Portal:Ancient Near East

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[[Image:|140x170px|left|Main stairway at Persepolis palace]]The Achaemenid Empire (550 – 330 BC) was forged by Cyrus the Great, and became territorially the largest empire in antiquity, stretching from Pakistan and Central Asia to the Black sea, Asia Minor and Thrace, and much of Egypt going as far west as Libya. It is noted in western history as the foe of the Greek city states in the Greco-Persian Wars, for freeing the Israelites from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting Aramaic as the empire's official language. This era saw the spread of Persian culture, and the beginning of the decline of ancient Near East culture centered in Babylon. Two centuries later, after Alexander the Great's conquest, Greece would eclipse both.

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Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal (Akkadian, Aššur-bāni-apli, "Ashur created a son", reigned 669 – c. 631 BC) was the last great king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. He established the first systematically organized library, known as the Library of Ashurbanipal.

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Murex shell bearing the name "Rimush, king of Kish"
Credit: Jastrow
Murex shell bearing the name "Rimush, king of Kish"
Akkadian Empire, ca. 23rd century BC (Louvre)

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Did you know...

[[Image:|100x100px|right|Earliest known pictographic writing c. 3500 BC]]...that c. 5300 BC Eridu was the first settlement in what would become the cradle of civilization?

...that the first writing system was developed in the late 4th millennium BC in Sumer? It was a logographic script which is still incompletely deciphered.

...that the Sumerian language, the Kassite language, and the Hattic language are all language isolates, unrelated to any other known language?

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