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Fertile Crescent Mesopotamia

Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire Assyria Babylonia Neo-Assyrian Empire Neo-Babylonian Empire Sumer

Egypt

Ancient Egypt

Persia

Achaemenid Empire Elam Medes

Anatolia

Hittites Hurrians Neo-Hittite
Neo-Hittite
states Urartu

The Levant

Ancient Israel Phoenicia

Archaeological periods

Chronology Bronze Age Bronze Age
Bronze Age
collapse Iron Age

Languages

Akkadian Aramaic Assyriology Cuneiform script Elamite Hebrew Hittite Hurrian Phoenician Sumerian Urartian

Literature

Babylonian Hittite texts Sumerian

Mythology

Babylonian Hittite Mesopotamian Egyptian

Other topics

Cradle of civilization Assyrian law Babylonian astronomy Babylonian law Babylonian mathematics Cuneiform law History of the Middle East

v t e

The ancient Near East
Near East
was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia (modern Iraq, southeast Turkey, southwest Iran, northeastern Syria
Syria
and Kuwait),[1] ancient Egypt, ancient Iran
Iran
(Elam, Media, Parthia
Parthia
and Persia), Anatolia/ Asia Minor
Asia Minor
and Armenian Highlands
Armenian Highlands
(Turkey's Eastern Anatolia
Anatolia
Region, Armenia, northwestern Iran, southern Georgia, and western Azerbaijan),[2] the Levant
Levant
(modern Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, and Jordan), Cyprus
Cyprus
and the Arabian Peninsula. The ancient Near East
Near East
is studied in the fields of Near Eastern archaeology and ancient history. The history of the ancient Near East
Near East
begins with the rise of Sumer
Sumer
in the 4th millennium BC, though the date it ends varies. The term covers the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
and the Iron Age
Iron Age
in the region, until either the conquest by the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
in the 6th century BC, that by Macedonian Empire
Macedonian Empire
in the 4th century BC, or the Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests
in the 7th century AD. The ancient Near East
Near East
is considered[3] one of the cradles of civilization. It was here that intensive year-round agriculture was first practiced, leading to the rise of the first dense urban settlements and the development of many familiar institutions of civilization, such as social stratification, centralized government and empires, organized religion and organized warfare. It also saw the creation of the first writing system and law codes, early advances that laid the foundations of astronomy and mathematics, and the invention of the wheel. During the period, states became increasingly large, until the region became controlled by militaristic empires that had conquered a number of different cultures.

Contents

1 Concept of Near East 2 Periodization 3 History

3.1 Prehistory 3.2 Chalcolithic

3.2.1 Early Mesopotamia

3.3 Bronze Age

3.3.1 Early Bronze Age

3.3.1.1 Sumer
Sumer
and Akkad 3.3.1.2 Elam 3.3.1.3 The Amorites

3.3.2 Middle Bronze Age 3.3.3 Late Bronze Age

3.3.3.1 Bronze Age
Bronze Age
collapse

3.4 Iron Age

4 Religions 5 See also 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

Concept of Near East[edit] Main article: Near East

Overview map of the ancient Near East

The phrase "ancient Near East" utilizes the 19th-century distinction between Near East
Near East
and Far East
Far East
as global regions of interest to the British Empire. The distinction began during the Crimean War. The last major exclusive partition of the east between these two terms was current in diplomacy in the late 19th century, with the Hamidian Massacres of the Armenians
Armenians
and Assyrians by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in 1894-1896 and the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895. The two theatres were described by the statesmen and advisors of the British Empire
British Empire
as "the Near East" and "the Far East". Shortly after, they were to share the stage with Middle East, which came to prevail in the 20th century and continues in modern times. As Near East
Near East
had meant the lands of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
at roughly its maximum extent, on the fall of that empire, the use of Near East
Near East
in diplomacy was reduced significantly in favor of the Middle East. Meanwhile, the ancient Near East
Near East
had become distinct. The Ottoman rule over the Near East
Near East
ranged from Vienna
Vienna
(to the north) to the tip of the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
(to the south), from Egypt
Egypt
(in the west) to the borders of Iraq
Iraq
(in the east). The 19th-century archaeologists added Iran
Iran
to their definition, which was never under the Ottomans, but they excluded all of Europe
Europe
and, generally, Egypt, which had parts in the empire. Periodization[edit] Ancient Near East
Near East
periodization is the attempt to categorize or divide time into discrete named blocks, or eras, of the Near East. The result is a descriptive abstraction that provides a useful handle on Near East periods of time with relatively stable characteristics.

