Portal:Ancient Near East

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Lion gate at Hattusa
The Hittites were an Anatolian people who spoke a language of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. They established a kingdom (c. 1800 – 1180 BC) centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia and reached its height c. the 14th century BC, encompassing a large part of Anatolia and interacting with Assyria, Mitanni and ancient Egypt. The collapsed c. 1180 BC, during the upheavals of the Bronze Age collapse; a number of independent "Syro-Hittite" city-states then emerged, some surviving until as late as the 8th century BC.

Although belonging to the Bronze Age, the Hittites were forerunners of the Iron Age, developing the manufacture of iron products from as early as the 14th century BC, when letters to foreign rulers reveal the demand for their iron goods. The Hittites were not, however, the first to work iron, and iron remained a precious metal throughout the history of their empire.

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Assur and Mesopotamia
Tiglath-Pileser I (Akkadian, Tukultī-apil-Ešarra, "my trust is in the son of Eshara", reigned c. 1115 – 1076 BC (short chronology)) was the most notable Assyrian ruler between the Old and Neo-Assyrian kingdoms. In the wake of the Bronze Age collapse, he conquered all the lands in northern Mesopotamia. From his surviving inscriptions, he seems to have carefully cultivated a fear of himself in his subjects and enemies alike. Ultimately, his kingdom did not survive long after his death.

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Gate of All Nations
Credit: sorosh
Gate of All Nations
Darius I's palace, Persepolis, 522 – 486 BC

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Did you know...

Silver cup from Marvdasht with Linear Elamite inscription on it, c. 3rd millennium BC (National Museum of Iran)
...that the ancient Elamite language is proposed to be distantly related to the modern Dravidian languages? It is attested from c. 2500 BC, and a still undeciphered "proto-Elamite" goes back to c. 3000 BC.

...that the earliest attested Semitic language is Akkadian, c. 2500 BC?

...that the earliest attested Indo-European language is Hittite, from c. the 18th century BC?

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