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First Babylonian Dynasty

The chronology of the first dynasty of Babylonia is debated as there is a Babylonian King List
A and a Babylonian King List B. In this chronology, the regnal years of List A are used due to
their wide usage. The reigns in List B are longer, in general.
The short chronology:



Sumu-abum or Su- ca. 1830

1817 BC

Contemporary of Ilushuma of Assyria


ca. 1817
1781 BC

Contemporary of Erishum I of Assyria

Sabium or Sabum

ca. 1781
1767 BC

Son of Sumu-la-El


ca. 1767
1749 BC

Son of Sabium


ca. 1748
1729 BC

Son of Apil-Sin


ca. 1728
1686 BC

Contemporary of Zimri-Lim of Mari, Siwe-palarhuppak of Elam and Shamshi-Adad I


ca. 1686
1648 BC

Son of Hammurabi

Abi-eshuh or

ca. 1648
1620 BC

Son of Samsu-iluna


ca. 1620
1583 BC

Son of Abi-eshuh

Ammi-saduqa or

ca. 1582
1562 BC

Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa


ca. 1562
1531 BC

Sack of Babylon

Origins of the First Dynasty

The actual origins of the Dynasty are rather hard to pinpoint with great certainty simply because
Babylon itself, due to a high water table, yields very few archaeological materials intact. Thus

any evidence must come from surrounding regions and written records. Not much is known
about the kings from Sumuabum through Sin-muballit other than the fact they were Amorites
rather than indigenous Akkadians. What is known, however, is that they accumulated little land.
When Hammurabi (also an Amorite) ascended the throne of Babylon, the empire only consisted
of a few towns in the surrounding area: Dilbat, Sippar, Kish, and Borsippa. Once Hammurabi
was king, his military victories gained land for the empire. However, Babylon remained but one
of several important areas in Mesopotamia, along with Assyria, then ruled by Shamshi-Adad I,
and Larsa, then ruled by Rim-Sin.
In Hammurabi's thirtieth year as king, he really began to establish Babylon as the center of what
would be a great empire. In that year, he conquered Larsa from Rim-Sin, thus gaining control
over the lucrative urban centers of Nippur, Ur, Uruk, and Isin. In essence, Hammurabi gained
control over all of south Mesopotamia. The other formidable political power in the region in the
2nd millennium was Eshnunna, which Hammurabi succeeded in capturing in c. 1761. Babylon
exploited Eshnunna's well-established commercial trade routes and the economic stability that
came with them. It was not long before Hammurabi's army took Assyria (another economic
powerhouse) and parts of the Zagros Mountains. In 1760, Hammurabi finally captured Mari, the
final piece of the puzzle that gave him control over virtually all of the territory that made up
Mesopotamia under the Third Dynasty of Ur in the 3rd millennium.
Hammurabi's other name was Hammurapi-ilu,[citation needed] meaning "Hammurapi the god" or
perhaps "Hammurapi is god." He could have been Amraphel king of Shinar or Sinear in the
Jewish records and the Bible, a contemporary of Abraham. Abraham lived from 1871 to 1784,
according to modern interpretations of the Old Testament's figures that have been usually
reckoned in modern half years before the Exodus, from equinox to equinox.[citation needed]
A recent translation of the Chogha Gavaneh tablets which date back to 1800 BC indicates there
were close contacts between this town located in the intermontane valley of Islamabad in Central
Zagros and Dyala region.
The Venus tablets of Ammisaduqa (i.e., several ancient versions on clay tablets) are famous, and
several books had been published about them. Several dates have been offered but the old dates
of many sourcebooks seems to be outdated and incorrect. There are further difficulties: the 21
years span of the detailed observations of the planet Venus may or may not coincide with the
reign of this king, because his name is not mentioned, only the Year of the Golden Throne. A few
sources, some printed almost a century ago, claim that the original text mentions an occultation
of the Venus by the moon. However, this may be a misinterpretation.[1] Calculations support 1659
for the fall of Babylon, based on the statistical probability of dating based on the planet's
observations. The prese
An Amorite chieftain named Sumuab

painting-brush. The outside rim motifs are spaced and limited by groups of horizontal lines. [1]

Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
The Neolithic
This box:




Fertile Crescent
Levantine corridor
Heavy Neolithic
Trihedral Neolithic
Qaraoun culture
Tahunian culture
Yarmukian Culture
Halaf culture
Transitional period
Ubaid culture
Pre-Pottery (A, B)
Tell Aswad

Boian culture
Butmir culture
Cernavod culture
Coofeni culture
Dudeti culture
Gorneti culture
Karanovo culture
Hamangia culture
Linear Pottery
Malta Temples
Petreti culture
Sesklo culture
Tisza culture
Usatovo culture
Varna culture
Vina culture
Vuedol culture
Peiligang culture
Beixin culture
Cishan culture

Dadiwan culture
Houli culture
Xinle culture
Hemudu culture
Daxi culture
Majiabang culture
Yangshao culture
Hongshan culture
Dawenkou culture
Songze culture
Liangzhu culture
Majiayao culture
Qujialing culture
Longshan culture
Baodun culture
Shijiahe culture
South Asia

farming, animal husbandry

pottery, metallurgy, wheel
circular ditches, henges,
Neolithic religion

Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) is a division of the Neolithic developed by Kathleen Kenyon

during her archaeological excavations at Jericho in the West Bank.

Cultural tendencies of this period differ from that of the earlier Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA)
period in that people living during this period began to depend more heavily upon domesticated
animals to supplement their earlier mixed agrarian and hunter-gatherer diet. In addition the flint
tool kit of the period is new and quite disparate from that of the earlier period. One of its major
elements is the naviform core. This is the first period in which architectural styles of the southern
Levant became primarily rectilinear; earlier typical dwellings were circular, elliptical and
occasionally even octagonal. Pyrotechnology was highly developed in this period. During this
period, one of the main features of houses is evidenced by a thick layer of white clay plaster
floors highly polished and made of lime produced from limestone. It is believed that the use of
clay plaster for floor and wall coverings during PPNB led to the discovery of pottery.[1] The
earliest proto-pottery was White Ware vessels, made from lime and gray ash, built up around
baskets before firing, for several centuries around 7000 BC at sites such as Tell Neba'a Faour
(Beqaa Valley).[2] Sites from this period found in the Levant utilizing rectangular floor plans and
plastered floor techniques were found at Ain Ghazal, Yiftahel (western Galilee), and Abu
Hureyra (Upper Euphrates).[3] The period is dated to between ca. 10,700 and ca. 8,000 BP or
7000 - 6000 BCE.
Danielle Stordeur's recent work at Tell Aswad, a large agricultural village between Mount
Hermon and Damascus could not validate Henri de Contenson's earlier suggestion of a PPNA
Aswadian culture. Instead, they found evidence of a fully established PPNB culture at 8700 BC
at Aswad, pushing back the period's generally accepted start date by 1,200 years. Similar sites to
Tell Aswad in the Damascus Basin of the same age were found at Tell Ramad and Tell Ghoraif.
How a PPNB culture could spring up in this location, practicing domesticated farming from 8700
BC has been the subject of speculation. Whether it created its own culture or imported traditions
from the North East or Southern Levant has been considered an important question for a site that
poses a problem for the scientific community.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]
Like the earlier PPNA people, the PPNB culture developed from the Earlier Natufian but shows
evidence of a northerly origin, possibly indicating an influx from the region of north eastern
Anatolia. The culture disappeared during the 8.2 kiloyear event, a term that climatologists have
adopted for a sudden decrease in global temperatures that occurred approximately 8,200 years
before the present, or c. 6200 BCE, and which lasted for the next two to four centuries. In the
following Munhatta and Yarmukian post-pottery Neolithic cultures that succeeded it, rapid
cultural development continues, although PPNB culture continued in the Amuq valley, where it
influenced the later development of Ghassulian culture.
Work at the site of 'Ain Ghazal in Jordan has indicated a later Pre-Pottery Neolithic C period
which existed between 8,200 and 7,900 BP. Juris Zarins has proposed that a Circum Arabian
Nomadic Pastoral Complex developed in the period from the climatic crisis of 6200 BCE, partly
as a result of an increasing emphasis in PPNB cultures upon animal domesticates, and a fusion
with Harifian hunter gatherers in Southern Palestine, with affiliate connections with the cultures
of Fayyum and the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Cultures practicing this lifestyle spread down the
Red Sea shoreline and moved east from Syria into southern Iraq.[12]