Copper Age Chalcolithic (4500 - 3300 BC) Early Chalcolithic 4500 - 4000 BC Ubaid period
Ubaid period
in Mesopotamia

Late Chalcolithic 4000 - 3300 BC Ghassulian, Sumerian Uruk period
Uruk period
in Mesopotamia, Gerzeh, Predynastic Egypt, Proto-Elamite

Bronze Age (3300 - 1200 BC) Early Bronze Age (3300 - 2000 BC) Early Bronze Age
Bronze Age
I 3300 - 3000 BC Protodynastic to Early Dynastic Period of Egypt, settlement of Phoenicians

Early Bronze Age
Bronze Age
II 3000 - 2700 BC Early Dynastic Period of Sumer

Early Bronze Age
Bronze Age
III 2700 - 2200 BC Old Kingdom
Old Kingdom
of Egypt, Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire, early Assyria, Old Elamite period, Sumero- Akkadian
Akkadian
states

Early Bronze Age
Bronze Age
IV 2200 - 2100 BC First Intermediate Period of Egypt

Middle Bronze Age (2000 - 1550 BC) Middle Bronze Age
Bronze Age
I 2100 - 2000 BC Third Dynasty of Ur

Middle Bronze Age
Bronze Age
II A 2000 - 1750 BC Minoan civilization, early Babylonia, Egyptian Middle Kingdom

Middle Bronze Age
Bronze Age
II B 1750 - 1650 BC Second Intermediate Period of Egypt

Middle Bronze Age
Bronze Age
II C 1650 - 1550 BC Hittite Old Kingdom, Minoan eruption

Late Bronze Age (1550 - 1200 BC) Late Bronze Age
Bronze Age
I 1550 - 1400 BC Hittite Middle Kingdom, Hayasa-Azzi, Middle Elamite period, New Kingdom of Egypt

Late Bronze Age
Bronze Age
II A 1400 - 1300 BC Hittite New Kingdom, Mitanni, Hayasa-Azzi, Ugarit, Mycenaean Greece

Late Bronze Age
Bronze Age
II B 1300 - 1200 BC Middle Assyrian Empire, beginning of the high point of Phoenicians

Iron Age (1200 - 539 BC) Iron Age
Iron Age
I (1200 - 1000 BC) Iron Age
Iron Age
I A 1200 - 1150 BC Troy
Troy
VII, Hekla 3 eruption, Bronze Age
Bronze Age
collapse, Sea Peoples

Iron Age
Iron Age
I B 1150 - 1000 BC Neo-Hittite
Neo-Hittite
states, Neo Elamite period, Aramean
Aramean
states

Iron Age
Iron Age
II (1000 - 539 BC) Iron Age
Iron Age
II A 1000 - 900 BC Greek Dark Ages, traditional date of the United Monarchy of Israel

Iron Age
Iron Age
II B 900 - 700 BC Kingdom of Israel, Urartu/Armenia, Phrygia, Neo-Assyrian Empire, Kingdom of Judah, first settlement of Carthage

Iron Age
Iron Age
II C 700 - 539 BC Neo-Babylonian Empire, Median Empire, fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Phoenicia, Archaic Greece, rise of Achaemenid Persia, Achaemenid Phoenicia

Classical Antiquity (post-ANE) (539 BC - 634 AD) Achaemenid 539 – 330 BC Persian Achaemenid Empire, Achaemenid Phoenicia

Hellenistic & Parthian 330 - 31 BC Macedonian Empire, Seleucid Empire, Kingdom of Pergamon, Ptolemaic Kingdom, Parthian Empire

Roman & Persian 31 BC - 634 AD Roman-Persian Wars, Roman Empire, Parthian Empire, Sassanid Empire, Byzantine Empire, Muslim conquests

