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Ca. 1600-1150 BCE


Ancient World /
Kassites



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Ziggurat of Agargouf, Iraq.
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Ziggurat of Agargouf, Iraq. The main monument of the Kassites.

Boundary stone of a Kassite king
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Ancient people of the Middle East, that is principally known for having established the dynasty that ruled Babylonia for about 450 years, starting around 1600 BCE.
Much is uncertain concerning the Kassites, we know little about their culture as well as where they came from. One of the most likely suggestions is that their origin was in the Zagros Mountains in today's Iran.
At the beginning of their Mesopotamian presence, the Kassites established Dar Kurigalzu as their capital, about 150 km north of Babylon. It is assumed that the Kassite society was a feudal one.
The horse was a sacred animal among the Kassites, and they probably introduced this animal into Mesopotamia.
There is little in art and architecture that was specific Kassite. Most of what the Kassites built was Babylonian in style — their only invention was to use molded bricks to create relief decorations in temple walls.
Among the modern peoples that seem to descend from the Kassites are the Lors of Iran.

History
18th century BCE: The Kassites try to penetrate into Babylonia, but are driven out by the king. Still they manage to establish themselves in Mesopotamia north of Babylonia's borders.
Middle 18th century: Gandash becomes the first king among the Kassites, a dynasty that eventually would take over Babylonia.
Around 1600: The Kassites take control over Babylonia, and their king becomes king over Babylonia as well. From this followed a 400 year period of Kassite domination in Babylonia.
1158: The Elamites conquer Babylonia, and loot the cities. This becomes the end of the Kassite dynasty.





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By Tore Kjeilen