Syro-Hittite states
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The states that are called Neo-Hittite, or more recently Syro-Hittite were Luwian, Aramaic and
Phoenician-speaking political entities of the Iron Age in northern Syria and southern Anatolia
that arose following the collapse of the Hittite Empire around 1180 BC and which lasted until
roughly 700 BC. The term "Neo-Hittite" is sometimes reserved specifically for the Luwianspeaking principalities like Milid and 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
following the Hittite collapsesuch as Tabal and Quwas well as those of northern and
coastal Syria.[1]

1 Late Bronze Age-Early Iron Age transition

2 List of Syro-Hittite states

3 Inscriptions

4 See also

5 Notes

6 External links

Late Bronze Age-Early Iron Age transition

This section may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion,
tone, or spelling. You can assist by editing it. (November 2014)
Further information: Bronze Age collapse

The vast Hittite empire at its maximum expansion in the lands of central Anatolia

The collapse of the Hittite Empire is usually associated with the gradual decline of Eastern
Mediterranean trade networks and the resulting collapse of major Late Bronze Age cities in the
Levantine coast, Anatolia and the Aegean.[2] In the middle of the 13th century BC, great groups
of Greeks speaking ancient Dorian dialects moved from the north through the Balkan region to
the south. The Thracians who occupied this region, and northern Greece, were forced to move to
the western coasts, and later to the inland of Anatolia, where they became known as Phrygians
and Mysians. At the end of the 13th century BC, the Mycenean palaces in inland Greece were
destroyed by invaders and almost simultaneously sea-raiders devastated the palace at Pylos. [3] [4]
A few decades later, at the beginning of the 12th century BC, Homeric Troy was destroyed[5] and
the Hittite Empire suffered a sudden devastating attack from the Kaskas, who occupied the coasts
around the Black Sea, and who were joined with the Mysians. They proceeded to destroy almost
all Hittite sites but they were finally defeated by the Assyrians beyond the southern borders near
Tigris[6] These great population movements in the Eastern-Meditterannean are documented in the
records of Ramesses III (11861155 BCE) as an invasion by the so-called sea peoples.[7]
Mentioned as being among them are the people of Adana (Dnnym or Danuna) in Cilicia and
probably the Troyans. Hatti, Arzawa (Lydia), Alashiya (Cyprus), Ugarit and Alalakh were
destroyed.[8] The invaders were defeated near the borders of Egypt.
It seems that the sea-peoples contributed to the collapse of the Empire, although they are only
mentioned in the Egyptian records and the archaeological evidence is insufficient. Their invasion
caused the movement, by both land and sea, of large populations seeking new land to settle.[9] In
fact, it is recorded that the foreign countries made a conspiracy in their islands and that no land
could stand before their arms. The Hittites were strong enough to survive the first stream of
emigrations, but they didn't escape the second, where they were surrounded by enemies. The
Caska were a continuous trouble, the borders with Arzawa were never considered safe, Mitanni
to the south was always an enemy and a few decades earlier the Hittites suffered a great defeat
against the Assyrians beyond the borders.[10] These Neo-Hittite Kingdoms gradually fell under
the control of the Neo Assyrian Empire (911608 BC).
Hattusa, the Hittite capital, was completely destroyed. Following this collapse of large cities and
the Hittite state, the Early Iron Age in northern Mesopotamia saw a dispersal of settlements and
ruralization, with the appearance of large numbers of hamlets, villages, and farmsteads.[11] Syro
Hittite states emerged in the process of such major landscape transformation, in the form of
regional states with new political structures and cultural affiliations. David Hawkins was able to
trace a dynastic link between the Hittite imperial dynasty and the "Great Kings" and "Countrylords" of Melid and Karkamish of the Early Iron Age, proving an uninterrupted continuity
between the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age at those sites.[12]
Aside from literary evidence from inscriptions, the uninterrupted cultural continuity in the region
of Neo-Hittite states from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age is now further confirmed by
the recent archaeological work at the sites of Aleppo (Temple of the Storm God on the Citadel)[13]
and Ain Dara (Temple of Ishtar-Shawushka),[14] where temples built in the Late Bronze Age

continue into the Iron Age without hiatus, and those temples witness multiple rebuildings in the
Early Iron Age.
List of Syro-Hittite states

Historical map of the Neo-Hittite states, c. 800 BCE. Borders are approximate only.

The SyroHittite states may be divided into two groups: a northern group where Hittite rulers
remained in power, and a southern group where Aramaeans came to rule from about 1000 BC.
Although these states are considered somewhat unified, they were thought to actually be
disunified, even in separate kingdoms.[15][16]
The northern group includes:

Tabal. It may have included a group of city states called the Tyanitis (Tuwana,
Tunna, Hupisna, Shinukhtu, Ishtunda)

Kammanu (with Melid)


Quw (with a stronghold at modern Karatepe)




The southern, Aramaic, group includes:

Palistin (cpital was probably Tell Tayinat)[17][18]

Bit Gabbari (with Sam'al)

Bit-Adini (with the city of Til Barsip)

Bit Bahiani (with Guzana)

Pattin (also Pattina or Unqi) (with the city of Kinalua, maybe modern Tell

Ain Dara, a religious center

Bit Agusi (with the cities of Arpad, Nampigi, and (later on) Aleppo)

Hatarikka-Luhuti (the capital city of which was at Hatarikka)



Luwian monumental inscriptions in Anatolian hieroglyphs continue uninterrupted from the 13thcentury Hittite imperial monuments to the Early Iron Age Syro-Hittite inscriptions of Karkamish,
Melid, Aleppo and elsewhere.[20] Luwian hieroglyphs was chosen by many of the Syro-Hittite
regional kingdoms for their monumental inscriptions, which often appear in bi or tri-lingual
inscriptions with Aramaic, Phoenician or Akkadian versions. The Early Iron Age in Northern
Mesopotamia also saw a gradual spread of alphabetic writing in Aramaic and Phoenician. During
the cultural interactions on the Levantine coast of Syro-Palestine and North Syria in the tenth
through 8th centuries BCE, Greeks and Phrygians adopted the alphabetic writing from the

For other uses see Hammurabi (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Ammurapi.


Hammurabi (standing), depicted as receiving

his royal insignia from Shamash. Hammurabi
holds his hands over his mouth as a sign of
prayer[1] (relief on the upper part of the stele of
Hammurabi's code of laws).

~1810 BC


1750 BC middle chronology


Known for

Code of Hammurabi


King of Babylon


42 years; c. 1792 1750 BC







Babylonian religion





Map showing the Babylonian territory upon Hammurabi's ascension in c. 1792 BC

and upon his death in c. 1750 BC

Hammurabi (Akkadian from Amorite Ammurpi, "the kinsman is a healer", from Ammu,
"paternal kinsman", and Rpi, "healer"; died c. 1750 BC) was the sixth Amorite king of Babylon
(that is, of the First Babylonian Dynasty, the Amorite Dynasty) from 1792 BC to 1750 BC
middle chronology (1728 BC 1686 BC short chronology[2]). He became the first king of the
Babylonian Empire following the abdication of his father, Sin-Muballit, who had become very ill
and died, extending Babylon's control over Mesopotamia by winning a series of wars against
neighboring kingdoms.[3] Although his empire controlled all of Mesopotamia at the time of his
death, his successors were unable to maintain his empire. Hammurabi is known for the set of
laws called Hammurabi's Code, one of the first written codes of law in recorded history.