History[edit] Further information: Timeline of Middle Eastern History Prehistory[edit] Main article: ASPRO chronology

Paleolithic Epipaleolithic and mesolithic

Kebaran culture Natufian culture
Natufian culture
(founding of Göbekli Tepe
Göbekli Tepe
ceremonial site)

Pre-pottery Neolithic
Neolithic
A Pre-pottery Neolithic
Neolithic
B Pre-pottery Neolithic
Neolithic
C Pottery Neolithic

Chalcolithic[edit] Early Mesopotamia[edit] The Uruk period
Uruk period
(c. 4000 to 3100 BC) existed from the protohistoric Chalcolithic
Chalcolithic
to the Early Bronze Age
Bronze Age
period in the history of Mesopotamia, following the Ubaid period.[4] Named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia. It was followed by the Sumerian civilization.[5] The late Uruk period
Uruk period
(34–32 centuries) saw the gradual emergence of the cuneiform script and corresponds to the Early Bronze Age. Bronze Age[edit] Further information: Short chronology timeline

Bronze Age

v t e

↑ Chalcolithic

Near East
Near East
(c. 3300–1200 BC)

Anatolia, Caucasus, Elam, Egypt, Levant, Mesopotamia, Sistan, Canaan Late Bronze Age
Bronze Age
collapse

South Asia (c. 3300–1200 BC)

Indus Valley Civilization Bronze Age
Bronze Age
South Asia Ochre Coloured Pottery Cemetery H

Europe
Europe
(c. 3200–600 BC)

Aegean, Caucasus, Catacomb culture, Minoan, Srubna culture, Beaker culture, Unetice culture, Tumulus culture, Urnfield culture, Hallstatt culture, Apennine culture, Canegrate culture, Golasecca culture, Atlantic Bronze Age, Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Britain, Nordic Bronze Age

East Asia
East Asia
(c. 2000–300 BC)

Erlitou, Erligang, Gojoseon, Jomon, Majiayao, Mumun, Qijia, Siwa, Wucheng, Xindian, Yueshi

arsenical bronze writing literature sword chariot

↓Iron Age

Early Bronze Age[edit] Sumer
Sumer
and Akkad[edit] Sumer, located in southern Mesopotamia, is the earliest known civilization in the world. It lasted from the first settlement of Eridu
Eridu
in the Ubaid period
Ubaid period
(late 6th millennium BC) through the Uruk period (4th millennium BC) and the Dynastic periods (3rd millennium BC) until the rise of Assyria
Assyria
and Babylon
Babylon
in the late 3rd millennium BC and early 2nd millennium BC respectively. The Akkadian
Akkadian
Empire, founded by Sargon the Great, lasted from the 24th to the 21st century BC, and was regarded by many as the world's first empire. The Akkadians eventually fragmented into Assyria
Assyria
and Babylonia. Elam[edit] Ancient Elam
Elam
lay to the east of Sumer
Sumer
and Akkad, in the far west and southwest of modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of Khuzestan
Khuzestan
and Ilam Province. In the Old Elamite period, c. 3200 BC, it consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered on Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered on Susa
Susa
in the Khuzestan
Khuzestan
lowlands. Elam
Elam
was absorbed into the Assyrian Empire
Assyrian Empire
in the 9th to 7th centuries BC; however, the civilization endured up until 539 BC when it was finally overrun by the Iranian Persians. The Proto-Elamite
Proto-Elamite
civilization existed from c. 3200 BC to 2700 BC, when Susa, the later capital of the Elamites, began to receive influence from the cultures of the Iranian plateau. In archaeological terms, this corresponds to the late Banesh
Banesh
period. This civilization is recognized as the oldest in Iran
Iran
and was largely contemporary with its neighbour, the Sumerian civilization. The Proto-Elamite
Proto-Elamite
script is an Early Bronze Age
Bronze Age
writing system briefly in use for the ancient Elamite language (which was a Language isolate) before the introduction of Elamite Cuneiform. The Amorites[edit] The Amorites
Amorites
were a nomadic Semitic people who occupied the country west of the Euphrates
Euphrates
from the second half of the 3rd millennium BC. In the earliest Sumerian sources, beginning about 2400 BC, the land of the Amorites
Amorites
("the Mar.tu land") is associated with the West, including Syria
Syria
and Canaan, although their ultimate origin may have been Arabia.[6] They ultimately settled in Mesopotamia, ruling Isin, Larsa, and later Babylon. Middle Bronze Age[edit]

