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The Banquet Stele of Ashurnasirpal II
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Banquet Stele of Ashurnasirpal II

When he came to the throne in 884 BCE, Ashurnasirpal II had to attend to revolts which broke out across the empire. He ruthlessly put down all rebellions, destroyed the rebel cities and, as a warning to others, impaled, burned, and flayed...
Assyrian Master of Ceremonies
Image by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin

Assyrian Master of Ceremonies

This male figure, distinguished from all kinds of staff, and recognizable by the pageboy's hairstyle and humble (or no) bearing, brings up the rear of a group of high-ranking Assryian officials or dignitaries. Those men have access to the...
Head of Tributary Bearers from Urartu
Image by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin

Head of Tributary Bearers from Urartu

This alabaster bas-relief is part of a long tributary scene, where the Assyrian king, Sargon II (not shown here), stands majestically, waiting to receive the tribute from Urartu (modern-day Armenia). The man on the right is in front of...
Gilgamesh
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh is the semi-mythic King of Uruk in Mesopotamia best known from The Epic of Gilgamesh (written c. 2150 - 1400 BCE) the great Sumerian/Babylonian poetic work which pre-dates Homer’s writing by 1500 years and, therefore...
War in Ancient Times
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

War in Ancient Times

The word 'war' comes to English from the old High German language word Werran (to confuse or to cause confusion) through the Old English Werre (meaning the same), and is a state of open and usually declared armed conflict between...
Sumer
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Sumer

Sumer was the southernmost region of ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq and Kuwait) which is generally considered the cradle of civilization. The name comes from Akkadian, the language of the north of Mesopotamia, and means “land...
Canaan
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Canaan

Canaan was the name of a large and prosperous ancient country (at times independent, at others a tributary to Egypt) located in the Levant region of present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel. It was also...
The Hittites
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

The Hittites

The Hittites occupied the ancient region of Anatolia (also known as Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey) prior to 1700 BCE, developed a culture apparently from the indigenous Hatti (and possibly the Hurrian) people, and expanded their territories...
The Kingdom of Kush
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

The Kingdom of Kush

Kush was a kingdom in northern Africa in the region corresponding to modern-day Sudan. The larger region around Kush (later referred to as Nubia) was inhabited c. 8,000 BCE but the Kingdom of Kush rose much later. The Kerma Culture, so named...
Writing
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Writing

Writing is the physical manifestation of a spoken language. It is thought that human beings developed language c. 35,000 BCE as evidenced by cave paintings from the period of the Cro-Magnon Man (c. 50,000-30,000 BCE) which appear to express...