Bookmark and Share



























Open the online Arabic language course






Mesopotamia / Cities /
Ashur
Ancient: assur, ashur



Ashur

Ziggurat at Ashur, Iraq
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Ziggurat at Ashur, Iraq
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Royal burial grounds at Ashur, Iraq
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Around Ashur, Iraq
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

First capital of Assyria, situated on the western bank of Tigris, south of Nineveh, corresponding to modern Iraq. Today, the village of Sharqat lies where Ashur was.
Ashur was the religious capital of Assyria, and the centre for worship of the god, Ashur, and the goddess Ishtar/Inanna. Ashur being the religious capital is also the reason for its being the capital at large periods of Assyrian history: Other large cities had more inhabitants and were better situated strategically and easier to defend.
Ashur contained a large number of important religious buildings, and a handful of palaces. Documents from the 7th century BCE tell us about 34 temples and 3 palaces. Only a few of these have been excavated.
The Assyrian Empire took its name from the city of Ashur.

History
2500 BCE: Ashur is inhabited for the first time.
Around 880 BCE: The capital is moved to Calah, but Ashur remains an important city, principally due to its religious importance.
614 BCE: Destroyed by the Medes.
2nd century BCE: Ashur is once again inhabited, and has a brief period of importance and prosperity.

Modern times
1903-13: Excavations are performed by a German expedition led by W. Andrae.





Confused? Try to find a good place to start learning about Mesopotamia in
Where to begin?Detailed article






By Tore Kjeilen