Assyria, after enduring a short period of Mitanni
Mitanni
domination, emerged as a great power from the accession of Ashur-uballit I in 1365 BC to the death of Tiglath-Pileser I
Tiglath-Pileser I
in 1076 BC. Assyria
Assyria
rivalled Egypt during this period, and dominated much of the near east. Babylonia, founded as a state by Amorite
Amorite
tribes, found itself under the rule of Kassites
Kassites
for 435 years. The nation stagnated during the Kassite period, and Babylonia
Babylonia
often found itself under Assyrian or Elamite domination. Canaan: Ugarit, Kadesh, Megiddo, Kingdom of Israel The Hittite Empire
Hittite Empire
was founded some time after 2000 BC, and existed as a major power, dominating Asia Minor
Asia Minor
and the Levant
Levant
until 1200 BC, when it was first overrun by the Phrygians, and then appropriated by Assyria.

Late Bronze Age[edit] The Hurrians
Hurrians
lived in northern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and areas to the immediate east and west, beginning approximately 2500 BC. They probably originated in the Caucasus
Caucasus
and entered from the north, but this is not certain. Their known homeland was centred on Subartu, the Khabur River valley, and later they established themselves as rulers of small kingdoms throughout northern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and Syria. The largest and most influential Hurrian
Hurrian
nation was the kingdom of Mitanni. The Hurrians
Hurrians
played a substantial part in the History of the Hittites. Ishuwa was an ancient kingdom in Anatolia. The name is first attested in the second millennium BC, and is also spelled Išuwa. In the classical period, the land was a part of Armenia. Ishuwa was one of the places where agriculture developed very early on in the Neolithic. Urban centres emerged in the upper Euphrates
Euphrates
river valley around 3500 BC. The first states followed in the third millennium BC. The name Ishuwa is not known until the literate period of the second millennium BC. Few literate sources from within Ishuwa have been discovered and the primary source material comes from Hittite texts. To the west of Ishuwa lay the kingdom of the Hittites, and this nation was an untrustworthy neighbour. The Hittite king Hattusili I (c. 1600 BC) is reported to have marched his army across the Euphrates
Euphrates
river and destroyed the cities there. This corresponds well with burnt destruction layers discovered by archaeologists at town sites in Ishuwa of roughly the same date. After the end of the Hittite empire in the early 12th century BC a new state emerged in Ishuwa. The city of Malatya
Malatya
became the centre of one of the so-called Neo-Hittite kingdom. The movement of nomadic people may have weakened the kingdom of Malatya
Malatya
before the final Assyrian invasion. The decline of the settlements and culture in Ishuwa from the 7th century BC until the Roman period was probably caused by this movement of people. The Armenians
Armenians
later settled in the area since they were natives of the Armenian Plateau and related to the earlier inhabitants of Ishuwa. Kizzuwatna
Kizzuwatna
is the name of an ancient kingdom of the second millennium BC. It was situated in the highlands of southeastern Anatolia, near the Gulf of İskenderun
Gulf of İskenderun
in modern-day Turkey. It encircled the Taurus Mountains and the Ceyhan river. The centre of the kingdom was the city of Kummanni, situated in the highlands. In a later era, the same region was known as Cilicia. Luwian
Luwian
is an extinct language of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. Luwian
Luwian
speakers gradually spread through Anatolia
Anatolia
and became a contributing factor to the downfall, after c. 1180 BC, of the Hittite Empire, where it was already widely spoken. Luwian
Luwian
was also the language spoken in the Neo-Hittite
Neo-Hittite
states of Syria, such as Melid
Melid
and Carchemish, as well as in the central Anatolian kingdom of Tabal
Tabal
that flourished around 900 BC. Luwian
Luwian
has been preserved in two forms, named after the writing systems used to represent them: Cuneiform Luwian, and Hieroglyphic Luwian. Mari was an ancient Sumerian and Amorite
Amorite
city, located 11 kilometres north-west of the modern town of Abu Kamal
Abu Kamal
on the western bank of Euphrates
Euphrates
