancient name for Syria, a Semitic people of the second millennium B.C. in Syria and Upper Mesopotamia.

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Canaanite Lions

From K. C. Hanson's Gallery of Photos of Syria & Israel. Canaanite Lions; basalt stele; 14th century BC. Discovery: 1928 in Beth-Shean/Sythopolis (Tel el-Husn). Current Location: Israel Museum (Jerusalem) Hanson has a couple good verses from the Bible on the page. One reads: "Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and he came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion roared against him; and the spirit of Yahweh came upon him powerfully, and he tore the lion apart as one tears a goat-kid. And he had nothing in his hand." (Judges 14:5-6)

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The Hammurabi Stele

THE HAMMURABI STELE. Partially Retold in English, by Stan Rummel, Director of The Humanities Program, Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, Texas. "In the following selections, I have frequently changed the grammar and sequence of words from that of the original text, and I have omitted sections of material, so that what is given will read comprehensibly in English. I have grouped regulations by topical categories for discussion, rather than simply following their numerical sequence." Also includes an image: Detail of the top of the Hammurabi Stele, picturing King Hammurabi coming before the god Shamash.

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Manumission and Bridewealth Document

Manumission and Bridewealth Document (14th cent. BC?)TRANSLATION by K. C. Hanson (Adapted from Finkelstein 1969:546). Language: Akkadian; Medium: Clay tablet; Size: 43 centimeters long 5 centimeters wide; Length: 25 lines of writing Genre: Manumission & Marriage Contract Approximate Date: 14th cent. BC? Place of Discovery: Ugarit acropolis, Ras Shamra, Syria Date of Discovery: 1936 Current Location: Musée National d'Alep Aleppo, Syria.

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Manumission and Bridewealth Document

Manumission and Bridewealth Document (14th cent. BC?)TRANSLATION by K. C. Hanson (Adapted from Finkelstein 1969:546). Language: Akkadian; Medium: Clay tablet; Size: 43 centimeters long 5 centimeters wide; Length: 25 lines of writing Genre: Manumission & Marriage Contract Approximate Date: 14th cent. BC? Place of Discovery: Ugarit acropolis, Ras Shamra, Syria Date of Discovery: 1936 Current Location: Musée National d'Alep Aleppo, Syria.

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Ishtar Gate Inscription

Dedicatory Inscription on the Ishtar Gate, Babylon; TRANSLATION (Adapted from Marzahn 1995:29-30)Language: Akkadian Medium: glazed brick Size: c. 15 meters high c. 10 meters wide Length: 60 lines of writing Genre: Dedication Inscription Dedicator: Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylonia (reigned 605""562 BCE) Approximate Date: 600 BCE Place of Discovery: Babylon (near modern Baghdad, Iraq) Date of Excavation: 1899""1914 Current Location: Pergamon Museen (Berlin, Germany)

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Ishtar Gate Inscription

Dedicatory Inscription on the Ishtar Gate, Babylon; TRANSLATION (Adapted from Marzahn 1995:29-30)Language: Akkadian Medium: glazed brick Size: c. 15 meters high c. 10 meters wide Length: 60 lines of writing Genre: Dedication Inscription Dedicator: Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylonia (reigned 605""562 BCE) Approximate Date: 600 BCE Place of Discovery: Babylon (near modern Baghdad, Iraq) Date of Excavation: 1899""1914 Current Location: Pergamon Museen (Berlin, Germany)

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Gilgamesh Epic

From K. C. Hanson's Photo Gallery of Mesopotamia. Gilgamesh Epic Tablet 11: The Flood Narrative ? century BC

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Aerial Survey Flights

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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View of East Stairway of the Apadana, looking northwest

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN

Palace of Darius, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/PA/IRAN/PAAI/PAAI_Palace_Darius.html

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Palace of Darius

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/PA/IRAN/PAAI/PAAI_Palace_Darius.html

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Palace Complex: Structures, Reliefs, and Inscriptions

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/PA/IRAN/PAAI/PAAI_Palace_Darius.html

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The Apadana

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/PA/IRAN/PAAI/PAAI_Palace_Darius.html

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The Throne Hall

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/PA/IRAN/PAAI/PAAI_Palace_Darius.html

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The Throne Hall

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/PA/IRAN/PAAI/PAAI_Palace_Darius.html

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The Gate of Xerxes

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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The Treasury

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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The Palace of Xerxes

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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The Council Hall

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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The Harem of Xerxes

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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Miscellaneous Structures at Persepolis

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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Contents of the Treasury and Other Discoveries

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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Gudea of Lagash

2141-2122 B.C.; Mesopotamian, Neo-Sumerian period. Of all the rulers of ancient Mesopotamia, Gudea, ensi (governor) of Lagash, emerges the most clearly across the millennia due to the survival of many of his religious texts and statues. He ruled his city-state in southeast Iraq for twenty years, bringing peace and prosperity at a time when the Guti, tribesmen from the northeastern mountains, occupied the land. His inscriptions describe vast building programs of temples for his gods. This statuette depicts the governor in worship before his gods wearing the persian-lamb fur cap of the ensi and a shawl-like fringed robe with tassles. The serene, heavily lidded eyes and calm pose create a powerful portrait of this pious ruler.

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Cuneiform Tablets

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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Dragon of Marduk

604-562 B.C.; Mesopotamian, Neo-Babylonian Period; Ishtar Gate, Babylon; Molded, glazed bricks. The mythical Dragon of Marduk with scaly body, serpent`s head, viper`s horns, front feet of a feline, hind feet of a bird, and a scorpion`s tail, was sacred to the god Marduk, principal deity of Babylon. The striding dragon was a portion of the decoration of one of the gates of the city of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar, whose name appears in the Bible as the despoiler of Jerusalem (Kings II 24:10-16, 25:8-15), ornamented the monumental entrance gate dedicated to Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, and the processional street leading to it with scores of pacing glazed brick animals: on the gate were alternating tiers of Marduk`s dragons and bulls of the weather god Adad; along the street were the lions sacred to Ishtar. All of this brilliant decoration was designed to create a ceremonial entrance for the king in religious procession on the most important day of the New Year`s Festival.

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Tiglath-Pileser III Receiving Homage

745-27 B.C.; Mesopotamian, Neo-Assyrian period; Limestone. Tiglath-Pileser, a powerful king of Assyria, built a royal palace at Nimrud in northern Iraq. Its principal rooms and courtyards were decorated with large relief sculptures designed to awe visitors to his court. The king`s power and majesty were expressed in scenes of war, the hunt, and solemn court ceremonies. In this relief Tiglath-Pileser, wearing a tall headdress and holding a bow, is receiving three courtiers; a helmeted warrior prostrates himself at the king`s feet. Behind the royal figure stands a servant with a fly whisk. Horizontal lines of a cuneiform inscription describing a military campaign run just above the heads of the figures. Tiglath-Pileser`s campaigns into Syria and Israel are documented in the Bible (II Kings 15:19, 29; 16:7). Text and images courtesy The Detroit Institute of Arts.

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Eagle-Headed Deity

883-59 B.C.; Mesopotamian, Neo-Assyrian; Limestone. An eagle-headed, winged divinity stands facing a tree of life (the ends of the branches are just visible at the right edge). The figure was a small section of the wall decoration in the state apartments of the royal palace at Nimrud in northern Iraq, built by Assurnasirpal II, King of Assyria. The deity holds a bucket in one hand and in the other a spathe (leaflike sheath for the flowers) of the date palm. He is tending the tree, a symbol of vegetal life and fertility. He, and many more like him, originally brightly highlighted with black, white, red, and blue paint, formed the ornamentation around a room near the throne room thought to have served as a place of ritual bathing. The motif stresses the political and religious importance of nurturing both the kingship and the land for the prosperity of Assyria. Text and images courtesy The Detroit Institute of Arts

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Vase

8th-7th century B.C.; Mesopotamian, Neo-Assyrian period; Glazed earthenware. The use of colorful glazes extended to the ornamentation of ceramic vessels. Perhaps the most characteristic shape was an ovoid vase with high rimmed neck and pointed, rounded base, its shoulder defined by a row of pendant petals. Text and images courtesy The Detroit Institute of Arts.

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Seals and Seal Impressions

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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Glazed Brick Representing a Birdman

7th century B.C.; Mesopotamian, Neo-Assyrian Period; Glazed terracotta. The walls of Assyrian palaces and temples were sometimes adorned with glazed terracotta decoration. A tradition for using glazed brick as wall adornment began in the Ancient Near East during the 13 century B.C. in southern Iran. The Birdman, a magical creature, appeared first in the 3rd millennium B.C. as a mischievous being who was bound and brought before the gods. By the late Neo-Assyrian period, his role is less clear: here he seems beneficent, his arms raised to support, in all probability, a winged sun-disk, the symbol of divinity. Text and images courtesy The Detroit Institute of Arts.

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Miscellaneous Finds

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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Miscellaneous Finds

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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Human-Headed Winged Lion

Mesopotamia, Neo-Assyrian, Nimrud, 883-859 B.C. Limestone. In the palace of Ashurnasirpal ll, pairs of human-headed lions and bulls decorated the gateways and supported the arches above them. This lion creature wears the horned cap of divinity and a belt signifying his superhuman power. The Neo-Assyrian sculptor gave these guardian figures five legs. Viewed from the front, the animal stands firmly in place; from the side he appears to stride forward. During the ninth century B.C. the great Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II built a new capital at Nimrud, where the palace was decorated with large stone slabs ornamented with low-relief carvings and with sculpted figures guarding the doorways. Gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1932. Text and Images coutesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Sculpture

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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The Royal Tombs and Other Monuments

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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Cuneiform Cylinder of Nabopolassar

Cuneiform Cylinder of Nabopolassar Recording Repair of the City Wall of Babylon; Mesopotamia, Babylon. Neo-Babylonian Period, Reign of Nabopolassar, 625 - 605 B.C. Clay.

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The Sasanian Rock Reliefs: Naqsh-i-Rustam and Naqsh-i-Rajab

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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Brocade Style Cylinder Seal

Sumerian Limestone Brocade Style Cylinder Seal Early Dynastic Mesopotamia, Ca. 3100-2600 BC. Dark limestone carved with three horned quadrupeds and a rhomb. Ex Erlenmeyer Collection. (acquired between 1943 and 1955) 4.7 x 1.6 cm. Pierced for suspension. Ex Erlenmeyer Collection of Western Asiatic Antiquities.