This bust, known as the "Head of Hammurabi", is now thought to predate

Hammurabi by a few hundred years [4] (Louvre)

Hammurabi was an Amorite First Dynasty king of the city-state of Babylon, and inherited the
power from his father, Sin-Muballit, in c. 1792 BC.[5] Babylon was one of the many largely
Amorite ruled city-states that dotted the central and southern Mesopotamian plains and waged
war on each other for control of fertile agricultural land.[6] Though many cultures co-existed in
Mesopotamia, Babylonian culture gained a degree of prominence among the literate classes
throughout the Middle East under Hammurabi.[7] The kings who came before Hammurabi had
founded a relatively minor City State in 1894 BC which controlled little territory outside of the
city itself. Babylon was overshadowed by older, larger and more powerful kingdoms such as
Elam, Assyria, Isin, Eshnunna and Larsa for a century or so after its founding. However his
father Sin-Muballit had begun to consolidate rule of a small area of south central Mesopotamia
under Babylonian hegemony and, by the time of his reign, had conquered the minor city-states of
Borsippa, Kish, and Sippar.[7]
Thus Hammurabi ascended to the throne as the king of a minor kingdom in the midst of a
complex geopolitical situation. The powerful kingdom of Eshnunna controlled the upper Tigris
River while Larsa controlled the river delta. To the east of Mesopotamia lay the powerful
kingdom of Elam which regularly invaded and forced tribute upon the small states of southern
Mesopotamia. In northern Mesopotamia, the Assyrian king Shamshi-Adad I, who had already
inherited centuries old Assyrian colonies in Asia Minor, had expanded his territory into the
Levant and central Mesopotamia,[8] although his untimely death would somewhat fragment his

The first few decades of Hammurabi's reign were quite peaceful. Hammurabi used his power to
undertake a series of public works, including heightening the city walls for defensive purposes,
and expanding the temples.[10] In c. 1801 BC, the powerful kingdom of Elam, which straddled
important trade routes across the Zagros Mountains, invaded the Mesopotamian plain.[11] With
allies among the plain states, Elam attacked and destroyed the kingdom of Eshnunna, destroying
a number of cities and imposing its rule on portions of the plain for the first time.[12] In order to
consolidate its position, Elam tried to start a war between Hammurabi's Babylonian kingdom and
the kingdom of Larsa.[13] Hammurabi and the king of Larsa made an alliance when they
discovered this duplicity and were able to crush the Elamites, although Larsa did not contribute
greatly to the military effort.[13] Angered by Larsa's failure to come to his aid, Hammurabi turned
on that southern power, thus gaining control of the entirety of the lower Mesopotamian plain by
c. 1763 BC.[14]
As Hammurabi was assisted during the war in the south by his allies from the north such as
Yamhad and Mari, the absence of soldiers in the north led to unrest.[14] Continuing his expansion,
Hammurabi turned his attention northward, quelling the unrest and soon after crushing
Eshnunna.[15] Next the Babylonian armies conquered the remaining northern states, including
Babylon's former ally Mari, although it is possible that the 'conquest' of Mari was a surrender
without any actual conflict.[16][17][18]
Hammurabi entered into a protracted war with Ishme-Dagan I of Assyria for control of
Mesopotamia, with both kings making alliances with minor states in order to gain the upper
hand. Eventually Hammurabi prevailed, ousting Ishme-Dagan I just before his own death. MutAshkur the new king of Assyria was forced to pay tribute to Hammurabi, however Babylon did
not rule Assyria directly.
In just a few years, Hammurabi had succeeded in uniting all of Mesopotamia under his rule.[18]
The Assyrian kingdom survived but was forced to pay tribute during his reign, and of the major
city-states in the region, only Aleppo and Qatna to the west in the Levant maintained their
independence.[18] However, one stele of Hammurabi has been found as far north as Diyarbekir,
where he claims the title "King of the Amorites".[19]
Vast numbers of contract tablets, dated to the reigns of Hammurabi and his successors, have been
discovered, as well as 55 of his own letters.[20] These letters give a glimpse into the daily trials of
ruling an empire, from dealing with floods and mandating changes to a flawed calendar, to
taking care of Babylon's massive herds of livestock.[21] Hammurabi died and passed the reins of
the empire on to his son Samsu-iluna in c. 1750 BC, under whose rule the Babylonian empire
began to quickly unravel.[22]

1 Code of laws

1.1 Significant laws in Hammurabi's code

2 Legacy and depictions

3 See also

4 Notes

5 References

6 Further reading

7 External links

Code of laws
Main article: Code of Hammurabi

Code of Hammurabi stele. Louvre Museum, Paris

Hammurabi is best known for the promulgation of a new code of Babylonian law: the Code of
Hammurabi. One of the first written laws in the world,[citation needed] the Code of Hammurabi was
inscribed on a stele and placed in a public place so that all could see it, although it is thought that
few were literate. The stele was later plundered by the Elamites and removed to their capital,
Susa; it was rediscovered there in 1901 in Iran and is now in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The
code of Hammurabi contained 282 laws, written by scribes on 12 tablets. Unlike earlier laws, it
was written in Akkadian, the daily language of Babylon, and could therefore be read by any
literate person in the city.[23]

The structure of the code is very specific, with each offense receiving a specified punishment.
The punishments tended to be very harsh by modern standards, with many offenses resulting in
death, disfigurement, or the use of the "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth" (Lex Talionis "Law of
Retaliation") philosophy.[24] The code is also one of the earliest examples of the idea of
presumption of innocence, and it also suggests that the accused and accuser have the opportunity
to provide evidence.[25] However, there is no provision for extenuating circumstances to alter the
prescribed punishment.
A carving at the top of the stele portrays Hammurabi receiving the laws from the god Shamash or
possibly Marduk,[26] and the preface states that Hammurabi was chosen by the gods of his people
to bring the laws to them. Parallels between this narrative and the giving of laws by God in
Jewish tradition to Moses and similarities between the two legal codes suggest a common
ancestor in the Semitic background of the two. Fragments of previous law codes have been
found.[27][28][29][30] David P. Wright argues that the Jewish law used Hammurabi's collection as a
model, imitating both its structure and content.[31]
Similar codes of law were created in several nearby civilizations, including the earlier
Mesopotamian examples of Ur-Nammu's code, Laws of Eshnunna, and Code of Lipit-Ishtar, and
the later Hittite code of laws.[32]
Significant laws in Hammurabi's code
(Text taken from Harper's translation, readable on wikisource)

59 - If a man cut down a tree in a man's orchard, without the consent of the
owner of the orchard, he shall pay one-half mina of silver.

55 - If a man open his canal for irrigation and neglect it and the water carry
away an adjacent field, he shall measure out grain on the basis of the
adjacent fields.

168 - If a man set his face to disinherit his son and say to the judges: "I will
disinherit my son," the judges shall inquire into his antecedents, and if the
son have not committed a crime sufficiently grave to cut him off from
sonship, the father may not cut off his son from sonship.

169 - If he have committed a crime against his father sufficiently grave to

cut him off from sonship, they shall condone his first (offense). If he commit a
crime a second time, the father may cut off his son from sonship.

8 - If any one steal cattle or sheep, or an ass, or a pig or a goat, if it belong

to a god or to the court, the thief shall pay thirtyfold therefor; if they
belonged to a freed man of the king he shall pay tenfold; if the thief has
nothing with which to pay he shall be put to death.

