Portal:Ancient Near East

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Akkadian signs for /ni/
The Akkadian language is the earliest attested Semitic language. It used the cuneiform writing system derived ultimately from ancient Sumerian, an unrelated language isolate. It was originally the language of the Akkadian Empire (ca. 2270 – 2083 BC (short chronology)), centered in Akkad. After the empire collapsed, the written language continued to be used as the official, diplomatic lingua franca throughout the ancient Near East until it was gradually displaced by Aramaic and later Greek more than a millennium later.

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Ishtar gate from Babylon
Nebuchadrezzar II (Akkadian: Nabû-kudurri-uṣur, "Nabu, defend my firstborn son", reigned 605 – 562 BC) was the second king of the Neo-Babylonian Dynasty and its greatest ruler. He was called "Nebuchadrezzar, the Great" in ancient times, but his destruction of temples in Jerusalem caused his vilification in the Bible.

He was a successful military leader before ascending the throne, defeating the Egyptians in the Battle of Carchemish. After his father Nabopolassar died and he became king, he defeated the Cimmerians and Scythians in Anatolia and continued campaigning in the Levant, including the capturing Jerusalem, destroying both city and temple and deporting a large portion of the population to Babylon. He then started a 13-year siege of Tyre, ending with Tyre's accepting Babylonian authority.

When he wasn't waging war, he continued he father's work of restoring Babylon, which had been devastated through years of Assyrian rule and more recent rebellions. He made Babylon one of the wonders of the world, with projects like the Ishtar Gate and the hanging gardens of Babylon.

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[[Image:|center|300x300px|Gold Helmet]]

Credit: Sumerophile
Gold Helmet
Meskalamdug's grave, Ur, ca. 26th century BC (National Museum of Iraq)

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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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