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Yale Babylonian Collection

Some 5000 years ago, writing developed in the lower valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and spread from there to the rest of ancient Mesopotamia, approximately present-day Iraq. The writing, called cuneiform ("wedge-shaped"), spread from there over the entire Near East. The Babylonian Collection houses the largest assemblage of cuneiform inscriptions in the United States, and one of the five largest in the world. The bulk of the inscriptions consists of clay tablets in all sizes and shapes. There are also a number of inscribed monuments on stone and other materials, some of considerable artistic interest, including a large collection of stamp and cylinder seals. In addition, the Collection maintains a complete library in the fields of Assyriology (the study of ancient Mesopotamia), Hittitology (ancient Anatolia, roughly equivalent to modern Turkey), and Near Eastern archaeology. It publishes several monograph series through the Yale University Press.

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Cylinder Seal with Images of Dieties

Cylinder Seal with Watergod, Birdman, and Deities Mesopotamia; Akkadian Period, 2300 - 2200 B.C. Serpentine. Ea: Ea and attendant deities. Ea (seated) and attendant deities, Sumerian cylinder seal, c. 2300 bc; in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.

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A Balikh Prospect

LANDSCAPE STUDIES IN UPPER MESOPOTAMIA. Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

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The Deh Luran Archaeological Project

In the 1960s Deh Luran was the focus of research designed to illuminate the development of agriculture, the concurrent development of early villages and towns, and the first complex societies. The research was undertaken by various U.S. teams, in cooperation with the Archaeological Service of Iran, and with the support of the U.S. National Science Foundation.

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Babylonian Cylinder Seal 1800 B.C.

Cylinder Seal with Presentation to the Weathergod; Mesopotamia. Old Babylonian Period, ca. 2000 - 1600 B.C. Hematite.

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A Great Assemblage

An Exhibit of Judaica in honor of the opening of the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale. 1 Kings 8:65

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Cylinder Seal with Winged Sun Disk

White Calcite Cylinder Seal 3200-3000 BC Mesopotamia. Cylinder Seal with Winged Sun Disk and Lion Attacking Animals. Syria, Syro-Mittannian; 1500 - 1300 B.C. Calcite.

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Copper bowl with a procession of animals

Period: Sumerian or Elamite, early 3rd Millennium B.C. Culture: Mesopotamian Category: Metalwork, Vessels Dimensions: Height: 9.2 cm, Diameter: 16.2 cm (max.) Price: POR Provenance: Ex-M. de Sancey Collection, Switzerland. Condition: Slightly crackled at the edge, the external surface has been cleaned and is in a remarkable state of preservation. The interior metal is covered with a thick, rough green patina.

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The Jerablus - Tahtani Project, Syria

The Jerablus Tahtani Project, North Syria, is an interdisciplinary research programme designed to investigate four key themes: the precocious expansion of the Uruk civilisation in the 4th millennium BC, secondary state formation in Early Bronze Age Syria, environmental and political reasons for widespread urban recession in the late 3rd millennium BC in the Near East, and the early history of archaeologically inaccessible Carchemish.

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Syro Hittite Idol

Syro-Hittite; 2000 - 1700 B.C. Clay
Elam, Susiana, Elamite 2000 B.C. Clay
Summam

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NASA - The Search For Ubar

This pair of images from space shows a portion of the southern Empty Quarter of the Arabian Peninsula in the country of Oman. On the left is a radar image of the region around the site of the fabled Lost City of Ubar, discovered in 1992 with the aid of remote sensing data.

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Master-of-Animals Standard Finial

Master-of-Animals Standard Finial Western Iran, Luristan 8th - 7th centuries B.C. Bronze. An important industry in bronze and copper artifacts flourished in the region of Luristan, western Iran, between about 1400 and 600 B.C.E. This object is one of the most typical Luristan bronzes: a finial, or ornamental pole top, which was originally mounted on a bottle-shaped support (see S1995.111). The finials were often fashioned in the form of a demon flanked by panthers (or other leonine creatures). As in this example, the flanking leonine creatures often terminate in predatory heads with a cock's head projecting from the neck.

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Near East Section: University of Pennsylvania Museum

Special objects from the exhibition Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur are now on display on the second floor of the Museum near the main Museum Shop. The full exhibition will return to Penn Museum on or after 2012. This is a renowned collection from the Royal Cemetery at Ur (in modern-day Iraq), including a famous gold and lapis lazuli bullheaded lyre and a "Ram in the Thicket" sculpture, as well as Lady Pu-abi's headdress and jewelry, all from ca. 2650-2550 B.C. The story of the excavations at Ur as well as the archaeological and historical context of the finds are displayed, offering insight into this ancient civilization through its Royal Tombs.

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Nippur, Sacred City of Enlil: Supreme God of Sumer and Akkad

The importance of the Mesopotamian holy city, Nippur (Fig. 1), is reflected even today in the great size of the mound, Nuffar (Fig. 2), located between Baghdad and Basra in southern Iraq. Nippur was one of the longest-lived sites, beginning in the prehistoric Ubaid period (c. 5000 B. C. ) and lasting until about A. D. 800, in the Islamic era

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The Detroit Institute of Arts: Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, was the fertile river plain where civilization was born and where writing first appeared. Southern Mesopotamia was under the control of a series of kings from 3000 B.C. to the 6th century B.C. In its early history, Mesopotamia was a collection of agricultural city-states. These later gave way to centrally controlled empires which spread through conquest.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Gudea of Lagash

2141-2122 B.C.; Mesopotamian, Neo-Sumerian period; Paragonite; 41 cm (16 1/8 in.); Founders Society Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund; 82.64.

Of all the rulers of ancient Mesopotamia, Gudea, ensi (governor) of Lagash, emerges the most clearly across the millennia due to the survival of many of his religious texts and statues. He ruled his city-state in southeast Iraq for twenty years, bringing peace and prosperity at a time when the Guti, tribesmen from the northeastern mountains, occupied the land. His inscriptions describe vast building programs of temples for his gods.

This statuette depicts the governor in worship before his gods wearing the persian-lamb fur cap of the ensi and a shawl-like fringed robe with tassles. The serene, heavily lidded eyes and calm pose create a powerful portrait of this pious ruler.

A Sumerian cuneiform inscription on the back describes the building of a temple to the goddess Geshtinanna, consort of Gudea`s personal god, and the making of this statue for her. [The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Permanent Collection]

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Semitic Museum - Nuzi Home Page

By about 2400 BCE, Hurrians - people who spoke the Hurrian language - had expanded southward from the highlands of Anatolia. They infiltrated and occupied a broad arc of fertile farmland stretching from the headwaters of the Habur River to the foothills of the Zagros Mountains.

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The Oriental Institute Museum

The Oriental Institute Museum is a showcase of the history, art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. An integral part of the University of Chicago`s Oriental Institute, which has supported research and archaeological excavation in the Near East since 1919, the Museum exhibits major collections of antiquities from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, Syria, Israel, and Anatolia.

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Learning Sites Inc. - Til Barsib Syria

The Aramaean city of Tel Barsib, and a provincial capital of the Assyrian empire for some 250 years beginning about 850 BC, from the Department of Classics and Archaeology at the University of Melbourne. [Archaeological Sites] [Iraq]

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Umm al-Hafriyet

Part of the Nippur program, a nearby site, occupied in the Uruk (ca. 3500 b.c.), Ur III to Old Babylonian (2200-1800 b.c.), Kassite (ca. 1250 b.c.), and Seleucid (ca. 300 b.c.) periods. Excavations from the Oriental Institute. [Archaeological Sites] [Iraq]

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Ur

From the University of Pennsylvania Museum, a bit of information on this Mesopotamian culture, in a site put together for a new travelling exhibit. [Archaeological Sites] [Iraq]

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University College at London

Department of Western Asiatic Archaeology, research in Bahrain, Yemen, Turkmenistan, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. [Archaeological Sites] [Iraq] [University Programs]

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Assyrian and Babylonian Cuneiform Texts

Assyrian and Babylonian texts

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Inscription of Tiglath Pileser I - (38k)

Assyrian and Babylonian texts

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Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser II - (24k)

Assyrian and Babylonian texts

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Annals of Assur-Nasir-Pal - (71k)

Assyrian and Babylonian texts

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Inscription of Nebuchadnezzar - (30k)

Assyrian and Babylonian texts

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Sir Austen Henry Layard - Discoveries at Nineveh

Discoveries At Nineveh by Austen Henry Layard, Esq., D.C.L. Text source: A Popular Account of Discoveries at Nineveh. Austen Henry Layard. J. C. Derby. New York. 1854. [Archaeology]

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Assyrian Texts

- Provides a way to purchase texts of new translations of Assyrian texts [Electonic Text Sites]

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Nineveh

A news brief from Archaeology Magazine describing the recent looting at this important archaeological site. [Archaeological Sites]

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Nippur

The history and current excavations of the capital of the Mesopotamian culture, first settled around 6,000 years ago, from the Oriental Institute.[Archaeological Sites]

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Tell Abu Duwari

A large early second millennium B.C. village, research abstracted in Journal of Field Archaeology; and an abstract from a subsequent season.[Archaeological Sites] [Iraq]

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The Ka'bah-i-Zardusht

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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The Prehistoric Mound Of Tall-i-Bakun

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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ISTAKHR, THE ISLAMIC CITY MOUND

PERSEPOLIS AND ANCIENT IRAN, Multiple images (with high resolution photos)

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu

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A Scene from The "Epic of Gilgamesh" (Ur)

The "Epic of Gilgamesh" is perhaps the oldest known story in the world. It centered on a legendary king from the Sumerian city-state of Uruk. Later Mesopotamian civilizations adopted this myth as their own. It was finally written down on clay tablets like the one above, in the wedge-shaped written language of cuneiform. [THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Statue Figurines (Ur)

These statues were placed in Sumerian temples by worshippers. The statues were believed to pray for the person who put them there. [THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Cylinder Seals (Ur)

Sumerian merchants used cylinder seals to mark the completion of a trade agreement. [THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Gudea (Ur)

Gudea was an important ensi, or priest-ruler, of the city-state of Lagash. [THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Female Head (Ur)

This female head originated in the city-state of Uruk. [THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Sargon (Akkad)

The city-states of Mesopotamia were finally conquered and unified by the ambitious ruler, Sargon. He created the world's first empire, Akkad. [AKKAD] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Assyrian Archer

This stela depicts an Assyrian archer. The Assyrian Empire was unrivaled in its cruel, ruthless methods of warfare. [ASSYRIA] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Hammurabi Stela

A wealthy empire eventually rose to challenge the supremacy of Assyria. This empire was known as Babylonia. Hammurabi, an early ruler of Babylonia, created an important written law code. This stela depicts Hammurabi receiving the law code from Shamash, the sun-god. [BABYLONIA] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Tower of Babel 3D Remake