196-201 - If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his
eye. If one break a man's bone, they shall break his bone. If one destroy the

eye of a freeman or break the bone of a freeman he shall pay one mana of
silver. If one destroy the eye of a man's slave or break a bone of a man's
slave he shall pay one-half his price. If a man knock out a tooth of a man of
his own rank, they shall knock out his tooth. If one knock out a tooth of a
freeman, he shall pay one-third mana of silver.

218-219 - If a physician operate on a man for a severe wound with a bronze

lancet and cause that man's death; or open an abscess (in the eye) of a man
with a bronze lancet and destroy the man's eye, they shall cut off his fingers.
If a physician operate on a slave of a freeman for a severe wound with a
bronze lancet and cause his death, he shall restore a slave of equal value.

229-232 - If a builder build a house for a man and do not make its
construction firm, and the house which he has built collapse and cause the
death of the owner of the house, that builder shall be put to death. If it cause
the death of a son of the owner of the house, they shall put to death a son of
that builder. If it cause the death of a slave of the owner of the house, he
shall give the owner of the house a slave of equal value. If it destroy property,
he shall restore whatever it destroyed, and because he did not make the
house which he built firm and it collapsed, he shall rebuild the house which
collapsed from his own property (i.e., at his own expense).

21 - If a man make a breach in a house, they shall put him to death in front
of that breach and they shall thrust him therein.

195 - If a son strike his father, they shall cut off his fingers.

2.1 Classical dating

3 Early Assyria, 26002335 BC

4 Assyria in the Akkadian Empire and Neo-Sumerian Empires

5 Old Assyrian Kingdom

5.1 Dynasty of Puzur-Ashur I, 20251809 BC, Old Assyrian Empire

5.2 Amorite Period in Assyria, 18091750 BC

5.3 Assyria under Babylonian domination, 17501732 BC

5.4 Assyrian Adaside dynasty, 17321451 BC

5.5 Assyria in decline, 14501393 BC

6 Middle Assyrian Empire, 13921056 BC

6.1 Assyrian expansion and empire, 13921056 BC

6.2 Assyria during the Bronze Age Collapse, 1055936 BC

6.3 Society in the Middle Assyrian period

7 Neo-Assyrian Empire, 911612 BC


7.1 Expansion, 911627 BC

7.2 Downfall, 626605 BC

8 Assyria after the empire


8.1 Achaemenid Assyria, Athura, Assuristan, Assyria province,

Adiabene, Osroene and Hatra

8.1.1 Achaemenid Assyria (549330 BC)

8.1.2 Seleucid Assyria

8.1.3 Parthian Assyria (150 BC 116 AD); Adiabene (69 BC 117


8.1.4 Roman Assyria (116 AD 118 AD)

8.1.5 Parthian Assyria restored (119 AD 225 AD), Osroene,


8.1.6 Sassanid Assyria (Assuristan (226 AD circa 650 AD)

9 Assyrians after Assyria

10 Assyrian religion

11 Language

12 Arts and sciences

13 Legacy

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 Literature

18 External links


Assyria was also sometimes known as Subartu prior to the rise of the city state of Ashur after
which it was Aryu, and after its fall, from 605 BC through to the late 7th century
AD variously as Athura and also referenced as Atouria[4] according to Strabo, Syria (Greek),
Assyria (Latin) and Assuristan. After its dissolution in the mid 7th century AD it remained The
Ecclesiastical Province of Ator. The term Assyria can also refer to the geographic region or
heartland where Assyria, its empires and the Assyrian people were (and still are) centered. The
modern Assyrian Christian (AKA Chaldo-Assyrian) ethnic minority in northern Iraq, north east
Syria, south east Turkey and north west Iran are the descendants of the ancient Assyrians (see
Assyrian continuity).[5][6]
Pre-history of Assyria

In prehistoric times, the region that was to become known as Assyria (and Subartu) was home to
a Neanderthal culture such as has been found at the Shanidar Cave. The earliest Neolithic sites in
Assyria were the Jarmo culture c. 7100 BC and Tell Hassuna, the centre of the Hassuna culture,
c. 6000 BC.
During the 3rd millennium BC, a very intimate cultural symbiosis developed between the
Sumerians and the Semitic Akkadians throughout Mesopotamia, which included widespread
bilingualism.[7] The influence of Sumerian (a language isolate, i.e. not related to any other
language) on Akkadian (and vice versa) is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a
massive scale, to syntactic, morphological, and phonological convergence.[7] This has prompted
scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the 3rd millennium BC as a sprachbund.[7]

Letter sent by the high-priest Lu'enna to the king of Lagash (maybe Urukagina),
informing him of his son's death in combat, c. 2400 BC, found in Girsu.

Akkadian gradually replaced Sumerian as the spoken language of Mesopotamia somewhere after
the turn of the 3rd and the 2nd millennium BC (the exact dating being a matter of debate),[8] but

Sumerian continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial, literary and scientific language in

Mesopotamia until the 1st century AD.
The cities of Assur (also spelled Ashur or Aur) and Nineveh, together with a number of other
towns and cities, existed since at least before the middle of the 3rd millennium BC (c. 2600 BC),
although they appear to have been Sumerian-ruled administrative centres at this time, rather than
independent states.
According to some Judaeo-Christian writers[who?], the city of Ashur was founded by Ashur the son
of Shem, who was deified by later generations as the city's patron god[citation needed]. However, it is
not among the cities said to have been founded by him in Genesis 10:1112, and the far older
Assyrian annals make no mention of the much later Judeo-Christian figures of Shem and Ashur.
Assyrian tradition lists an early Assyrian king named Ushpia as having dedicated the first temple
to the god Ashur in the city in the 21st century BC. It is highly likely that the city was named in
honour of its patron Assyrian god with the same name.
Classical dating

George Syncellus in his Chronographia quotes a fragment from Julius Africanus which dates the
founding of Assyria to 2284 BC.[9] The Roman historian Velleius Paterculus citing Aemilius Sura
states that Assyria was founded 1995 years before Philip V was defeated in 197 BC (at the Battle
of Cynoscephalae) by the Romans.[10] The sum therefore 197 + 1995 = 2192 BC for the
foundation of Assyria. Diodorus Siculus recorded another tradition from Ctesias, that dates
Assyria 1,306 years before 883 BC (the starting date of the reign of Ashurnasirpal II) and so the
sum 883 + 1306 = 2189 BC.[11] The Chronicle of Eusebius provides yet another date for the
founding of Assyria, with the accession of Ninus, dating to 2057 BC, but the Armenian
translation of the Chronicle puts this figure back slightly to 2116 BC. Another classical dating
tradition found in the Excerpta Latina Barbari dates the foundation of Assyria, under Belus, to
2206 BC.
Early Assyria, 26002335 BC

The city of Ashur, together with a number of other Assyrian cities, seem to have been established
by 2600 BC, however it is likely that they were initially Sumerian dominated administrative
centres. In c. the late 26th century BC, Eannatum of Lagash, then the dominant Sumerian ruler in
Mesopotamia, mentions "smiting Subartu" (Subartu being the Sumerian name for Assyria).
Similarly, in c. the early 25th century BC, Lugal-Anne-Mundu the king of the Sumerian state of
Adab lists Subartu as paying tribute to him.
Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria, little is positively known. In the Assyrian King
List, the earliest king recorded was Tudiya. In archaeological reports from Ebla, it appeared that
Tudiya's activities were confirmed with the discovery of a tablet where he concluded a treaty for
the operation of a karum (trading colony) in Eblaite territory, with "king" Ibrium of Ebla (who is
now known to have been the vizier of Ebla for king Ishar-Damu). This entire reading is now

questionable, as several scholars have more recently argued that the treaty in question may not
have been with king Tudiya of Assyria, but rather with the unnamed king of an uncertain location
called "Abarsal".
Tudiya was succeeded on the list by Adamu and then a further thirteen rulers (Yangi, Shuhlamu,
Harharu, Mandaru, Imshu, Harshu, Didanu, Hanu, Zuabu, Nuabu, Abazu, Belu and Azarah).
Nothing concrete is yet known about these names, although it has been noted that a much later
Babylonian tablet listing the ancestral lineage of Hammurabi, the Amorite king of Babylon,
seems to have copied the same names from Tudiya through Nuabu, though in a heavily corrupted
The earliest kings, such as Tudiya, who are recorded as kings who lived in tents, were
independent semi-nomadic pastoralist rulers.[2] These kings at some point became fully urbanised
and founded the city state of Ashur.[12]
Assyria in the Akkadian Empire and Neo-Sumerian Empires