river, some 120 km southeast of Deir ez-Zor, Syria. It is thought to have been inhabited since the 5th millennium BC, although it flourished from 2900 BC until 1759 BC, when it was sacked by Hammurabi. Mitanni
Mitanni
was a Hurrian
Hurrian
kingdom in northern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
from c. 1500 BC, at the height of its power, during the 14th century BC, encompassing what is today southeastern Turkey, northern Syria
Syria
and northern Iraq (roughly corresponding to Kurdistan), centred on the capital Washukanni
Washukanni
whose precise location has not yet been determined by archaeologists. The Mitanni
Mitanni
kingdom is thought to have been a feudal state led by a warrior nobility of Indo-Aryan descent, who invaded the Levant
Levant
region at some point during the 17th century BC, their influence apparent in a linguistic superstratum in Mitanni
Mitanni
records. The spread to Syria
Syria
of a distinct pottery type associated with the Kura-Araxes culture
Kura-Araxes culture
has been connected with this movement, although its date is somewhat too early.[7] Yamhad
Yamhad
was an ancient Amorite kingdom. A substantial Hurrian
Hurrian
population also settled in the kingdom, and the Hurrian
Hurrian
culture influenced the area. The kingdom was powerful during the Middle Bronze Age, c. 1800-1600 BC. Its biggest rival was Qatna
Qatna
further south. Yamhad
Yamhad
was finally destroyed by the Hittites
Hittites
in the 16th century BC. The Aramaeans
Aramaeans
were a Semitic (West Semitic language
Semitic language
group), semi-nomadic and pastoralist people who had lived in upper Mesopotamia and Syria. Aramaeans
Aramaeans
have never had a unified empire; they were divided into independent kingdoms all across the Near East. Yet to these Aramaeans
Aramaeans
befell the privilege of imposing their language and culture upon the entire Near East
Near East
and beyond, fostered in part by the mass relocations enacted by successive empires, including the Assyrians and Babylonians. Scholars even have used the term 'Aramaization' for the Assyro-Babylonian peoples' languages and cultures, that have become Aramaic-speaking.[8] The Sea peoples
Sea peoples
is the term used for a confederacy of seafaring raiders of the second millennium BC who sailed into the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, caused political unrest, and attempted to enter or control Egyptian territory during the late 19th dynasty, and especially during Year 8 of Ramesses III
Ramesses III
of the 20th Dynasty.[9] The Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah
Merneptah
explicitly refers to them by the term "the foreign-countries (or 'peoples'[10]) of the sea"[11][12] in his Great Karnak Inscription.[13] Although some scholars believe that they "invaded" Cyprus, Hatti and the Levant, this hypothesis is disputed.[14] Bronze Age
Bronze Age
collapse[edit] The Bronze Age
Bronze Age
collapse is the name given by those historians who see the transition from the Late Bronze Age
Bronze Age
to the Early Iron Age
Iron Age
as violent, sudden and culturally disruptive, expressed by the collapse of palace economies of the Aegean and Anatolia, which were replaced after a hiatus by the isolated village cultures of the Dark Age
Dark Age
period in history of the ancient Middle East. Some have gone so far as to call the catalyst that ended the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
a "catastrophe".[15] The Bronze Age
Bronze Age
collapse may be seen in the context of a technological history that saw the slow, comparatively continuous spread of iron-working technology in the region, beginning with precocious iron-working in what is now Romania
Romania
in the 13th and 12th centuries.[16] The cultural collapse of the Mycenaean kingdoms, the Hittite Empire
Hittite Empire
in Anatolia
Anatolia
and Syria, and the Egyptian Empire in Syria and Israel, the scission of long-distance trade contacts and sudden eclipse of literacy occurred between 1206 and 1150 BC. In the first phase of this period, almost every city between Troy
Troy
and Gaza was violently destroyed, and often left unoccupied thereafter (for example, Hattusas, Mycenae, Ugarit). The gradual end of the Dark Age that ensued saw the rise of settled Neo-Hittite
Neo-Hittite
and Aramaean
Aramaean
kingdoms of the mid-10th century BC, and the rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Iron Age[edit]