A truly enormous ziggurat dominated the skyline of the capital city of Babylon. It was referred to as "E-temen-enki", the "foundation of heaven and earth", or the Tower of Babel. [BABYLONIA] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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The Ishtar Gate

was the triumphant entry-way into the city of Babylon. It was dedicated to Ishtar, the goddess of carnal love. [BABYLONIA] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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The lions that adorn the Ishtar Gate

Close up of the lions that adorn the Ishtar Gate. [BABYLONIA] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Close uo of The lion that adorns the Ishtar Gate

Close up of the lions that adorn the Ishtar Gate. [BABYLONIA] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Write Like a Babylonian

see your monogram in cuneiform, the way an ancient Babylonian might have written it. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

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Persians and Aryan Origin

Since ancient times, Persians have used the term Aryan as a racial designation in an ethnic sense to describe their lineage and their language, and this tradition has continued into the present day amongst modern Iranians (Encyclopedia Iranica, p. 681, Arya). In fact, the name Iran is a cognate of Aryan and means "Land of the Aryans." Darius the Great, King of Persia (521""486 BC), in an inscription in Naqsh-e Rustam (near Shiraz in present-day Iran), proclaims: "I am Darius the great King"" A Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage..." He also calls his language the "Aryan language," commonly known today as Old Persian. According to the Encyclopedia Iranica, "the same ethnic concept was held in the later centuries" and was associated with "nobility and lordship." The word has become a technical term in the theologies of Zoroastrianism, but has always been used by Iranians in the ethnic sense as well. In 1967, Iran's Pahlavi dynasty (overthrown in the 1979 Iranian revolution) added the title ÂryÃ-mehr "Light of the Aryans" to those of the monarch, known at the time as the Shahanshah (King of Kings). [Ach¿mids/Medes]

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Early Persia

Class notes on the Persians, includes their Aryan origins. [AchÃ"mids and Medes]

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Images of the Median and Achæmenid Empire

, Iran Architecture, stone carving and art of the AchÃ"menid Empire.[AchÃ"mids and Medes]

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Tomb of Cyrus the Great

(c. 550-529), near his palace at PasargadÃ". Cyrus, founder of the Persian Empire, won independence from the Media and expanded his control to Mesopotamia. He drew from Mesopotamia some ideological elements for a reconstructed monarchy. Tombs are above ground to prevent the corpse's being defiled. [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid architecture]

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Stone relief from doorway of Cyrus' palace at Pasargadæ

. A winged figure, probably a protective spirit of the royal household. The crown resembles a Near Eastern figure that wards off evil spirits. [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid stone carving]

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Relief of winged creatures at the gate of Persopolis

. Probably derived from Babylonian supernatural beings who guard the entrances to sacred places, and perhaps Babylonia is also the source for reconstituting the AchÃ"menid dynasty in terms of sacral kingship. [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid stone carving]

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Stone relief from palace of Persopolis.

This typical Persian motif draws it wings and central ring from Egyptian and Mesopotamian prototypes. Traditional view is that the figure represents Ahura Mazda [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid stone carving]

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Bull's head carving from column capital at Persopolis.

[AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid stone carving]

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Griffin's head from column at Persopolis

. May reflect a borrowing a Mesopotamian political symbolism. [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid stone carving]

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Lion's head from top of a column at Persopolis.

[AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid stone carving]

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Relief of soldiers from Persopolis

with wicker shields. 6th c. B.C. (East Berlin: Pergamum Museum). [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid stone carving]

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Head from a statue of an archer

from the walls of the palace at Persopolis. Typical AchÃ"menid aesthetic interest in repeated patterns. [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid stone carving]

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Soldiers from the Ten Thousand Immortals.

Glazed tile relief showing soldiers from the Ten Thousand Immortals. This imperial guard was an élite force made up of trustworthy ethnic Persians. From the AchÃ"menid winter palace at Susa, Elam. 520-500 B.C. (Paris: Louvre) [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid glazed tile relief]

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Persian winter palace at Susa

Glazed tile relief originally from the Persian winter palace at Susa, capital of Elam. 520-500 B.C. (Paris: Louvre). Another imperial guard. The light military dress was designed for offensive combat, to rush out to address crises within the far-flung Persian Empire. [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid glazed tile relief]

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Immortal infantry. A lancer and archer.

Frieze of glazed tiles showing Immortal infantry. A lancer and archer. [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid glazed tile relief]

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A Persian helmet

lost during the Olympia campaign in Greece, 490 B.C. (Olympia Museum). The inscription added by the Greeks indicates that it ended as booty dedicated to the gods. The helmet style is Assyrian. [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid metal working and coinage]

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Gold coin.

AchÃ"menid daric showing a warrior, perhaps based on Elam model. [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid metal working and coinage]

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IRANSAGA Persian History and Culture

From the dawn of history, Persia has been a distinct and important cultural entity. Its position as a vast natural fortress, with mountain ranges, enabled the Persians to preserve their individuality inspite of the conquests by the Arabs (7th century), the Turks (10th century), and the Mongols (13th to 15th centuries). Today, Iran remains a country rich in traditions, with a culture which has had great influence on other countries, both in Central Asia, and throughout the world.

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Iran - Demography

World Jewish Congress, Jerusalem. The Jewish community of Persia, modern-day Iran, is one of the oldest in the Diaspora, and its historical roots reach back to the 6th century b.c., the time of the First Temple. The Council of the Jewish Community, which was established after World War II, is the representative body of the community, which also has in parliament a representative who is obligated by law to support Iranian foreign policy and its anti-Zionist position. [AchÃ"mids - Medes]

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Palace relief of Tiglathpileser III, king of Assyria

Stone panel Attacking on an enemy town. Assyrian Bureaucrats 8th C BC palace relief from the British Museum showing scribes entering the spoils of war. [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Palace relief of Tiglathpileser III, king of Assyria 2

Stone panel - King in chariot. Assyrian Bureaucrats 8th C BC palace relief from the British Museum showing scribes entering the spoils of war. [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Palace relief of Tiglathpileser III, king of Assyria 2

Assyrian Bureaucrats 8th C BC palace relief from the British Museum showing scribes entering the spoils of war. [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Achæmenid gold plaque from the Oxus Treasure.

A Persian magus carries the barsom - the sacred twigs associated with priesthood. [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid metal working and coinage]

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A torque pair with lion-head terminals.

Some of the cloisonne inlays survive. Achaemenid grave at Susa, 4th c. B.C. (Paris: Louvre). 20 cm. [AchÃ"mids and Medes] [images] [AchÃ"menid metal working and coinage]

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Ubaid terracotta figurine from Ur

, c. 4500 B.C., of a woman suckling a child. Painted jewelery, body paint or tattoos. Slim figure (in contrast to the North), elongated head and protruding eyes characterize the Ubaid figure style. [images] [Al-`Ubaid] (6-4th millenium, South Mesopotamia)

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Map of Achaemid Empire

Map shows the extent of the empire from Libya, Ethiopia, Thrace, and Macedonia in the West to India in the East. [images] [AchÃ"mids - Medes] [Maps]

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Origins of the Armenian People

The Armenians became part of the Achaemid Empire from 560 BC on. [AchÃ"mids - Medes]

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Sumerian streets and markets

were busy with life-sustaining trade. [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Ziggurat (Ur)

The Sumerian city-state of Ur contained an enormous mountain temple, known as a ziggurat, to honor the moon-god, Nanna. [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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The city-state of Ur

Most Sumerian cities were surrounded by high walls to keep out would-be invaders. The city-state of Ur is believed to have also been surrounded by a great moat. [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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A harp, made in the image of a bull (Ur)

[THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Ram-in-the-thicket (Ur)

[THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Headdress (Ur)

This headdress belonged to a Sumerian queen. [THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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The Standard of Ur (two mosiac panels)

The Standard of Ur is comprised of the two mosiac panels of an inlaid box. The Standard is important because it portrays the 3 main social levels in the city of Ur. [THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Boardgame (Ur)

This boardgame, found in the Royal Tombs of Ur, is perhaps the oldest in the world. [THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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The "Epic of Gilgamesh" (Ur)

The "Epic of Gilgamesh" is perhaps the oldest known story in the world. It centered on a legendary king from the Sumerian city-state of Uruk. Later Mesopotamian civilizations adopted this myth as their own. It was finally written down on clay tablets like the one above, in the wedge-shaped written language of cuneiform. [THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR] [Near East] [Art] [Archaeology] [Architecture]

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Sennacherib's Throne Room Plan Illustrations

Plan of Sennacherib's throne-room suite at Nineveh's Southwest Palace allows access to photographs of intact reliefs and looted fragments from these rooms. John M. Russell, "Stolen Stones" from Archaeological Institute of America

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Near East Archaeology

Near East Archaeology is a specialized field of study that focuses on uncovering the mysteries of the ancient civilizations and cultures that once thrived in the region encompassing modern-day Middle East and parts of North Africa. This interdisciplinary discipline combines archaeological research, historical analysis, and cultural interpretation to shed light on the societies that existed in this pivotal area.

Scholars in Near East Archaeology delve into a wide array of topics, ranging from the ancient Mesopotamian civilizations of Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, and Assyria to the achievements of ancient Egypt, the Phoenician seafaring culture, the Hittite Empire, and the Persian Empire. Through excavations, the study of inscriptions, artifacts, and architecture, researchers piece together the stories of everyday life, governance, religion, trade, and technological advancements in these ancient societies.

The region's importance as a crossroads of cultures and civilizations means that Near East Archaeology plays a critical role in understanding the interconnectedness of human history. It reveals the ways in which cultures influenced each other, exchanged ideas, and sometimes clashed, leading to the rich tapestry of traditions that have shaped the present-day Middle East.

Near East Archaeology also contributes to contemporary discussions about heritage preservation, the safeguarding of historical sites, and the cultural identity of modern communities in the region. It highlights the need to balance the exploration of the past with ethical considerations and the importance of involving local communities in archaeological research and conservation efforts.

In essence, Near East Archaeology is a vital window into the past, offering insights into the complexities of ancient societies and their enduring impact on the world we inhabit today. Through the exploration of artifacts and historical contexts, it enriches our understanding of human civilization's evolution and the timeless connections that bind us across time and space.

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Ancient Near East (Babylonia) Glossary and Texts

The Ancient Near East (Babylonia) Glossary and Texts is a comprehensive resource that serves as a valuable key to understanding the language, culture, and history of the ancient Babylonian civilization, which thrived in the region of Mesopotamia. This resource provides a curated collection of glossaries and texts, offering insights into the linguistic intricacies, literature, and societal dynamics of the ancient Babylonians.