During the Akkadian Empire (23342154 BC) the Assyrians, like all the Mesopotamian Semites
(and also the Sumerians), became subject to the dynasty of the city state of Akkad, centered in
central Mesopotamia. The Akkadian Empire founded by Sargon the Great, claimed to encompass
the surrounding "four quarters". The region of Assyria, north of the seat of the empire in central
Mesopotamia had also been known as Subartu by the Sumerians, and the name Azuhinum in
Akkadian records also seems to refer to Assyria proper.
Assyrian rulers were subject to Sargon and his successors, and the city of Ashur became a
regional administrative center of the Empire, implicated by the Nuzi tablets.[13]
During this period, the Akkadian-speaking Semites of Mesopotamia came to rule an empire
encompassing not only Mesopotamia itself but large swathes of Asia Minor, ancient Iran, Elam,
the Arabian Peninsula, Canaan and Syria.
Assyria seems to have already been firmly involved in trade in Asia Minor by this time; the
earliest known reference to Anatolian karums in Hatti, was found on later cuneiform tablets
describing the early period of the Akkadian Empire (c. 2350 BC). On those tablets, Assyrian
traders in Burushanda implored the help of their ruler, Sargon the Great, and this appellation
continued to exist throughout the Assyrian Empire for about 1,700 years. The name "Hatti" itself
even appears in later accounts of his grandson, Naram-Sin, campaigning in Anatolia.
Assyrian and Akkadian traders spread the use of writing in the form of the Mesopotamian
cuneiform script to Asia Minor and The Levant (modern Syria and Lebanon).
However, towards the end of the reign of Sargon the Great, the Assyrian faction rebelled against
him; "the tribes of Assyria of the upper countryin their turn attacked, but they submitted to his
arms, and Sargon settled their habitations, and he smote them grievously".[14]

The Akkadian Empire was destroyed by economic decline and internal civil war, followed by
attacks from barbarian Gutian people in 2154 BC.
The rulers of Assyria during the period between c. 2154 BC and 2112 BC once again became
fully independent, as the Gutians are only known to have administered southern Mesopotamia.
However, the king list is the only information from Assyria for this period.
Most of Assyria briefly became part of the Neo-Sumerian Empire (or 3rd dynasty of Ur) founded
in c. 2112 BC. Sumerian domination extended as far as the city of Ashur, but appears not to have
reached Nineveh and the far north of Assyria. One local ruler (shakkanakku) named Zriqum
(who does not appear on any Assyrian king list) is listed as paying tribute to Amar-Sin of Ur.
Ashur's rulers appear to have remained largely under Sumerian domination until the mid-21st
century BC (c. 2050 BC); the king list names Assyrian rulers for this period and several are
known from other references to have also borne the title of shakkanakka or vassal governors for
the neo-Sumerians.
Old Assyrian Kingdom

The first written inscriptions by 'urbanised' Assyrian kings appear in the mid-21st century BC,
after they had shrugged off Sumerian domination. The land of Assyria as a whole then consisted
of a number of city states and small Semitic kingdoms, some of which were initially independent
of Assyria. The foundation of the first major temple in the city of Ashur was traditionally
ascribed to king Ushpia who reigned c. 2050 BC, possibly a contemporary of Ishbi-Erra of Isin
and Naplanum of Larsa.[15] He was reputedly succeeded by kings named Apiashal, Sulili,
Kikkiya and Akiya (died c. 2026 BC), of whom little is known, apart from much later mentions
of Kikkiya conducting fortifications on the city walls, and building work on temples in Ashur.
The main rivals, neighbours or trading partners to early Assyrian kings during the 22nd, 21st and
20th centuries BC would have been the Hattians and Hurrians to the north in Asia Minor, the
Gutians, Lullubi and Turukku to the east in the Zagros Mountains of northwest Ancient Iran, the
Elamites to the southeast in what is now south central Iran, the Amorites to the west in what is
today Syria, and their fellow Sumero-Akkadian city-states of southern Mesopotamia such as Isin,
Kish, Ur, Eshnunna and Larsa.[2]
Like many city-states in early Mesopotamian history, Ashur was, to a great extent, originally an
oligarchy rather than a monarchy. Authority was considered to lie with "the City", and the polity
had three main centres of poweran assembly of elders, a hereditary ruler, and an eponym. The
ruler presided over the assembly and carried out its decisions. He was not referred to with the
usual Akkadian term for "king", arrum/Sharru; that was instead reserved for the city's patron
deity Assur, of whom the ruler was the high priest. The ruler himself was only designated as "the
steward of Assur" (iiak Assur), where the term for steward is a borrowing from Sumerian
ensi(k). The third centre of power was the eponym (limmum), who gave the year his name,
similarly to the later archons and consuls of Classical Antiquity. He was annually elected by lot
and was responsible for the economic administration of the city, which included the power to

detain people and confiscate property. The institution of the eponym as well as the formula iiak
Assur lingered on as ceremonial vestiges of this early system throughout the history of the
Assyrian monarchy.[16]
Dynasty of Puzur-Ashur I, 20251809 BC, Old Assyrian Empire

In approximately 2025 BC (long chronology), Puzur-Ashur I (perhaps a contemporary of Shuilishu of Larsa and Samium of Isin) is speculated to have overthrown Kikkiya and founded a new
dynasty which was to survive for 216 years. His descendants left inscriptions mentioning him
regarding the building of temples to gods such as Ashur, Adad and Ishtar in Assyria. The length
of his reign is unknown.
Shalim-ahum (died c. 2009 BC) succeeded the throne at a currently unknown date. He left
inscriptions in archaic Old Assyrian regarding the construction of a temple dedicated to the god
Ashur, and the placement of beer vats within it.
Ilushuma[17] (c. 20081975 BC) took the throne in c. 2008 BC, and is known from his inscription
(extant in several copies) where he claims to have "washed the copper" and "established liberty"
for the Akkadians in Sumerian city-states as far as the Persian Gulf. This has been taken by some
scholars to imply that he made military campaigns into Southern Mesopotamia to relieve his
fellow Mesopotamians from Amorite and Elamite invasions, however some recent scholars have
taken the view that the inscription means he supplied these areas with copper from Hatti, and that
the word used for "liberty" (adduraru) is usually in the context of his exempting the southern
Mesopotamian kings from tariffs.
"The freedom[nb 1] of the Akkadians and their children I established. I purified their copper. I
established their freedom from the border of the marshes and Ur and Nippur, Awal, and Kish,
Der of the goddess Ishtar, as far as the City of (Ashur)."[18]
Assyria had long held extensive contact with Hattian, Hittite and Hurrian cities on the Anatolian
plateau in Asia Minor. The Assyrians who had for centuries traded in the region, and possibly
ruled small areas bordering Assyria, now established significant colonies in Cappadocia (e.g., at
Kanesh (modern Kltepe) from 2008 BC to 1740 BC). These colonies, called karum, from the
Akkadian word for 'port', were attached to Hattian cities in Anatolia, but physically separate, and
had special tax status. They must have arisen from a long tradition of trade between Assyria and
the Anatolian cities, but no archaeological or written records show this. The trade consisted of
metals (copper or tin and perhaps iron; the terminology is not entirely clear) being traded for
textiles from Assyria.
Erishum I[19] (c. 19741935 BC) vigorously expanded Assyrian colonies in Asia Minor during his
long reign, the major ones appearing to be at Kanesh, attua (Boazky) (the future capital of
the Hittite Empire) and Amkuwa (Alisar Hyk), together with a further eighteen smaller
colonies. He created some of the earliest examples of Written Law, conducted extensive building
work in the form of fortifying the walls of major Assyrian cities and the erection of temples
dedicated to Ashur and Ishtar. It is from his reign that the continuous limmum lists are known,