Iron Age This box:

view talk edit

↑ Bronze Age

Bronze Age
Bronze Age
collapse (1200 – 1150 BC) Ancient Near East
Near East
(1200 – 550 BC)

Anatolia, Caucasus, Levant

Ancient Europe Aegean (1190 – 700 BC):

Late Helladic IIIC Protogeometric period Geometric period

Italy (1100 – 700 BC) Balkans (1100 BC – 150 AD) Eastern Europe
Europe
(900 – 650 BC) Central Europe
Europe
(800 – 50 BC)

Hallstatt C, La Tène C

Great Britain (800 BC – 100 AD) Northern Europe
Europe
(500 BC – 800 AD) East Asia
East Asia
(500 BC – 300 AD)

China, Japan, Korea

South Asia (1200 – 200 BC)

Painted Grey Ware Northern Black Polished Ware

Iron metallurgy in Africa

Iron Age
Iron Age
metallurgy Ancient iron production

↓ Ancient history

Mediterranean, Greater Persia, South Asia, China

Historiography

Greek, Roman, Chinese, Medieval

During the Early Iron Age, from 911 BC, the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Neo-Assyrian Empire
arose, vying with Babylonia
Babylonia
and other lesser powers for dominance of the region, though not until the reforms of Tiglath-Pileser III
Tiglath-Pileser III
in the 8th century BC,[17][18] did it become a powerful and vast empire. In the Middle Assyrian period
Middle Assyrian period
of the Late Bronze Age, Assyria
Assyria
had been a kingdom of northern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
(modern-day northern Iraq), competing for dominance with its southern Mesopotamian rival Babylonia. From 1365-1076 it had been a major imperial power, rivaling Egypt
Egypt
and the Hittite Empire. Beginning with the campaign of Adad-nirari II, it became a vast empire, overthrowing 25th dynasty Egypt
Egypt
and conquering Egypt, the Middle East, and large swaths of Asia Minor, ancient Iran, the Caucasus
Caucasus
and east Mediterranean. The Neo-Assyrian Empire
Neo-Assyrian Empire
succeeded the Middle Assyrian period
Middle Assyrian period
(14th to 10th century BC). Some scholars, such as Richard Nelson Frye, regard the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Neo-Assyrian Empire
to be the first real empire in human history.[19] During this period, Aramaic was also made an official language of the empire, alongside the Akkadian
Akkadian
language.[19] The states of the Neo-Hittite
Neo-Hittite
kingdoms were Luwian, Aramaic
Aramaic
and Phoenician-speaking political entities of Iron Age
Iron Age
northern Syria
Syria
and southern Anatolia
Anatolia
that arose following the collapse of the Hittite Empire around 1180 BC and lasted until roughly 700 BC. The term "Neo-Hittite" is sometimes reserved specifically for the Luwian-speaking principalities like Melid
Melid
(Malatya) and Karkamish (Carchemish), although in a wider sense the broader cultural term "Syro-Hittite" is now applied to all the entities that arose in south-central Anatolia
Anatolia
following the Hittite collapse – such as Tabal
Tabal
and Quwê
Quwê
– as well as those of northern and coastal Syria.[20] Urartu
Urartu
was an ancient kingdom of Armenia
Armenia
and North Mesopotamia[21] which existed from c. 860 BC, emerging from the Late Bronze Age
Bronze Age
until 585 BC. The Kingdom of Urartu
Urartu