The glossary section offers a curated compilation of Babylonian terms, providing translations and explanations for the intricate vocabulary of the era. These glossaries facilitate a deeper understanding of the Babylonian language, enabling scholars, students, and enthusiasts to decipher texts, inscriptions, and manuscripts that form the backbone of the civilization's written heritage.

The texts section presents a curated collection of ancient Babylonian writings, offering a window into various aspects of Babylonian life and culture. These texts encompass a wide range of genres, including religious hymns, legal codes, administrative records, literary works, and more. By studying these texts, readers gain insights into the society's beliefs, governance, literature, and interactions with neighboring cultures.

This resource is invaluable for those interested in unraveling the mysteries of Babylonian civilization. By providing access to both the linguistic tools and the primary source texts, it empowers individuals to engage directly with the cultural legacy of ancient Babylonia. It invites readers to explore the nuances of an ancient language, gain insights into the daily lives of its people, and appreciate the enduring contributions of the Babylonian civilization to human history.

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Ancient Near East Images

Ancient Near East Images offers a captivating visual voyage into the rich tapestry of cultures, civilizations, and histories that once thrived in the region spanning from the Mediterranean to Mesopotamia. This curated collection of images provides a window into the diverse societies of the Ancient Near East, showcasing their art, architecture, religion, and daily life.

The collection features a diverse range of images that capture the architectural marvels of ancient cities. From the ziggurats of Mesopotamia to the temples of Egypt, these images highlight the monumental structures that served as centers of worship, governance, and culture.

Ancient Near East Images also presents glimpses of the artistic expressions of these societies. Intricate carvings, pottery, and artifacts provide insights into the aesthetics, symbolism, and techniques that defined their visual language.

Images of ancient inscriptions, clay tablets, and cuneiform writing reveal the intricate systems of communication and record-keeping that were vital to the administration and exchange of ideas in these civilizations.

The collection delves into the religious practices of the Ancient Near East, with images of deities, rituals, and temples that shed light on the spiritual beliefs and cosmology of these societies.

From the Nile Delta to the Tigris and Euphrates, Ancient Near East Images invites viewers to explore the complexity of societies that contributed to the foundations of human civilization. These images capture the enduring legacy of the region's contributions to art, law, governance, and culture, offering a visual bridge to the past and enriching our understanding of the interconnectedness of ancient societies.

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The Babylonians

HTML supplement to my BKA 41 program called "The Babylonians" You can download it on Bible History online or by going to ZDnet.com.

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Babylonian and Egyptian Mathematics

"Babylonian and Egyptian Mathematics" illuminates the mathematical genius of two ancient civilizations that left an indelible mark on the world of numbers and calculations. This exploration delves into the mathematical practices and innovations of the Babylonians and Egyptians, showcasing their profound contributions to early mathematics.

From cuneiform tablets in Mesopotamia to hieroglyphic inscriptions along the Nile, the mathematical legacies of Babylon and Egypt come to life. Discover how the Babylonians developed advanced methods for algebraic equations and intricate measurements, while the Egyptians mastered geometry and practical applications in their architectural marvels.

This study offers insights into how these civilizations harnessed mathematics for various purposes, from land surveying and construction to astronomy and timekeeping. The precision and sophistication of their mathematical systems underscore their advanced knowledge and ingenuity, shaping their cultures and influencing future generations.

"Babylonian and Egyptian Mathematics" provides a window into the intellectual achievements that continue to inspire contemporary mathematics and underscores the enduring importance of understanding the roots of our numerical systems. It's a journey that showcases the ingenuity of ancient minds and their impact on the world of mathematics.

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Ancient Near East Art & Images for Biblical Studies

Ancient Near East Art & Images for Biblical Studies offers a captivating visual exploration of the rich cultural tapestry that surrounded the biblical world. This curated collection brings together a diverse array of artworks, artifacts, and visual representations from the ancient Near East, spanning from Mesopotamia to Persia. Through intricate sculptures, clay tablets, cylinder seals, and monumental architecture, viewers are transported to the landscapes and societies that influenced the narratives of the Bible. This collection provides a deeper contextual understanding of the historical, religious, and societal dimensions that shaped the biblical texts. By immersing in the artistry, symbolism, and iconography of the ancient Near East, scholars, theologians, and enthusiasts of biblical studies can gain invaluable insights into the interconnected stories of civilizations and their intersections with the biblical narrative. Ancient Near East Art & Images for Biblical Studies serves as a visual bridge between antiquity and modern scholarship, enriching the study of the Bible with a deeper appreciation for the intricate mosaic of cultures that contribute to its enduring relevance.

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Archaeological & Biblical Study Tours - Turkey

Archaeological & Biblical Study Tours in Turkey offer a captivating journey into the heart of history and spirituality, combining archaeological exploration and biblical understanding. Turkey's diverse landscapes serve as a backdrop for immersive experiences that delve into the ancient past and the religious significance of the region.

Led by knowledgeable guides and experts, these tours provide participants with the opportunity to visit archaeological sites of immense importance, some dating back thousands of years. From the grandeur of ancient cities like Ephesus and Troy to the enigmatic landscapes of Cappadocia, these tours allow travelers to walk in the footsteps of past civilizations. Participants can witness meticulously preserved ruins, intricate mosaics, awe-inspiring temples, and amphitheaters that once echoed with the voices of ancient societies.

Beyond archaeology, these tours often have a biblical focus, connecting participants with the historical context of biblical events and figures. Sites like Antioch, where early Christian communities thrived, and Mount Ararat, tied to the Noah's Ark narrative, offer a unique perspective on the intersection of faith and history.

Participants on these tours engage in thoughtful discussions, lectures, and presentations by experts who shed light on the archaeological and biblical significance of each location. Whether exploring underground cities in Cappadocia or contemplating the origins of early Christianity in Turkey's landscapes, these tours provide a comprehensive experience that enriches understanding and appreciation of both ancient history and sacred narratives.

Archaeological & Biblical Study Tours in Turkey offer an unparalleled opportunity for travelers to unravel the layers of time, connecting the past with faith and culture. By immersing themselves in the remnants of antiquity and the stories of the Bible, participants gain a deeper appreciation for the intertwined tapestry of human history and spirituality in this remarkable region.

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Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew University in Jerusalem Israel

The Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, stands as a premier center for archaeological research, education, and exploration in the heart of the ancient city. Renowned for its scholarly excellence and commitment to understanding the past, the Institute plays a vital role in advancing archaeological knowledge and preserving cultural heritage.

With a history deeply rooted in the region's rich historical tapestry, the Institute of Archaeology offers a comprehensive academic environment that attracts students, scholars, and researchers from around the world. The institute's faculty members are recognized leaders in various archaeological disciplines, contributing to cutting-edge research and publications that shape the field's understanding of the Levant's complex history.

The Institute fosters an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating aspects of anthropology, history, art history, and scientific analysis into its research methodologies. Through excavations, surveys, and scholarly endeavors, the institute's experts delve into the layers of history buried beneath the surface of Jerusalem and other archaeological sites throughout Israel.

Collaborations with local and international institutions, archaeological projects, and museums further emphasize the Institute's commitment to sharing knowledge and expertise with broader audiences. From the exploration of ancient cities to the analysis of material culture and historical texts, the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew University contributes significantly to the global understanding of the past while nurturing the next generation of archaeologists and historians.

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Biblical Archaeology

Explore the lands of the Bible, encounter their ancient cultures, and learn more of biblical archaeology. Use the resources of this site to learn how archaeology illuminates biblical text.

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The Israel Antiquities Authority

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) serves as a cornerstone institution for the preservation, exploration, and study of Israel's rich archaeological heritage. Established to safeguard the country's ancient past, the IAA plays a critical role in uncovering and understanding the layers of history that lie beneath its landscapes.

With a mission that extends beyond excavation and preservation, the IAA is dedicated to ensuring that Israel's archaeological treasures are accessible to both scholars and the general public. The authority collaborates with national and international researchers, institutions, and organizations to conduct excavations and research projects that shed light on various historical periods and cultural aspects of the region.

Through its work, the IAA strives to safeguard and protect archaeological sites and artifacts, preventing their illegal trade and destruction. The authority's efforts also extend to educating the public about Israel's history, promoting awareness and appreciation of the country's diverse cultural heritage.

One of the IAA's central roles is the management and curation of archaeological findings. The authority operates museums, storage facilities, and research centers where artifacts are meticulously cataloged, studied, and conserved. This enables scholars to conduct in-depth research and exhibitions to share these insights with the public.

The IAA's multifaceted approach encompasses the application of advanced scientific techniques, historical research, and collaboration with academic institutions, ensuring that its efforts contribute to the broader understanding of Israel's history and its place in the global narrative of human civilization. Through its commitment to responsible excavation, preservation, research, and education, the Israel Antiquities Authority plays a pivotal role in safeguarding and sharing the nation's archaeological heritage for present and future generations.

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Egypt Exploration Organization in Southern California

Join us as we explore Ancient Egypt through monthly lectures, expeditions and special events. We welcome interested members of the general public to our society of professional and amateur Egyptologists, archaeologists and scholars.

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Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land

The Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land is an innovative and comprehensive online resource that brings together advanced technology and archaeological expertise to provide a virtual exploration of the historical and cultural landscape of the Holy Land. This digital platform serves as a powerful tool for scholars, researchers, students, and enthusiasts interested in delving into the intricate tapestry of archaeological sites, artifacts, and historical contexts of the region.

Created by experts in archaeology, geography, history, and digital technology, the Digital Archaeological Atlas offers a wealth of interactive maps, images, texts, and multimedia resources. These resources span a wide range of time periods and civilizations, covering the geographic area that includes modern-day Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and parts of surrounding countries.

The atlas enables users to navigate through different eras and regions, exploring ancient cities, settlements, landmarks, and archaeological sites. Through layered maps, users can uncover the evolution of these locations over time, visualizing the changes in landscape and human activity. This approach provides a dynamic way to understand the historical development and interactions that have shaped the Holy Land.

The Digital Archaeological Atlas also promotes interdisciplinary research by integrating archaeological findings with historical texts, artifacts, and scientific analyses. This cross-disciplinary approach enriches the understanding of the region's history, culture, and religious significance.

One of the notable features of the atlas is its accessibility to a global audience. Scholars can use it to enhance their research, while educators can incorporate its resources into their curricula. Additionally, enthusiasts and travelers interested in the history of the Holy Land can engage with its interactive content to gain insights into the region's rich past.

