Portal:Ancient Near East

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Obelisk temple in Byblos
Phoenicia was an ancient civilization centered in the north coast of ancient Canaan. Phoenician civilization was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean between the period of 1550 BC to 300 BC. The Phoenicians often traded by means of a galley, a man-powered sailing vessel and are credited with the invention of the bireme.

Rather than being a single country, Phoenician civilization was organized in city-states. Each city-state was an independent unit politically, although they could come into conflict, be dominated by another city-state, or collaborate in leagues or alliances. Tyre (Lebanon) and Sidon were the most powerful Phoenician states in the Levant, but were not as powerful as the North African ones would come to be.

The Phoenicians were also the first state level society to make extensive use of the alphabet, and the Phoenician alphabet is considered to be the ancestor of all modern alphabets. It was adopted by the Aramaeans, who spread it through the ancient Near East, which led to the Hebrew, Indian and Arabic alphabets. And through their maritime trade, the Phoenicians spread the use of the alphabet to North Africa and Europe where it was adopted by the Greeks and ultimately by all European languages.

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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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