was located in the mountainous plateau between Asia Minor, the Iranian Plateau, Mesopotamia, and the Caucasus mountains, later known as the Armenian Highland, and it centered on Lake Van
Lake Van
(present-day eastern Turkey). The name corresponds to the Biblical Ararat. The term Neo-Babylonian Empire
Neo-Babylonian Empire
refers to Babylonia
Babylonia
under the rule of the 11th ("Chaldean") dynasty, from the revolt of Nabopolassar
Nabopolassar
in 623 BC until the invasion of Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
in 539 BC (Although the last ruler of Babylonia
Babylonia
(Nabonidus) was in fact from the Assyrian city of Harran
Harran
and not Chaldean), notably including the reign of Nebuchadrezzar II. Through the centuries of Assyrian domination, Babylonia
Babylonia
enjoyed a prominent status, and revolted at the slightest indication that it did not. However, the Assyrians always managed to restore Babylonian loyalty, whether through the granting of increased privileges, or militarily. That finally changed in 627 BC with the death of the last strong Assyrian ruler, Ashurbanipal, and Babylonia rebelled under Nabopolassar
Nabopolassar
the Chaldean a few years later. In alliance with the Medes
Medes
and Scythians, Nineveh
Nineveh
was sacked in 612 and Harran
Harran
in 608 BC, and the seat of empire was again transferred to Babylonia. Subsequently, the Medes
Medes
controlled much of the ancient Near East from their base in Ecbatana
Ecbatana
(modern-day Hamadan, Iran), most notably most of what is now Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and the South Caucasus. Following the fall of the Medes, the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
was the first of the Persian Empires
Empires
to rule over most of the Near East
Near East
and far beyond, and the second great Iranian empire (after the Median Empire). At the height of its power, encompassing approximately 7.5 million square kilometers, the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
was territorially the largest empire of classical antiquity, and the first world empire. It spanned three continents (Europe, Asia, and Africa), including apart from its core in modern-day Iran, the territories of modern Iraq, the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Abkhazia), Asia Minor (Turkey), Thrace, Bulgaria, Greece, many of the Black Sea
Black Sea
coastal regions, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Central Asia, parts of Pakistan, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt
Egypt
as far west as Libya.[22] It is noted in western history as the foe of the Greek city states in the Greco-Persian Wars, for freeing the Israelites
Israelites
from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting Aramaic
Aramaic
as the empire's official language. Religions[edit] Main article: Religions of the ancient Near East Ancient civilizations in the Near East
Near East
were deeply influenced by their spiritual beliefs, which generally did not distinguish between heaven and Earth.[23] They believed that divine action influenced all mundane matters, and also believed in divination (ability to predict the future).[23] Omens were often inscribed in ancient Egypt
Egypt
and Mesopotamia, as were records of major events.[23] See also[edit]