In essence, the Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land serves as a bridge between the past and the present, offering a dynamic and visually engaging exploration of the region's history, culture, and archaeological heritage. Through its digital platform, it opens up new avenues for learning, research, and appreciation of the Holy Land's profound historical significance.

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Space Radar Images of Earth

Space radar images of Earth provide a unique and captivating perspective on some of the world's most iconic and enigmatic locations. Through the utilization of advanced radar technology from satellites, these images offer a comprehensive view of landscapes that might otherwise remain hidden due to geographical challenges, historical significance, or environmental conditions.

In Giza, Egypt, space radar images reveal the stunning precision and architectural grandeur of the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. These images capture the intricacies of these ancient structures, shedding light on their alignment and layout, and providing insights into the engineering prowess of the ancient Egyptians.

Jerusalem and the Dead Sea come into focus as radar technology pierces through the layers of history. These images showcase the topography of the city and the saline landscape of the Dead Sea, offering a perspective that bridges the past with the present.

The Lost City of Ubar, located in the Arabian Peninsula, emerges from the desert sands through space radar images. This once-forgotten city, known in legends as the "Atlantis of the Sands," reveals its outlines and structures, contributing to our understanding of ancient trade routes and desert civilizations.

Safsaf Oasis in Egypt's vast expanse becomes visible through radar images, highlighting its importance as a life-sustaining oasis in the arid landscape. Such images provide valuable insights into how ancient communities adapted to challenging environments.

The Tetraktys, a mysterious geometric design in the Arabian Peninsula, takes on new dimensions in space radar images. These images allow for a detailed examination of this enigmatic pattern, sparking discussions about its possible cultural or astronomical significance.

The ancient city of Ubar in southern Oman emerges from the dunes, offering a glimpse into a lost civilization that thrived along ancient trade routes. Space radar images provide a window into the past, revealing the remnants of this once-vibrant city.

Wadi Kufra in Libya's vast desert becomes a subject of study through radar images, uncovering details about its geography, water sources, and potential historical sites that might have been overlooked otherwise.

In essence, space radar images of Earth offer a transformative way to study and appreciate the world's most iconic and enigmatic locations. By combining cutting-edge technology with archaeological curiosity, these images provide a fresh perspective on history, culture, and geography, enabling researchers and enthusiasts alike to explore the hidden facets of our planet's past.

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The West Semitic Research Project

The West Semitic Research Project, based at the University of Southern California (U.S.C.), is a pioneering initiative that brings together scholarship, technology, and visual representation to illuminate the connections between ancient images and the narratives of the Bible and the broader ancient Near East. Through meticulous research and cutting-edge digital tools, the project offers valuable insights into the visual culture of antiquity and its relationship to religious and historical texts.

Central to the project's mission is the study of ancient images and artifacts that hold relevance to the biblical narratives and the cultures of the ancient Near East. The project's experts carefully curate and analyze a diverse range of artistic and archaeological materials, ranging from inscriptions and sculptures to pottery and seals. By examining these artifacts alongside textual sources, the project creates a bridge between the visual and written records of the past, shedding light on the ways in which art and culture intersected with religious and historical stories.

Through its innovative approach, the West Semitic Research Project produces commentary and analyses that contextualize these ancient images within their historical, cultural, and religious frameworks. These insights enhance our understanding of the societies that produced these artifacts and their interactions with biblical narratives, providing a deeper comprehension of the complex world of the ancient Near East.

The project's utilization of digital technology further distinguishes it as a leader in visual archaeology. By harnessing advanced digital tools, the project presents its findings in an interactive and accessible manner, allowing scholars, students, and enthusiasts to engage with the materials and explore the connections between visual and textual evidence.

In essence, the West Semitic Research Project at the University of Southern California is at the forefront of integrating art, archaeology, and biblical studies. By bringing ancient images to life and offering insightful commentary, the project enriches our understanding of the multifaceted relationships between art, history, and religion in the ancient Near East.

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The German Palestinian Society

The German Palestinian Society (Deutsch-Palästinensische Gesellschaft e.V.) is a nonprofit organization that serves as a platform for fostering understanding, dialogue, and cooperation between Germany and Palestine. Founded with the aim of promoting cultural exchange, education, and awareness about Palestinian society and its challenges, the society plays a pivotal role in strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two nations.

Through various initiatives, events, and projects, the German Palestinian Society seeks to bridge cultural divides and enhance people-to-people connections. The society organizes lectures, seminars, exhibitions, and cultural events that showcase Palestinian history, heritage, and contemporary issues. By offering opportunities for open discussions and engagement, the society promotes mutual understanding and empathy among individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Educational initiatives are also central to the society's activities. It supports educational programs that provide insights into Palestinian culture, history, and current affairs. This includes scholarships, exchanges, and collaborations that enable individuals to immerse themselves in the Palestinian context, fostering cross-cultural learning and appreciation.

Additionally, the German Palestinian Society is engaged in various humanitarian and development projects that aim to improve the lives of Palestinians. These projects encompass areas such as healthcare, education, and community development, contributing to positive change and sustainable development in Palestine.

By serving as a platform for dialogue, cultural exchange, and humanitarian efforts, the German Palestinian Society plays a crucial role in building bridges between Germany and Palestine. It promotes awareness, understanding, and collaboration, fostering a more nuanced and compassionate perspective on the challenges faced by Palestinian society while cultivating mutual respect and shared values.

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Council for British Research in the Levant

The Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL) is an esteemed academic organization dedicated to promoting and facilitating research in the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region, collectively known as the Levant. Founded in 1984, CBRL serves as a vital link between British researchers, institutions, and the archaeological, historical, and cultural landscapes of the Levant.

CBRL's primary mission is to support and advance research in a wide range of fields, including archaeology, history, anthropology, geography, and other disciplines related to the Levant's rich heritage. The organization operates through two research centers: the British Institute in Amman for Archaeology and History in Jordan, and the British Institute in East Jerusalem for Archaeology, History, and Culture in Palestine. These centers provide researchers with essential resources, facilities, and networks to conduct their studies effectively.

Through collaborative projects, academic events, workshops, and conferences, CBRL fosters an environment where scholars from the UK and the Levant can engage in interdisciplinary research, share insights, and create lasting connections. The organization also facilitates partnerships with local researchers, institutions, and communities, ensuring that research contributes to local development and heritage preservation.

CBRL's efforts extend beyond academia, as it actively engages in public outreach and education to raise awareness about the Levant's historical and cultural significance. By organizing exhibitions, lectures, and public discussions, CBRL brings its research findings and expertise to wider audiences, promoting understanding and appreciation of the Levant's diverse past and present.

In summary, the Council for British Research in the Levant plays a pivotal role in facilitating research, fostering collaborations, and promoting understanding between the UK and the Levant. Through its commitment to scholarly excellence, cultural engagement, and community partnerships, CBRL contributes significantly to the preservation and exploration of the Levant's rich and multifaceted heritage.

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Biblical Archaeological Institute

The Biblical Archaeological Institute is an esteemed institution dedicated to the exploration, research, and understanding of the archaeological, historical, and cultural aspects of the biblical world. With a mission to illuminate the narratives and contexts of the Bible through tangible evidence, the institute serves as a vital link between ancient texts and the material remains of the past.

Founded by passionate scholars, the institute focuses on excavations, surveys, and research projects in the regions mentioned in biblical texts and other related areas. By delving into archaeological sites and artifacts, the institute aims to shed light on the lives, traditions, and societies of the ancient Near East, contributing to a deeper understanding of the cultural backdrop against which biblical stories unfolded.

Central to the institute's work is the integration of interdisciplinary methodologies. Researchers from various fields, including archaeology, history, anthropology, and theology, collaborate to unravel the intricate connections between ancient texts and the material culture of the biblical world. This approach ensures that insights gained from archaeological discoveries are placed in the broader context of the times.

The institute's efforts extend beyond scholarly research. It often engages in public outreach, educational initiatives, and exhibitions to share its findings with a wider audience. By bridging the gap between academia and the public, the institute contributes to a more informed and nuanced understanding of the historical and cultural dynamics that shaped the biblical narratives.

In essence, the Biblical Archaeological Institute serves as a beacon for those seeking to bridge the gap between ancient texts and the archaeological record. Through its commitment to exploration, research, and public engagement, the institute enriches our understanding of the world of the Bible and its enduring significance in the contemporary context.

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Jerusalem and the Dead Sea

This space radar image shows the area surrounding the Dead Sea along the West Bank between Israel and Jordan. This region is of major cultural and historical importance to millions of Muslims, Jews and Christians who consider it the Holy Land. The yellow area at the top of the image is the city of Jericho. A portion of the Dead Sea is shown as the large black area at the top right side of the image. The Jordan River is the white line at the top of the image which flows into the Dead Sea. Jerusalem, which lies in the Judaean Hill Country, is the bright, yellowish area shown along the left center of the image.

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Institute of Archaeology (IL)

The Institute of Archaeology, based in Israel, is a renowned academic institution dedicated to the study, preservation, and exploration of the country's rich archaeological heritage. With a mission to advance archaeological research, education, and cultural understanding, the Institute plays a pivotal role in uncovering and interpreting the layers of history that have shaped the land of Israel.

Established as a hub of archaeological expertise, the Institute of Archaeology collaborates with scholars, researchers, and experts from around the world. It offers comprehensive academic programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees, that equip students with the skills, knowledge, and methodologies required for successful archaeological research and fieldwork.

The Institute's research initiatives cover a wide range of archaeological topics, spanning prehistoric periods, ancient civilizations, historical eras, and more. By conducting excavations, surveys, and analyses, the Institute contributes to a deeper understanding of Israel's history, culture, and connections to neighboring regions.

In addition to its research endeavors, the Institute of Archaeology is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of archaeological sites, artifacts, and cultural heritage. Its work extends to public engagement and education, fostering awareness and appreciation for Israel's history and the significance of archaeological research.

The Institute of Archaeology serves as a catalyst for interdisciplinary collaboration, bringing together archaeologists, historians, scientists, and specialists to uncover the past and shed light on the complexities of human civilization. By nurturing a community of scholars and promoting archaeological inquiry, the Institute contributes not only to the academic realm but also to the broader understanding of the historical narratives that have shaped the land of Israel.

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American Schools of Oriental Research Publications (US)

The American Schools of Oriental Research Publications (ASOR Publications), based in the United States, is a reputable source of scholarly literature and research in the fields of Near Eastern archaeology, history, linguistics, and culture. With a focus on the ancient Near East, the publications offered by ASOR provide a platform for rigorous academic inquiry and exploration of the diverse cultures and civilizations that thrived in the region.

