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The Greatest Party Ever Thrown: Ashurnasirpal II’s Kalhu Festival
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Greatest Party Ever Thrown: Ashurnasirpal II’s Kalhu Festival

The kings of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (912-612 BCE) have long been considered some of the most ruthless monarchs in ancient history. At the same time, they were sacking cities and slaughtering those who rebelled against...
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...
Agriculture in the Fertile Crescent
Article by Jan van der Crabben

Agriculture in the Fertile Crescent

The ancient Near East, and the Fertile Crescent in particular, is generally seen as the birthplace of agriculture. In the fourth millennium BCE this area was more temperate than it is today, and it was blessed with fertile soil, two great...
The Mutual Destruction of Sennacherib & Babylon
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Mutual Destruction of Sennacherib & Babylon

The reign of Assyrian king Sennacherib (705-681 BCE) was chiefly characterized by his difficulties with Babylon. Throughout the history of the Assyrian Empire, Babylon had caused problems and had even been destroyed by the Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta...
Cuneiform Lexical Lists
Article by William Brown

Cuneiform Lexical Lists

Lexical lists are compilations of cuneiform signs and word readings written on clay tablets throughout Mesopotamia. From the late 4th millennium BCE up to the 1st century CE, scribal communities copied, modified, and passed on these cuneiform...
Diodorus Siculus' Account of the Life of Semiramis
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Diodorus Siculus' Account of the Life of Semiramis

Semiramis is the semi-divine Warrior-Queen of Assyria, whose reign is most clearly documented by the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (90-30 BCE) in his great work Bibliotheca Historica ("Historical Library") written over thirty...
Wall Reliefs: Ashurnasirpal II's War Scenes at the British Museum
Article by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin

Wall Reliefs: Ashurnasirpal II's War Scenes at the British Museum

The Mighty King 600 of their warriors I put to the sword and decapitated; 400 I took alive; 3,000 captives I brought forth; I took possession of the city for myself: the living soldiers, and heads to the city of Amidi the royal city...
Herodotus: On The Customs of the Persians
Article by Herodotus

Herodotus: On The Customs of the Persians

Herodotus (484-425 BCE) the Greek historian who wrote extensively on the Persian Empire, here describes Persian customs as they would have been practiced around the year 430 BCE at Susa and other Persian communities. The passage, from Book...
Winning Against the Odds: Sargon II & the Urartu Campaign
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Winning Against the Odds: Sargon II & the Urartu Campaign

It is often when one is faced with the most difficult circumstances that one is given the greatest opportunity for clarity. History provides ample evidence of this experience in showing how, when faced with seemingly impossible situations...
Wall Reliefs: Apkallus of the North-West Palace at Nimrud
Article by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin

Wall Reliefs: Apkallus of the North-West Palace at Nimrud

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. (Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right). When it comes to religion...