however there are references to the eponym-books for his predecessors having been destroyed at
some point.
Ikunum (c. 19341921 BC)[20] built a major temple for the god Ningal. He further strengthened
the fortifications of the city of Assur and maintained Assyria's colonies in Asia Minor.
Sargon I (c. 19201881 BC)[21] succeeded him in c. 1920 BC, and had an unusually long reign of
39 years. It is likely he was named after his illustrious predecessor Sargon of Akkad. He is
known to have refortified the defences of major Assyrian cities, and maintained Assyrian
colonies in Asia Minor during his reign. Apart from this, little has yet been unearthed about him.
At some point he appears to have withdrawn Assyrian aid to southern Mesopotamia. It was
during his reign in Assyria that the initially minor city-state of Babylon was founded in 1894 BC
by an Amorite Malka (prince) named Sumuabum.
Puzur-Ashur II (c. 18811873 BC) came to the throne as an already older man due to his fathers
long reign. Little is known about his rule, but it appears to have been uneventful.
Naram-Suen (c. 18721818 BC) ascended to the throne in 1872 BC, and is likely named after his
predecessor Naram-Sin of the Akkadian Empire. Assyria continued to be wealthy during his 54
year long reign (one of the longest in the ancient Near East), and he defeated the future usurper
king Shamshi-Adad I who attempted to take his throne.
Erishum II (c. 18181809 BC) was to be the last king of the dynasty of Puzur-Ashur I, founded
c. 2025 BC. After only eight or nine years in power he was overthrown by Shamshi-Adad I, the
Amorite usurper who had previously been defeated in an attempt to unseat Naram-Suen, and
who claimed legitimacy by asserting descent from the mid 21st century BC Assyrian king,
Amorite Period in Assyria, 18091750 BC

The Amorites were successfully repelled by the Assyrian kings of the 20th and 19th centuries
BC. However, in 1809 BC the native Mesopotamian king of Assyria Erishum II was deposed,
and the throne of Assyria was usurped by Shamshi-Adad I (c. 1809 1776 BC) in the expansion
of Semitic Amorite tribes from the Khabur River delta in the north eastern Levant.
Although regarded as an Amorite by later Assyrian tradition, Shamshi-Adad's descent is
suggested to be from the same line as the native Mesopotamian ruler Ushpia in the Assyrian
King List. He put his son Ishme-Dagan on the throne of a nearby Assyrian city, Ekallatum, and
maintained Assyria's Anatolian colonies. Shamshi-Adad I then went on to conquer the kingdom
of Mari (in modern Syria) on the Euphrates putting another of his sons, Yasmah-Adad on the
throne there. Shamshi-Adad's Assyria now encompassed the whole of northern Mesopotamia and
included territory in central Mesopotamia, Asia Minor and northern Syria. Shamshi-Adad I
mentions conducting raids on the Canaanite coasts of the far off Mediterranean, where he erected
stelae to commemorate his victories. He himself resided in a new capital city founded in the
Khabur valley in northern Mesopotamia, called Shubat-Enlil.

Ishme-Dagan I (17741763 BC) inherited Assyria, but Yasmah-Adad was overthrown by a new
king called Zimrilim in Mari. The new king of Mari allied himself with the Amorite king
Hammurabi of Babylon, who had made the recently created, and originally minor state of
Babylon into a major power. It was from the reign of Hammurabi onwards that southern
Mesopotamia came to be known as Babylonia.
Assyria now faced the rising power of Babylon in the south. Ishme-Dagan responded by making
an alliance with the enemies of Babylon, and the power struggle continued without resolution for
decades. Ishme-Dagan, like his father was a great warrior, and in addition to repelling
Babylonian attacks, campaigned successfully against the Turukku and Lullubi of the Zagros
Mountains (in modern Iran) who had attacked the Assyrian city of Ekallatum, and against
Dadusha, king of Eshnunna, and the state of Iamhad (modern Aleppo).
Assyria under Babylonian domination, 17501732 BC

Hammurabi, after first conquering Mari, Larsa, and Eshnunna, eventually prevailed over IshmeDagan's successor Mut-Ashkur (17501740 BC), and subjected him to Babylon c. 1750 BC.
With Hammurabi, the various karum colonies in Anatolia ceased trade activityprobably
because the goods of Assyria were now being traded with the Babylonians. The Assyrian
monarchy survived, however the three Amorite kings succeeding Ishme-Dagan, Mut-Ashkur
(who was the son of Ishme-Dagan and married to a Hurrian queen), Rimush (17391733 BC)
and Asinum (1732 BC), were vassals, dependent on the Babylonians during the reign of
Hammurabi, and for a short time, of his successor Samsu-iluna.
Assyrian Adaside dynasty, 17321451 BC

The short lived Babylonian Empire quickly began to unravel upon the death of Hammurabi, and
Babylonia lost control over Assyria during the reign of Hammurabi's successor Samsu-iluna
(17501712 BC). A period of civil war ensued after Asinum (a gran
used for measuring the travel of the Sun, therefore, representing time.[18]
Main article: Mesopotamian astronomy

From Sumerian times, temple priesthoods had attempted to associate current events with certain
positions of the planets and stars. This continued to Assyrian times when Limmu lists were
created as a year by year association of events with planetary positions, which, when they have
survived to the present day, allow accurate associations of relative with absolute dating for
establishing the history of Mesopotamia.
The Babylonian astronomers were very adept at mathematics and could predict eclipses and
solstices. Scholars thought that everything had some purpose in astronomy. Most of these related
to religion and omens. Mesopotamian astronomers worked out a 12-month calendar based on the
cycles of the moon. They divided the year into two seasons: summer and winter. The origins of
astronomy as well as astrology date from this time.

During the 8th and 7th centuries BC, Babylonian astronomers developed a new approach to
astronomy. They began studying philosophy dealing with the ideal nature of the early universe
and began employing an internal logic within their predictive planetary systems. This was an
important contribution to astronomy and the philosophy of science and some scholars have thus
referred to this new approach as the first scientific revolution.[19] This new approach to
astronomy was adopted and further developed in Greek and Hellenistic astronomy.
In Seleucid and Parthian times, the astronomical reports were thoroughly scientific; how much
earlier their advanced knowledge and methods were developed is uncertain. The Babylonian
development of methods for predicting the motions of the planets is considered to be a major
episode in the history of astronomy.
The only Greek Babylonian astronomer known to have supported a heliocentric model of
planetary motion was Seleucus of Seleucia (b. 190 BC).[20][21][22] Seleucus is known from the
writings of Plutarch. He supported Aristarchus of Samos' heliocentric theory where the Earth
rotated around its own axis which in turn revolved around the Sun. According to Plutarch,
Seleucus even proved the heliocentric system, but it is not known what arguments he used
(except that he correctly theorized on tides as a result of Moon's attraction).
Babylonian astronomy served as the basis for much of Greek, classical Indian, Sassanian,
Byzantine, Syrian, medieval Islamic, Central Asian, and Western European astronomy.[23]