ASOR Publications include a range of scholarly works such as academic journals, monographs, books, and newsletters. These resources cover a wide spectrum of topics, including archaeology, biblical studies, epigraphy, anthropology, and linguistics, offering multidisciplinary insights into the complex history and cultural tapestry of the Near East.

One of the standout features of ASOR Publications is their commitment to quality scholarship and rigorous research standards. These publications showcase the results of archaeological excavations, historical analyses, and field studies conducted by scholars and experts in the field. The materials provided are essential for researchers, students, and enthusiasts seeking to delve into the intricacies of the ancient Near East and its various civilizations.

ASOR Publications also play a crucial role in fostering scholarly dialogue and exchange within the academic community. By disseminating new discoveries, interpretations, and theories, these publications contribute to the advancement of knowledge and the ongoing exploration of the Near Eastern past.

In summary, the American Schools of Oriental Research Publications (US) serve as a cornerstone in the field of Near Eastern studies, offering a diverse array of scholarly resources that illuminate the history, archaeology, languages, and cultures of the ancient Near East. Through their commitment to scholarly excellence, ASOR Publications enrich our understanding of this historically significant region and its enduring impact on human civilization.

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Annual Egyptological Bibliography (NL)

The Annual Egyptological Bibliography, based in the Netherlands (NL), is a valuable scholarly resource that compiles and catalogs a wide range of literature related to the field of Egyptology. With a focus on ancient Egypt's history, culture, art, and archaeology, this bibliography serves as a comprehensive reference tool for researchers, students, and enthusiasts seeking to explore the wealth of scholarly work produced in this specialized area of study.

Compiled on an annual basis, the bibliography gathers publications from various sources, including academic journals, books, conference proceedings, and dissertations. It covers a diverse range of topics within Egyptology, spanning from the earliest historical periods to the Ptolemaic and Roman eras. The bibliography provides essential citations, abstracts, and in-depth information about each entry, facilitating access to a broad spectrum of research and scholarship.

By offering a centralized repository of Egyptological literature, the Annual Egyptological Bibliography contributes to the dissemination of knowledge and the advancement of research in the field. It enables scholars and students to stay informed about the latest developments, theories, and discoveries, while also serving as a valuable resource for those seeking to deepen their understanding of ancient Egypt's multifaceted culture and history.

In essence, the Annual Egyptological Bibliography (NL) plays a vital role in supporting Egyptological research and scholarship by providing a curated collection of literature that reflects the ongoing exploration and interpretation of ancient Egypt's rich and captivating heritage.

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British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem

The aim of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem has been to provide a centre for the study of all aspects of the archaeology, history and culture of the Levant from the earliest times and to encourage research in these subjects. It is a place where scholars can study, not a teaching institution.

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Near Eastern Archaeology Network

The "Near Eastern Archaeology Network" is an interconnected community of scholars, researchers, enthusiasts, and institutions dedicated to the study and exploration of the ancient civilizations, cultures, and histories of the Near East. This network serves as a hub for sharing knowledge, discoveries, research findings, and insights related to the rich and diverse archaeological heritage of the region.

Comprising experts from various disciplines such as archaeology, history, anthropology, and cultural studies, the Near Eastern Archaeology Network collaborates to advance our understanding of the ancient Near East's complexities. Through conferences, workshops, publications, and digital platforms, this network fosters scholarly dialogue, academic exchange, and collaborative projects that shed light on the multifaceted societies that once thrived in the region.

The network's activities encompass a wide range of topics, including archaeological excavations, historical analyses, artifact studies, and explorations of ancient sites. Researchers within the Near Eastern Archaeology Network delve into the cultures of Mesopotamia, Persia, Anatolia, Egypt, the Levant, and other neighboring regions, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of their interconnected histories.

Moreover, the Near Eastern Archaeology Network engages with the broader public by disseminating accessible information about the ancient Near East's heritage. This includes educational programs, public lectures, digital resources, and interactive exhibits that allow individuals to connect with the stories and achievements of ancient civilizations.

In essence, the Near Eastern Archaeology Network serves as a collaborative and interdisciplinary platform that unites experts and enthusiasts alike in the pursuit of uncovering the mysteries of the past. By fostering scholarly engagement and public awareness, this network contributes to the preservation, study, and appreciation of the ancient cultures that continue to shape our understanding of human history.

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The Step Pyramid Complex of Djoser

University of Pennsylvania. The Step Pyramid Complex of Djoser (also spelled Zozer) was built during the Third Dynasty (ca. 2800 B.C.) in what is now Saqqara, Egypt. Djoser's Step Pyramid is generally considered the first tomb in Egypt to be built entirely of stone.

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Egyptology

Egyptology is the academic field dedicated to the study, research, and exploration of ancient Egypt's history, culture, language, art, religion, and society. It encompasses a multidisciplinary approach that combines archaeology, linguistics, art history, anthropology, and other fields to understand the complexities of one of the world's oldest civilizations.

Egyptology delves into various aspects of ancient Egypt, including:

  1. Archaeology: Unearthing and analyzing archaeological sites, tombs, temples, and artifacts to reconstruct daily life, rituals, and societal structures.
  2. Language and Writing: Deciphering hieroglyphs, the ancient Egyptian script, to decipher inscriptions, texts, and literature.
  3. Art and Architecture: Studying the artistic achievements, sculpture, paintings, and architecture of ancient Egypt, from monumental pyramids to intricate tomb decorations.
  4. Religion and Mythology: Examining the religious beliefs, rituals, deities, and mythology that shaped ancient Egyptian spiritual life.
  5. History and Chronology: Tracing the historical timeline, rulers, dynasties, and significant events that shaped Egypt's millennia-long history.
  6. Society and Culture: Understanding social structures, economics, gender roles, daily life, and cultural practices of ancient Egyptians.
  7. Science and Technology: Investigating ancient Egyptian achievements in medicine, astronomy, mathematics, and engineering.
  8. Interaction with Other Civilizations: Exploring trade, diplomacy, and cultural exchanges between ancient Egypt and neighboring civilizations.

Egyptology has been instrumental in unlocking the mysteries of the past, revealing the achievements of the ancient Egyptians and their enduring influence on modern society. Scholars and researchers contribute to our understanding of the cultural legacy that continues to captivate and inspire people around the world.

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Excavations at Sepphoris

Excavations at Sepphoris offer a fascinating journey into the history and cultural heritage of an ancient city located in modern-day Israel. Sepphoris, also known as Zippori, was a prominent city in the Galilee region and played a significant role in the social, political, and artistic landscape during different periods of its existence.

Archaeological excavations at Sepphoris have revealed a wealth of historical artifacts, architectural remains, and insights into the city's past. The city's strategic location along trade routes contributed to its growth and multicultural character, as it served as a melting pot of diverse cultures, including Roman, Jewish, and Hellenistic influences.

Excavations have uncovered stunning mosaics, intricate frescoes, ancient buildings, theaters, and even a synagogue adorned with exquisite artwork. These discoveries offer glimpses into daily life, artistic expression, and the interactions of different communities within Sepphoris.

The excavations also shed light on Sepphoris' significance as a center of education and learning. The city is believed to have been the birthplace of the famous Jewish scholar Rabbi Judah the Prince, compiler of the Mishnah.

By exploring the excavations at Sepphoris, historians, archaeologists, and enthusiasts alike gain insights into the cultural evolution, urban planning, and artistic achievements of an ancient city that left an indelible mark on the region's history. The site's discoveries contribute to a broader understanding of the ancient world and the interplay of civilizations that shaped its narrative.

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The Dead Sea scrolls and other Hebrew MSS project

The Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Hebrew Manuscripts Project is a scholarly endeavor focused on the research, preservation, and publication of ancient Hebrew manuscripts, with a special emphasis on the famed Dead Sea Scrolls. These manuscripts, discovered in the mid-20th century near the Dead Sea, contain invaluable insights into the religious, historical, and cultural contexts of ancient Judaism.

The project involves the meticulous study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient Hebrew manuscripts found in the same region. These manuscripts encompass a wide range of texts, including biblical and non-biblical writings, prayers, legal texts, and literary works. Scholars meticulously analyze the content, language, and material characteristics of these manuscripts to reconstruct their historical context and significance.

The project also focuses on the digitization, preservation, and translation of these ancient texts, making them more accessible to researchers, scholars, and the broader public. The translation and analysis of these manuscripts shed light on the development of religious ideas, sectarian groups, and linguistic nuances during the Second Temple period.

Through collaboration with academic institutions, museums, and libraries, the project aims to piece together the puzzle of the ancient world, contributing to a deeper understanding of the origins of Judaism and its role in shaping Western civilization. The Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Hebrew Manuscripts Project holds cultural, historical, and scholarly significance, providing a window into the intellectual and spiritual pursuits of ancient times.

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Franciscan Archaeological Institute (Jordan)

The Franciscan Archaeological Institute in Jordan is an academic and research institution dedicated to archaeological exploration, preservation, and scholarship in the region. Founded and operated by the Custody of the Holy Land, a Franciscan religious order, this institute focuses on investigating archaeological sites of historical and religious significance within Jordan and the surrounding areas.

The institute engages in archaeological excavations, surveys, and research projects to uncover the rich history and cultural heritage of the Holy Land. It collaborates with local authorities, academic institutions, and international partners to conduct systematic studies and analyses of ancient sites, artifacts, and historical documents.

The Franciscan Archaeological Institute plays a vital role in understanding the historical context of the biblical narratives, early Christianity, and the interactions of various cultures in the region. Its efforts contribute to the broader field of archaeology and shed light on the dynamics of ancient societies and their connections.

By conducting scientific research and promoting the preservation of archaeological sites, the institute aims to provide valuable insights into the historical and religious heritage of Jordan and the broader Middle East. Through its work, the Franciscan Archaeological Institute contributes to a deeper understanding of the region's history and fosters cultural appreciation and scholarly engagement.

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ArtServe at the Australian National University

Art & Architecture mainly from the Mediterranean Basin. This server now contains some 165,000 images - about 65 gigabytes of material.

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Journal of Cuneiform Studies

Founded in 1947 by the Baghdad School of the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Journal of Cuneiform Studies (JCS) presents technical and general articles on the history and languages of the ancient Mesopotamian and Anatolian literate cultures. Articles appear in English, French, and German. Published once a year; circa 144 pages per issue.

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Judaism and Jewish Resources

Judaism is a monotheistic religion with deep historical roots and a rich tapestry of beliefs, traditions, and practices. It encompasses a diverse array of cultural, religious, and philosophical elements that have evolved over millennia. Jewish Resources refer to a wide range of materials, texts, and organizations dedicated to preserving and promoting the understanding of Judaism's history, teachings, and cultural heritage.