Ancient Near East
Near East
portal

Ancient Near East
Near East
studies Ancient history Cities of the ancient Near East Economy of Urartu History of Mesopotamia History of pottery in the Southern Levant List of museums of ancient Near Eastern art

References[edit]

^ "Daily Life In Ancient Mesopotamia". Retrieved 28 February 2015.  ^ "Armenian Highland". Retrieved 28 February 2015.  ^ Samuel Noah Kramer, History Begins at Sumer, (tr. Mendelson, F. A., Moscow, 1963). ^ Sumer
Sumer
and the Sumerians, by Harriet E. W. Crawford, p 69 ^ Sumer
Sumer
and the Sumerians, by Harriet E. W. Crawford, p 75 ^ Amorite[permanent dead link] Encyclopædia Britannica ^ James P. Mallory, "Kuro-Araxes Culture", Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997. ^ See page 9. Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine. ^ A convenient table of sea peoples in hieroglyphics, transliteration and English is given in the dissertation of Woodhuizen, 2006, who developed it from works of Kitchen cited there. ^ As noted by Gardiner V.1 p.196, other texts have

ḫȝty.w "foreign-peoples"; both terms can refer to the concept of "foreigners" as well. Zangger in the external link below expresses a commonly held view that "sea peoples" does not translate this and other expressions but is an academic innovation. The Woudhuizen dissertation and the Morris paper identify Gaston Maspero
Gaston Maspero
as the first to use the term "peuples de la mer" in 1881. ^ Gardiner V.1 p.196. ^ Manassa p.55. ^ Line 52. The inscription is shown in Manassa p.55 plate 12. ^ Several articles in Oren. ^ Drews, Robert (1995). The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe CA 1200 B.C. United States: Princeton University Press. p. 264. ISBN 978-0-691-02591-9.  ^ See A. Stoia and the other essays in M.L. Stig Sørensen and R. Thomas, eds., The Bronze Age— Iron Age
Iron Age
Transition in Europe
Europe
(Oxford) 1989, and T.H. Wertime and J.D. Muhly, The Coming of the Age of Iron (New Haven) 1980. ^ Assyrian Eponym List ^ Tadmor, H. (1994). The Inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser III, King of Assyria.pp.29 ^ a b Frye, Richard N. (1992). " Assyria
Assyria
and Syria: Synonyms". PhD., Harvard University. Journal of Near Eastern Studies. And the ancient Assyrian empire, was the first real, empire in history. What do I mean, it had many different peoples included in the empire, all speaking Aramaic, and becoming what may be called, "Assyrian citizens." That was the first time in history, that we have this. For example, Elamite musicians, were brought to Nineveh, and they were 'made Assyrians' which means, that Assyria, was more than a small country, it was the empire, the whole Fertile Crescent.  ^ Hawkins, John David; 1982a. " Neo-Hittite
Neo-Hittite
States in Syria
Syria
and Anatolia" in Cambridge Ancient History (2nd ed.) 3.1: 372-441. Also: Hawkins, John David; 1995. "The Political Geography of North Syria
Syria
and South-East Anatolia
Anatolia
in the Neo-Assyrian Period" in Neo-Assyrian Geography, Mario Liverani (ed.), Università di Roma "La Sapienza", Dipartimento di Scienze storiche, archeologiche e anthropologiche dell’Antichità, Quaderni di Geografia Storica 5: Roma: Sargon srl, 87-101. ^ Urartu
Urartu
article, Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2007 ^ Full translation of the Behistun Inscription ^ a b c Lamberg-Karlovsky, C. C. & Jeremy A. Sabloff (1979). Ancient Civilizations: The Near East
Near East
and Mesoamerica. Benjamin/Cummings Publishing. p. 4. 

Further reading[edit]

Fletcher, Banister; Cruickshank, Dan, Sir Banister Fletcher's a History of Architecture, Architectural Press, 20th edition, 1996 (first published 1896). ISBN 0-7506-2267-9. Cf. Part One, Chapter 4. William W. Hallo & William Kelly Simpson, The Ancient Near East: A History, Holt Rinehart and Winston Publishers, 2nd edition, 1997. ISBN 0-15-503819-2. Jack Sasson, The Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, New York, 1995 Marc Van de Mieroop, History of the Ancient Near East: Ca. 3000-323 B.C., Blackwell Publishers, 2nd edition, 2006 (first published 2003). ISBN 1-4051-4911-6. Pittman, Holly (1984). Art of the Bronze Age: southeastern Iran, western Central Asia, and the Indus Valley. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 9780870993657. 

External links[edit]

The History of the Ancient Near East
Near East
– A database of the prehistoric Near East
Near East
as well as its ancient history up to approximately the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans ... Vicino Oriente[permanent dead link] – Vicino Oriente is the journal of the Section Near East
Near East
of the Department of Historical, Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences of Antiquity of Rome 'La Sapienza' University. The Journal, which is published yearly, deals with Near Eastern History, Archaeology, Epigraphy, extending its view also on the whole Mediterranean
Mediterranean
with the study of Phoenician and Punic documents. It is accompanied by 'Quaderni di Vicino Oriente', a monograph series. Ancient Near East.net – an information and content portal for the archaeology, ancient history, and culture of the ancient Near East
Near East
and Egypt Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution The Freer Gallery houses a famous collection of ancient Near Eastern artefacts and records, notebooks and photographs of excavations in Samarra
Samarra
(Iraq), Persepolis and Pasargadae
Pasargadae
(Iran) The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives The archives for The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery houses the papers of Ernst Herzfeld
Ernst Herzfeld
regarding his many excavations, along with records of other archeological excavations in the ancient Near East. Archaeowiki.org—a wiki for the research and documentation of the ancient Near East
Near East
and Egypt ETANA – website hosted by a consortium of universities in the interests of providing digitized resources and relevant web links Ancient Near East
Near East
Photographs This collection, created by Professor Scott Noegel, documents artifacts and archaeological sites of the ancient Near East; from the University of Washington Libraries Digital Image Collection Near East
Near East
Images A directory of archaeological images of the ancient Near East Bioarchaeology of the Near East
Near East
An Open Access journal

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