The oldest Babylonian texts on medicine date back to the Old Babylonian period in the first half
of the 2nd millennium BC. The most extensive Babylonian medical text, however, is the
Diagnostic Handbook written by the ummn, or chief scholar, Esagil-kin-apli of Borsippa,[24]
during the reign of the Babylonian king Adad-apla-iddina (1069-1046 BC).[25]
Along with contemporary Egyptian medicine, the Babylonians introduced the concepts of
diagnosis, prognosis, physical examination, and prescriptions. In addition, the Diagnostic
Handbook introduced the methods of therapy and aetiology and the use of empiricism, logic, and
rationality in diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. The text contains a list of medical symptoms and
often detailed empirical observations along with logical rules used in combining observed
symptoms on the body of a patient with its diagnosis and prognosis.[26]
The symptoms and diseases of a patient were treated through therapeutic means such as
bandages, creams and pills. If a patient could not be cured physically, the Babylonian physicians
often relied on exorcism to cleanse the patient from any curses. Esagil-kin-apli's Diagnostic
Handbook was based on a logical set of axioms and assumptions, including the modern view that
through the examination and inspection of the symptoms of a patient, it is possible to determine
the patient's disease, its aetiology, its future development, and the chances of the patient's

Esagil-kin-apli discovered a variety of illnesses and diseases and described their symptoms in his
Diagnostic Handbook. These include the symptoms for many varieties of epilepsy and related
ailments along with their diagnosis and prognosis.[27]

Mesopotamian people invented many technologies including metal and copper-working, glass
and lamp making, textile weaving, flood control, water storage, and irrigation. They were also
one of the first Bronze age people in the world. They developed from copper, bronze, and gold
on to iron. Palaces were decorated with hundreds of kilograms of these very expensive metals.
Also, copper, bronze, and iron were used for armor as well as for different weapons such as
swords, daggers, spears, and maces.
According to a recent hypothesis, the Archimedes' screw may have been used by Sennacherib,
King of Assyria, for the water systems at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Nineveh in the
7th century BC, although mainstream scholarship holds it to be a Greek invention of later times.
Later during the Parthian or Sassanid periods, the Baghdad Battery, which may have been the
world's first battery, was created in Mesopotamia.[29]
Religion and philosophy

The Burney Relief, Old Babylonian, around 1800 BC

Mesopotamian religion was the first to be recorded. Mesopotamians believed that the world was
a flat disc,[citation needed] surrounded by a huge, holed space, and above that, heaven. They also
believed that water was everywhere, the top, bottom and sides, and that the universe was born
from this enormous sea. In addition, Mesopotamian religion was polytheistic. Although the
beliefs described above were held in common among Mesopotamians, there were also regional

variations. The Sumerian word for universe is an-ki, which refers to the god An and the goddess
Ki.[citation needed] Their son was Enlil, the air god. They believed that Enlil was the most powerful
god. He was the chief god of the Pantheon, equivalent to the Greek god Zeus and the Roman god
Jupiter. The Sumerians also posed philosophical questions, such as: Who are we?, Where are
we?, How did we get here?.[citation needed] They attributed answers to these questions to explanations
provided by their gods.

Giorgio Buccellati believes that the origins of philosophy can be traced back to early
Mesopotamian wisdom, which embodied certain philosophies of life, particularly ethics, in the
forms of dialectic, dialogs, epic poetry, folklore, hymns, lyrics, prose works, and proverbs.
Babylonian reasoning and rationality developed beyond empirical observation.[30]
The earliest form of logic was developed by the Babylonians, notably in the rigorous nonergodic
nature of their social systems. Babylonian thought was axiomatic and is comparable to the
"ordinary logic" described by John Maynard Keynes. Babylonian thought was also based on an
open-systems ontology which is compatible with ergodic axioms.[31] Logic was employed to
some extent in Babylonian astronomy and medicine.
Babylonian thought had a considerable influence on early Greek and Hellenistic philosophy. In
particular, the Babylonian text Dialogue of Pessimism contains similarities to the agonistic
thought of the sophists, the Heraclitean doctrine of contrasts, and the dialectic and dialogs of
Plato, as well as a precursor to the maieutic method of Socrates.[32] The Ionian philosopher
Thales was influenced by Babylonian cosmological ideas.

Alabaster with shell eyes, Sumerian male worshiper, 2750-2600 BC


Ancient Mesopotamians had ceremonies each month. The theme of the rituals and festivals for
each month was determined by at least six important factors:
1. The Lunar phase (a waxing moon meant abundance and growth, while a
waning moon was associated with decline, conservation, and festivals of the
2. The phase of the annual agricultural cycle
3. Equinoxes and solstices
4. The local mythos and its divine Patrons
5. The success of the reigning Monarch
6. The Akitu, or New Year Festival (First full moon after spring equinox)
7. Commemoration of specific historical events (founding, military victories,
temple holidays, etc.)
Main article: Music of Mesopotamia

Some songs were written for the gods but many were written to describe important events.
Although music and songs amused kings, they were also enjoyed by ordinary people who liked
to sing and dance in their homes or in the marketplaces. Songs were sung to children who passed
them on to their children. Thus songs were passed on through many generations as an oral
tradition until writing was more universal. These songs provided a means of passing on through
the centuries highly important information about historical events.
The Oud (Arabic: )is a small, stringed musical instrument used by the Mesopotamians. The
oldest pictorial record of the Oud dates back to the Uruk period in Southern Mesopotamia over
5000 years ago. It is on a cylinder seal currently housed at the British Museum and acquired by
Dr. Dominique Collon. The image depicts a female crouching with her instruments upon a boat,
playing right-handed. This instrument appears hundreds of times throughout Mesopotamian
history and again in ancient Egypt from the 18th dynasty onwards in long- and short-neck
varieties. The oud is regarded as a precursor to the European lute. Its name is derived from the
Arabic word al-d 'the wood', which is probably the name of the tree from which the oud
was made. (The Arabic name, with the definite article, is the source of the word 'lute'.)

Hunting was popular among Assyrian kings. Boxing and wrestling feature frequently in art, and
some form of polo was probably popular, with men sitting on the shoulders of other men rather
than on horses.[33] They also played majore, a game similar to the sport rugby, but played with a
ball made of wood. They also played a board game similar to senet and backgammon, now
known as the "Royal Game of Ur."
Family life

The Babylonian marriage market by the 19th-century painter Edwin Long

Mesopotamia, as shown by successive law codes, those of Urukagina, Lipit Ishtar and
Hammurabi, across its history became more and more a patriarchal society, one in which the
men were far more powerful than the women. For example, during the earliest Sumerian period,
the "en", or high priest of male gods was originally a woman, that of female goddesses, a man.
Thorkild Jacobsen, as well as many others, has suggested that early Mesopotamian society was
ruled by a "council of elders" in which men and women were equally represented, but that over
time, as the status of women fell, that of men increased. As for schooling, only royal offspring
and sons of the rich and professionals, such as scribes, physicians, temple administrators, went to
school. Most boys were taught their father's trade or were apprenticed out to learn a trade.[34]
Girls had to stay home with their mothers to learn housekeeping and cooking, and to look after

the younger children. Some children would help with crushing grain or cleaning birds. Unusual
for that time in history, women in Mesopotamia had rights. They could own property and, if they
had good reason, get a divorce.

Hundreds of graves have been excavated in parts of Mesopotamia, revealing information about
Mesopotamian burial habits. In the city of Ur, most people were buried in family graves under
their houses, along with some possessions. A few have been found wrapped in mats and carpets.
Deceased children were put in big "jars" which were placed in the family chapel. Other remains
have been found buried in common city graveyards. 17 graves have been found with very
precious objects in them. It is assumed that these were royal graves. Rich of various periods,
have been discovered to have sought burial in Bahrein, identified with Sumerian Dilmun.[35]
Economy and agriculture

Mining areas of the ancient West Asia. Boxes colors: arsenic is in brown, copper in
red, tin in grey, iron in reddish brown, gold in yellow, silver in white and lead in
black. Yellow area stands for arsenic bronze, while grey area stands for tin bronze.