Jewish Resources include:

  1. Sacred Texts: The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) is the core sacred text of Judaism, consisting of the Torah (Five Books of Moses), the Prophets, and the Writings. Additionally, the Talmud, a compilation of rabbinic discussions and interpretations, is a central text for understanding Jewish law and ethics.
  2. Synagogues and Communities: Synagogues serve as places of worship, study, and communal gathering for Jewish communities. They provide resources for religious observance, education, and cultural events.
  3. Educational Institutions: Jewish educational institutions offer a range of programs, from religious studies to cultural courses, designed to educate individuals about Jewish history, traditions, and values.
  4. Jewish Organizations: Numerous organizations are dedicated to various aspects of Jewish life, including cultural preservation, religious outreach, social justice, and community support.
  5. Museums and Cultural Centers: Museums and cultural centers worldwide preserve and showcase Jewish artifacts, art, history, and contributions to various fields.
  6. Online Resources: Websites, digital libraries, and online platforms provide access to a wealth of Jewish texts, resources, educational materials, and discussions.
  7. Literature and Publications: Jewish literature encompasses a vast array of writings, from religious texts to contemporary literature, offering insights into Jewish thought and experiences.
  8. Historical and Archaeological Research: Organizations and research institutes conduct archaeological excavations and historical research to uncover the historical context of Judaism and its ancient origins.
  9. Holocaust Remembrance: Holocaust museums and resources provide a solemn reminder of the Holocaust's impact on Jewish history and humanity, emphasizing the importance of remembrance and tolerance.
  10. Music and Art: Jewish music and art reflect the cultural expressions and creative endeavors of Jewish communities around the world.

Jewish Resources play a crucial role in preserving the identity, heritage, and values of Judaism, while also facilitating a broader understanding of its influence on world history, culture, and thought. Whether for religious observance, academic study, cultural appreciation, or personal enrichment, these resources contribute to a deeper understanding of Judaism's multifaceted legacy.

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Ancient Synagogues in the Holy Land

Ancient Synagogues in the Holy Land are historical sites that offer insights into the religious, cultural, and social life of Jewish communities in the region during antiquity. Synagogues served as centers of worship, study, and communal gathering, playing a significant role in the preservation of Jewish identity and traditions.

These synagogues, often dating back to the Second Temple period and the centuries that followed, are scattered across the Holy Land, including modern-day Israel and neighboring regions. Each synagogue reflects the architectural styles, artistic motifs, and local influences of its time and place, providing a glimpse into the diverse communities that thrived in ancient times.

Archaeological excavations of these synagogues have unearthed valuable artifacts, inscriptions, and architectural features that shed light on the practices, beliefs, and communal dynamics of the Jewish people during different historical periods. Many ancient synagogues feature unique mosaic floors, decorated walls, and ritual objects that reveal the religious and cultural practices of their congregations.

Prominent ancient synagogues in the Holy Land include the synagogues of Capernaum, Gamla, Beit Alpha, and Huqoq, among others. These sites offer valuable insights into the historical and religious context of Jewish life, as well as interactions with other cultures and faiths in the region.

Studying ancient synagogues in the Holy Land provides a window into the vibrant tapestry of Jewish history, enriching our understanding of the religious traditions, architectural achievements, and social dynamics of the Jewish communities that left an enduring legacy in the region.

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Extreme Egypt and Egypt Readers

"Extreme Egyptology" is a term used to describe a controversial and unconventional approach to the study of ancient Egypt that often diverges from mainstream Egyptology practices. This perspective incorporates alternative theories, hypotheses, and interpretations that challenge established academic consensus regarding various aspects of ancient Egyptian history, culture, and civilization.

Extreme Egyptology scholars may propose radical ideas that challenge conventional narratives related to topics such as the construction of the pyramids, the origins of the ancient Egyptians, the purpose of certain monuments, and even potential interactions with extraterrestrial beings. These ideas sometimes garner attention in popular media and online discussions but are often met with skepticism and criticism within the academic community.

While the term "Extreme Egyptology" is not a recognized subfield within traditional Egyptology, it highlights the dynamic nature of historical and archaeological research. It's important to note that while alternative viewpoints can stimulate critical thinking and reevaluation of established ideas, they are often subject to rigorous scrutiny and evaluation within the scholarly community.

In summary, "Extreme Egyptology" refers to a fringe approach that challenges conventional Egyptology interpretations. While these alternative perspectives can spark curiosity and debate, they are distinct from the mainstream academic framework of Egyptological research and should be considered within the broader context of the field's scholarly standards and methodologies.

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Land of Sumer and Akkad - Mesopotamian Archaeology

History and Environment of the Mesopotamian Plain

The Land of Sumer and Akkad: Mesopotamian Archaeology, History, and Environment

Mesopotamia, often referred to as the "Land of Sumer and Akkad," holds a pivotal place in the annals of human history. Located in the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, it is considered one of the cradles of civilization. In this post, we will explore the fascinating world of Mesopotamian archaeology, delving into its rich history, environment, and cultural legacy.

The Mesopotamian plain, characterized by its fertile soil and strategic location, gave rise to flourishing civilizations that left an indelible mark on human development. The Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians are among the notable societies that thrived in this region, each contributing to the cultural tapestry of Mesopotamia.

Archaeological excavations have uncovered awe-inspiring cities like Uruk, Ur, Babylon, and Nineveh, revealing the architectural marvels, intricate artworks, and sophisticated systems of governance that once graced these ancient urban centers. These discoveries shed light on the advancements in writing, mathematics, law, and trade that emerged in Mesopotamia, influencing subsequent civilizations.

Understanding the history of Mesopotamia requires an exploration of its environment. The region's geography, characterized by unpredictable flooding, necessitated the development of complex irrigation systems, such as canals and levees, to harness the rivers' power for agriculture. The fertile soil of the plain facilitated abundant harvests, supporting the growth of thriving communities and enabling specialization in various crafts and professions.

Moreover, the Mesopotamian worldview was deeply influenced by its environment, leading to the veneration of deities associated with natural forces and agricultural cycles. The epic tales of Gilgamesh and the creation myth Enuma Elish provide glimpses into the spiritual beliefs and mythologies that shaped the lives and aspirations of the ancient Mesopotamians.

Studying Mesopotamian archaeology allows us to appreciate the remarkable achievements and enduring legacies of these early civilizations. By unraveling the mysteries of their cities, deciphering ancient cuneiform texts, and examining artifacts, scholars gain insights into the social structures, religious practices, and intellectual pursuits that flourished in this cradle of civilization.

Through the exploration of Mesopotamian archaeology, we not only deepen our understanding of the past but also recognize the interconnectedness of human history. The discoveries in Mesopotamia demonstrate how the achievements and innovations of ancient cultures continue to shape our world today.

Join us as we embark on a journey through the Land of Sumer and Akkad, exploring the captivating world of Mesopotamian archaeology, history, and environment. Together, we will unravel the mysteries of this ancient land and gain a profound appreciation for the cultural heritage that emerged from the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

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LaTrobe Archaeology

The Marki Project, Prehistoric Bronze Age town in Cyprus

LaTrobe Archaeology: The Marki Project, Prehistoric Bronze Age Town in Cyprus

LaTrobe Archaeology is a renowned research institution dedicated to uncovering the mysteries of the past. One of its remarkable projects is the Marki Project, focused on the exploration and excavation of a prehistoric Bronze Age town located in Cyprus. This ancient settlement, situated near the village of Marki, offers a fascinating window into the lives and customs of a bygone era.

The Marki Project combines cutting-edge archaeological methods with meticulous fieldwork to uncover the secrets of this Bronze Age town. The skilled team of archaeologists, researchers, and students meticulously unearth artifacts, structures, and traces of daily life, carefully piecing together the story of this ancient community.

The Bronze Age period in Cyprus was a time of significant cultural and technological advancements. The Marki Project sheds light on the architecture, craftsmanship, trade networks, and social dynamics of this era, providing valuable insights into the broader Mediterranean context of the time.

Excavations at the Marki site have revealed an array of fascinating discoveries, including pottery vessels, tools, jewelry, and evidence of early metalworking. These artifacts provide a tangible link to the people who once inhabited this ancient town, offering a glimpse into their daily routines, rituals, and interactions.

LaTrobe Archaeology's dedication to meticulous excavation, thorough analysis, and scholarly collaboration ensures that the Marki Project contributes not only to our understanding of the past but also to broader academic discussions on prehistoric societies and their cultural landscapes.

Through the Marki Project, LaTrobe Archaeology invites you to join them on a captivating journey through time, exploring the remnants of a Bronze Age town and unraveling the stories of its inhabitants. Through their work, they are shaping our understanding of ancient Cyprus and its place in the complex tapestry of human history.

Experience the thrill of discovery and the joy of piecing together the puzzle of the past with LaTrobe Archaeology's Marki Project. Discover a world long lost, and witness the meticulous work that illuminates the lives of our ancient ancestors.

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Melbourne North Eastern Turkey Project

The Melbourne North Eastern Turkey Project is a scholarly initiative focused on archaeological research and exploration in the northeastern region of Turkey, a historically rich area known for its significant cultural heritage and ancient sites. This project is affiliated with the University of Melbourne and aims to uncover the archaeological remains, history, and cultural context of this fascinating region.

The northeastern part of Turkey, which includes areas such as Anatolia and the Armenian Highlands, has been a crossroads of civilizations for millennia. Its strategic location has attracted numerous ancient cultures, resulting in a diverse array of archaeological sites, artifacts, and historical evidence.

The Melbourne North Eastern Turkey Project engages in archaeological excavations, surveys, and research to uncover the layers of history within the region. Scholars and researchers associated with the project work to unearth ancient settlements, religious sites, fortifications, and other traces of human activity that offer insights into the lives and societies of the past.

Through its interdisciplinary approach, the project combines archaeology, history, anthropology, and cultural studies to shed light on the ancient cultures and interactions that shaped northeastern Turkey. The discoveries and findings contribute to the broader understanding of the region's significance in the context of ancient civilizations and human history.

The project's activities also foster collaborations with local communities, academic institutions, and experts, promoting the exchange of knowledge and the preservation of cultural heritage. By delving into the rich archaeological landscape of northeastern Turkey, the Melbourne North Eastern Turkey Project contributes to the global exploration of the human past and the preservation of the diverse legacies of this historically significant region.

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Netherlands Institute for Near East (NINO)

University of Leiden. Founded in 1939, the NINO has been publishing journals, monographs and other books dealing with the Near East ever since. It houses an extensive library and is host to the departments of Assyriology and Egyptology of Leiden University. In addition, it carries out research programmes in various branches of Near East studies.

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Oman Archaeology Network Project

This is a website with archaeological information on Oman, and its aim is to facilitate cooperation and networking amongst archaeologists interested in Oman. This project proposal comes from non-archaeologists, but we hope that our ideas will find the approval of many archaeologists working on Oman.

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The Oriental Institute

The Oriental Institute, based at the University of Chicago, is a prominent institution dedicated to the study, research, and dissemination of knowledge about the ancient civilizations of the Near East. Founded in 1919, the Oriental Institute has established itself as a center of excellence in archaeology, linguistics, history, and cultural studies, focusing on regions such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Iran, Anatolia, and the Levant.

The institute's extensive collection includes artifacts, texts, manuscripts, and archaeological findings that span thousands of years, offering valuable insights into the cultural, historical, and artistic achievements of ancient civilizations. The Oriental Institute is renowned for its contributions to deciphering ancient languages, preserving rare documents, and advancing understanding of the complex societies that once thrived in the Near East.

The institute conducts archaeological excavations and research projects across various regions, unearthing important archaeological sites and contributing to the scholarly understanding of ancient cultures. It also hosts exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and educational programs that engage the public and scholars alike, fostering a deeper appreciation for the cultural heritage of the Near East.

The Oriental Institute's comprehensive library and archives support scholarly research and publication, making it a vital resource for academics and researchers in fields related to the ancient Near East. The institute's dedication to interdisciplinary collaboration has led to significant advancements in fields ranging from linguistics and history to archaeology and anthropology.

In essence, the Oriental Institute serves as a hub for the exploration of the ancient world's complexities and the preservation of its cultural legacies. Through its multidisciplinary approach, academic rigor, and commitment to public engagement, the institute continues to play a pivotal role in uncovering the mysteries of the past and connecting modern audiences with the rich heritage of the Near East.

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The Edinburgh Ras Shamra Project (ERSP)

The Edinburgh Ras Shamra Project (ERSP) is a scholarly initiative focused on the archaeological exploration and study of the ancient city of Ras Shamra, also known as Ugarit, located on the coast of modern-day Syria. Named after the historical site it investigates, the ERSP is affiliated with the University of Edinburgh and is dedicated to uncovering the historical, cultural, and linguistic aspects of this ancient city.

Ras Shamra/Ugarit is renowned for its significant archaeological discoveries, including the recovery of the Ugaritic cuneiform script, one of the earliest known alphabetic scripts. This script has provided insights into the language and literature of the ancient city, shedding light on the cultural and religious practices of the time.

The ERSP engages in archaeological excavations, research, and analysis to unearth the remains of Ugarit's buildings, artifacts, and inscriptions. The project's work extends beyond the physical excavation, encompassing the study of historical records, texts, and findings to reconstruct the daily life, religious beliefs, and societal structures of the ancient Ugaritic people.

By examining the layers of history within Ras Shamra, the ERSP contributes to our understanding of the broader context of the ancient Near East, as well as the role Ugarit played in the region's economic, cultural, and political landscape. The project's multidisciplinary approach combines archaeology, epigraphy, linguistics, and historical research to unravel the mysteries of this ancient city and its contributions to human history.

In summary, the Edinburgh Ras Shamra Project (ERSP) stands as a significant endeavor in archaeological and historical research, unraveling the complexities of an ancient city and its role in shaping our understanding of the past. Through its dedicated efforts, the project illuminates the lives of the people who once inhabited Ras Shamra and their enduring impact on the ancient world.

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The Tel Hazor Excavations Project

Hazor was an ancient Canaanite and Israelite City located in the north of modern day Israel. Recent archaeological excavations have revealed how important this city was in antiquity. This site provides information about Tel Hazor and information for prospective volunteers who may wish to participate in further excavations at Hazor. No previous experience in archaeology is required.

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Tell Tuneinir, Syria

St. Louis Archaeological Expeditions. Research objectives include the definition of the city's Islamic Period commercial structures, identification of features related to the church and monastery used by a Syriac speaking congregation, and investigation of various pre-Islamic strata.

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Archaeology in the Levant

UCSD Nahal Tillah Regional Archaeology Project in Israel.

The UCSD Nahal Tillah Regional Archaeology Project in Israel is a collaborative and comprehensive archaeological initiative undertaken by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to explore and uncover the rich historical and cultural heritage of the Nahal Tillah region. Located in southern Israel, this project focuses on a specific geographical area that holds significant archaeological importance due to its position along ancient trade routes and its historical connections to various civilizations.

The project aims to investigate the region's archaeological sites, artifacts, and structures, spanning different time periods, from prehistoric to more recent historical epochs. Through meticulous excavation, documentation, and analysis, researchers and archaeologists associated with UCSD delve into the layers of human activity that have shaped the landscape over millennia. The project's interdisciplinary approach combines archaeological methodologies with scientific techniques, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the region's past.

By uncovering artifacts, pottery, architectural remains, and other archaeological evidence, the UCSD Nahal Tillah Regional Archaeology Project sheds light on the social, economic, and cultural dynamics of ancient societies that once inhabited the area. The findings contribute to broader discussions about trade networks, settlement patterns, religious practices, and the interactions between different cultures.

Furthermore, the project serves as a platform for collaboration among scholars, students, and experts from various fields, fostering a rich academic environment for research and knowledge sharing. The insights gained from the UCSD Nahal Tillah Regional Archaeology Project provide valuable contributions to the study of ancient history, archaeology, and cultural heritage, not only in the Nahal Tillah region but also in the broader context of the Mediterranean and the Near East.

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Tomb of Senneferi at Luxor, Egypt

The tomb of Senneferi is one of the 'Tombs of the Nobles' on the West Bank at Luxor in Egypt. In these pages you can find out about an ongoing excavation in Egypt: what the tomb is, how archaeology is done, what we find, and many other things!

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Wadi Araba Archaeological Research Project

University of Maryland. Bir Madhkur Excavation and Survey, Rujm Taba Salvage Excavations, Central Araba Archaeological Survey

The University of Maryland is actively engaged in several significant archaeological endeavors, including the Bir Madhkur Excavation and Survey, Rujm Taba Salvage Excavations, and Central Araba Archaeological Survey. These projects collectively contribute to our understanding of the rich historical and cultural heritage of the region.

The Bir Madhkur Excavation and Survey focuses on a specific site in the Arabian Peninsula, aiming to uncover the layers of history and human activity that have shaped the area over time. Through meticulous excavation and thorough surveying techniques, researchers associated with the University of Maryland unearth artifacts, architecture, and cultural remains that provide insights into the lives and interactions of past societies. This project contributes to a broader understanding of the region's historical context and its connections to trade routes and neighboring civilizations.

The Rujm Taba Salvage Excavations, also conducted by the University of Maryland, involve the systematic exploration of a site of archaeological significance. Salvage excavations are often undertaken to preserve valuable historical information before modern development projects impact or destroy the site. By carefully documenting and analyzing artifacts and structures, researchers gain insights into the site's history, shedding light on its role within the ancient landscape and its significance to the people who once inhabited it.

The Central Araba Archaeological Survey, another initiative led by the University of Maryland, focuses on a broader geographical area, aiming to document and understand the archaeological remains scattered across the region. This survey involves fieldwork that spans various sites, allowing researchers to piece together a comprehensive picture of settlement patterns, trade networks, and cultural interactions in the Central Araba region. By gathering data from multiple locations, scholars can draw connections between different sites and time periods, enriching our understanding of the region's history.

Collectively, these archaeological projects undertaken by the University of Maryland contribute significantly to the field of archaeology by uncovering hidden histories, preserving cultural heritage, and fostering collaboration among scholars and experts. Through their efforts, these projects provide valuable insights into the past and offer a deeper understanding of the human experience in these regions throughout history.

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Excavations at Zippori (Sepphoris)

Zippori, also known as Sepphoris in Greek, lies in the heart of the Lower Galilee midway between the Mediterranean and the Sea of Galilee. For long periods during antiquity, Zippori was the capital of the Galilee with a vibrant religious, commercial, and social community. Today, Zippori is an antiquities park extending over 16 square km that was opened to the public in 1992, run by the Israel National Park Authoroty.

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Oman Archaeology

Our Mission has conducted research and cultural management projects in cooperation with the Sultanate's Ministry of National Heritage and Culture since 1977. In different ways, and owing to an interdisciplinary approach, the Mission has illuminated the prehistory of this Arabian land. Originally the emphasis centred on localising the copper land Magan/Makkan which is known from cuneiform texts. The Mission is sponsored by the German Mining Museum and the Institute for Prehistory of the University of Heidelberg.

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Quseir al-Qadim Research Project

This project focusses on the site of Quseir al-Qadim on the southern Egyptian Red Sea coast, and its surrounding landscape. The project is a collaboration between researchers from a number of institutions world wide and is particularly focussed on the sharing and representation of archaeological knowledge. The site of Quseir al-Qadim (old Quseir) is eight kilometres north of the modern town of Quseir, on the Egyptian Red Sea coast. University of Southampton.

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Anatolian Archaeology & Art Publications

Founded in 1978, Archaeology and Art Publications ("Arkeoloji ve Sanat Yayınları") is one of Turkey's leading publishers of works on Anatolian archaeology, history, and art history. Besides a broad selection of books, the press publishes a bi-monthly journal, Arkeoloji ve Sanat. Archaeology and Art also operates the Celsus Picture Library, acts as a distribution agent for local and foreign presses, and offers consulting services on Turkish culture, history, and travel.

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Gesher Benot Ya'aqov

The Acheulean site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov (henceforth G.B.Y.) and the Benot Ya'akov Formation in which it is embedded are located in the northern sector of the Dead Sea Rift, just south of the Hula Valley. The exposures consist of fluvial and limnic sediments which form the littoral facies of the Hula Valley basin fill (Horowitz, 1973).

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Wadi Ziqlab Project

Since 1987, the Wadi Ziqlab Project, directed by Ted Banning of the University of Toronto, has conducted archaeological survey and excavation of Epipalaeolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and Early Bronze Age sites in northern Jordan, following initial survey in 1981 and test excavations in 1986.

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Phaistos Disk

The Phaistos Disk was discovered in Crete in 1908. In a century which has seen the cracking of Linear B, Ugaritic, and other orthographic systems, the Phaistos Disk has eluded decipherment. The disk is thought to date from around 1700 BC. It is a roundish disk of clay, with symbols stamped into it. The text consists of 61 words, 16 of which are accompanied by a mysterious "slash" mark.

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The Pool-Complex at Petra

Despite decades of excavation in and around Petra, archaeologists continue to grapple with the issues of chronological development and the organization of the city as a center of political and economic importance.

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