Irrigated agriculture spread southwards from the Zagros foothills with the Samara and Hadji
Muhammed culture, from about 5,000 BC.[36] Sumerian temples functioned as banks and
developed the first large-scale system of loans and credit, but the Babylonians developed the
earliest system of commercial banking. It was comparable in some ways to modern postKeynesian economics, but with a more "anything goes" approach.[31]
In the early period down to Ur III temples owned up to one third of the available land, declining
over time as royal and other private holdings increased in frequency. The word Ensi was used to
describe the official who organized the work of all facets of temple agriculture. Villeins are
known to have worked most frequently within agriculture, especially in the grounds of temples
or palaces.[37]
The geography of southern Mesopotamia is such that agriculture is possible only with irrigation
and good drainage, a fact which has had a profound effect on the evolution of early
Mesopotamian civilization. The need for irrigation led the Sumerians, and later the Akkadians, to
build their cities along the Tigris and Euphrates and the branches of these rivers. Major cities,
such as Ur and Uruk, took root on tributaries of the Euphrates, while others, notably Lagash,
were built on branches of the Tigris. The rivers provided the further benefits of fish (used both
for food and fertilizer), reeds, and clay (for building materials). With irrigation, the food supply

in Mesopotamia was compabale to the Canadian prairies.[38] The Tigris and Euphrates River
valleys form the northeastern portion of the Fertile Crescent, which also included the Jordan
River valley and that of the Nile. Although land nearer to the rivers was fertile and good for
crops, portions of land farther from the water were dry and largely uninhabitable. This is why the
development of irrigation was very important for settlers of Mesopotamia. Other Mesopotamian
innovations include the control of water by dams and the use of aqueducts. Early settlers of
fertile land in Mesopotamia used wooden plows to soften the soil before planting crops such as
barley, onions, grapes, turnips, and apples. Mesopotamian settlers were some of the first people
to make beer and wine. As a result of the skill involved in farming in the Mesopotamian, farmers
did not depend on slaves to complete farm work for them, but there were some exceptions. There
were too many risks involved to make slavery practical (i.e. the escape/mutiny of the slave).
Although the rivers sustained life, they also destroyed it by frequent floods that ravaged entire
cities. The unpredictable Mesopotamian weather was often hard on farmers; crops were often
ruined so backup sources of food such as cows and lambs were also kept. Over time the
southernmost parts of Sumerian Mesopotamia suffered from increased salinity of the soils,
leading to a slow urban decline and a centring of power in Akkad, further north.

The geography of Mesopotamia had a profound impact on the political development of the
region. Among the rivers and streams, the Sumerian people built the first cities along with
irrigation canals which were separated by vast stretches of open desert or swamp where nomadic
tribes roamed. Communication among the isolated cities was difficult and, at times, dangerous.
Thus, each Sumerian city became a city-state, independent of the others and protective of its
independence. At times one city would try to conquer and unify the region, but such efforts were
resisted and failed for centuries. As a result, the political history of Sumer is one of almost
constant warfare. Eventually Sumer was unified by Eannatum, but the unification was tenuous
and failed to last as the Akkadians conquered Sumeria in 2331 BC only a generation later. The
Akkadian Empire was the first successful empire to last beyond a generation and see the peaceful
succession of kings. The empire was relatively short-lived, as the Babylonians conquered them
within only a few generations.
Further information: Sumerian King List, List of kings of Babylon and List of Assyrian
Slow loss over geologic time
Main article: Atmospheric escape

The hydrodynamic wind within the upper portion of a planet's atmosphere allows light chemical
elements such as Hydrogen to move up to the exobase, the lower limit of the exosphere, where
the gases can then reach escape velocity, entering outer space without impacting other particles
of gas. This type of gas loss from a planet into space is known as planetary wind.[25] Planets with

hot lower atmospheres could result in humid upper atmospheres that accelerate the loss of
History of hydrologic cycle theory
Floating land mass

In ancient times, it was thought that the land mass floated on a body of water, and that most of
the water in rivers has its origin under the earth. Examples of this belief can be found in the
works of Homer (circa 800 BCE).
Precipitation and percolation

By roughly 500 BCE, Greek scholars were speculating that much of the water in rivers can be
attributed to rain. The origin of rain was also known by then. These scholars maintained the
belief, however, that water rising up through the earth contributed a great deal to rivers.
Examples of this thinking included Anaximander (570 BCE) (who also speculated about the
evolution of land animals from fish[27]) and Xenophanes of Colophon (530 BCE).[28] Chinese
scholars such as Chi Ni Tzu (320 BC) and Lu Shih Ch'un Ch'iu (239 BCE) had similar thoughts.
The idea that the water cycle is a closed cycle can be found in the works of Anaxagoras of
Clazomenae (460 BCE) and Diogenes of Apollonia (460 BCE). Both Plato (390 BCE) and
Aristotle (350 BCE) speculated about percolation as part of the water cycle.
Precipitation alone

Up to the time of the Renaissance, it was thought that precipitation alone was insufficient to feed
rivers, for a complete water cycle, and that underground water pushing upwards from the oceans
were the main contributors to river water. Bartholomew of England held this view (1240 CE), as
did Leonardo da Vinci (1500 CE) and Athanasius Kircher (1644 CE).
The first published thinker to assert that rainfall alone was sufficient for the maintenance of
rivers was Bernard Palissy (1580 CE), who is often credited as the "discoverer" of the modern
theory of the water cycle. Palissy's theories were not tested scientifically until 1674, in a study
commonly attributed to Pierre Perrault. Even so, these beliefs were not accepted in mainstream
science until early nineteenth century.[30]

Waste sorting is the process by which waste is separated into different elements.[1] Waste sorting
can occur manually at the household and collected through curbside collection schemes, or
automatically separated in materials recovery facilities or mechanical biological treatment
systems. Hand sorting was the first method used in the history of waste sorting.[2]
Waste can also be sorted in a civic amenity site.
Waste segregation means dividing waste into dry and wet. Dry waste includes wood and related
products, metals and glass. Wet waste, typically refers to organic waste usually generated by
eating establishments and are heavy in weight due to dampness. Waste can also be segregated on
basis of biodegradable or non-biodegradable waste.
Landfills are an increasingly pressing problem.[citation needed] Less and less land is available to deposit
refuse, but the volume of waste is growing all time. As a result, segregating waste is not just of
environmental importance, but of economic concern, too.

1 Methods

2 By country

3 See also

4 References

5 External links


Waste is collected at its source in each area and separated. The way that waste is sorted must
reflect local disposal systems. The following categories are common:


Cardboard (including packaging for return to suppliers)

Glass (clear, tinted no light bulbs or window panes, which belong with
residual waste)


Scrap metal


Special/hazardous waste

Residual waste

Organic waste can also be segregated for disposal:

Leftover food which has had any contact with meat can be collected
separately to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Meat and bone can be retrieved by bodies responsible for animal waste

If other leftovers are sent, for example, to local farmers, they can be
sterilised before being fed to the animals

Peel and scrapings from fruit and vegetables can be composted along with
other degradable matter. Other waste can be included for composting, too,
such as cut flowers, corks, coffee grindings, rotting fruit, tea bags, egg- and
nutshells, paper towels etc.

Chip pan oil (fryer oil), used fats, vegetable oil and the content of fat filters can be collected by
companies able to re-use them. Local authority waste departments can provide relevant
addresses. This can be achieved by providing recycling bins.
By country[edit]

In Germany, regulations exist that provide mandatory quotas for the waste sorting of packaging
waste and recyclable materials such as glass bottles.[3]