did not begin in what we think of as the West. It did not start in Paris
or Berlin or London or Prague or Brussels or Stockholm. It grew out of the
Mediterranean breezes, the sun and desert of Northern Africa, the Persian
and West Asian lands. To study Ancient Civilization is to travel - across
parts of Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia to India. It
is a linking voyage, not a reducing trip. It CONNECTS peoples, ideas, patterns,
developments, organizations, wars, religions, art, architecture, food and
drink. It is a human endeavor about a human story.
I am an historian, not a classicist. And historians and classicists
are not the same. They focus and work differently. But the challenge
of it all is that understanding can only come by standing on the mountain
and looking at the parts in the whole. An historian of this time (from the
beginning of time through Egypt, Greece, to the fall of Rome) must be willing
and eager to reach out and know that all knowledge is important. I built
this Ancient Civilization arena for people - for students, faculty, and ordinary
folks who think it is fascinating and can be just plain fun. Just like our
lives, in this Arena there is much seriousness but also much joy and
And the wonderful range of things to think about? Culture, archaeology,
art, music, theater, books and writing, language, philosophy, politics, peace
and war, life and living. Psychology, sociology, history, geometry and astronomy
and biology, building and architecture and engineering. Economics and geography,
women and men and children, farming and town planning, rivers and deserts
and mountains, gods and goddesses. Birth and death, magic and mystery, aspiration
and despair, palaces and mud huts, the freedom to rule empires, and the chains
of everlasting slavery. Poetry, logic, weaponry, sports, courage and cowardice,
love and hate, and genius.
Return to Master
Core - Amazing Ancient World
A FASCINATION WITH THE ANCIENT WORLD
ACT I of the Western Civilization
THE MYSTERY THAT WAS
THE COMPLEXITY THAT WAS THE "OTHER
Mesopotamia, Babylon, Sumer, Akkadia, Assyria, Hittites,
CIVILIZATION: ACT II - MEDIEVAL, RENAISSANCE,
A Comprehensive Internet
Book and Special Course
CIVILIZATION: ACT III - THE MODERN WORLD
A Comprehensive Internet Book and Special
(click) MAJOR WEB COLLEGE
Spectacular Western Civilization Series
Act I - The Ancient World; Hist. 4B: Act II - Medieval to the French
Revolution, Hist. 4C: Act III - The Modern World
SURF AND READ - IN ANCIENT, MEDIEVAL,
The Web teems with the richness of the Ancient World. So many
wonderfully conceived sites representing dedication, scholarship, diversity,
determination and exceptional creativity. At least 400 lists exist
for the ancient area. But, what good, I wondered, is yet another list. So
this Ancient Arena is explained each step of the way. By looking through
the material in the Chapters on this Page, one can attain a general overview
of the place, the time, the subject matter, the humans. Then the searcher
can move to the areas of interest or even fascination - and begin the
in-depth "clicking" and traveling and thinking. My pledge to the voyager
is simple: I place here only those sites and destinations in which I
have spent time and thought. I have searched through almost all with some care. Still, readers must use
their own validity judgements.
We begin with the Big Five
The Land Almost Before Time
The Mystery that was Egypt
The Glory that was Greece
The Power that was Rome
The Complexity that was the Other Ancients
Everyone has his/her own starting point. So,
Dinosaurs, mammoths, ice ages, neolithic
warriors, Stone Age hunter gatherers. Prehistoric Man, Primitive Man, Neanderthal
Man, Paleolithic Man. And the pursuit of the origins of Stonehenge. A great
opportunity for a variety of fascinating Internet Field Trips.
IF YOU ARE TAKING AN ANCIENT
HISTORY ONLINE COLLEGE COURSE, STUDENTS SHOULD SKIP THIS SECTION AND START WITH
DINOSAURS AND OTHER FOLKS - AND THEIR LAND
Create-a-saurus - build and create your own dinosaur! Zoom Dinosaurs
is a comprehensive on-line hypertext book about dinosaurs. Designed for students
of all ages and levels of comprehension.
Mongolian dinosaurs, pleistocene
mammals, tertiary mammals
Mammoths and Other Giants of the Pleistocene
UC Museum of
Paleontology Public Exhibits
Exhibits from UC. Excellent for geological ages and environments of
LIFE AS IT WAS
Discovery of a Paleolithic painted cave
at Vallon - Pont-d'Arc ( Ardèche )
exceptionally important archaeological discovery has recently been made in
Southern France,... in the form of a vast underground network of caves
decorated with paintings and engravings dating from the Palaeolithic age."
Now we have an opportunity for study aiming at "retracing the evolution of
natural environment during the last Ice Age." The findings are
Could You Survive as a
- TAKE THE TEST
hunter-gatherers of the Stone Age did not plant their own crops, but
lived off the plants which grew around them, taking fungi, leaves and
flowers, and nuts and berries
. Some are good to eat, but some are poisonous. To
survive as a hunter-gatherer you have to know which you can eat and
which to avoid."
- The Hunter
Gathers Food: Do the Quiz
Would you survive? All Western Civilization. Students should take
- Life in The Day
of a Hunter-Gatherer
- Archaeoastronomy at Stonehenge
- Stonehenge -
"Stonehenge is surely Britain's greatest national icon, symbolizing mystery,
power and endurance." Was it a temple for the worship of ancient deities,
an astronomical observatory, a sacred burial site?
THE MYSTERY THAT WAS EGYPT
The Egyptians carry
a fascination for us that transcends time. And always the sense of strangeness
and mystery. Videos, TV programs from Omar Shariff and the "Mysteries of the
Pyramids," to Charleton Heston and "The Mystery of the Sphinx," and
"Cleopatra: Destiny's Queen," and the "Chariots of the Gods," and the "Visit
of the Aliens." How could the history of one nation span 3000 years? How did
they build such remarkable monuments to antiquity? Why did intelligent humans
mummify themselves? Where did their genius come from? Why do most history
books on Western Civilization allot this culture only a scant twenty pages at
best? Why do many people "forget" that Egypt is and always has been in Africa?
The themes which follow give credence to the richness of the Egyptian
civilization AND to the Web. In categories that I think important but to
which the Web makes no contribution, I leave blank - but urge referral to
articles and books focusing on those subjects - such as Slavery.
Following Egypt, we must journey
to the basis for much of civilization - Mesopotamia and integrate it and all
its complexities and parts into our analysis of the early cultures and what
they left us.
Internet : SPECIAL
Where to begin
with this exceptional site? Start By studying
the mysteries of
. Egyptian Art, Sculpture and Furniture. Coffin,
funerary art; mummy masks. British, Luxor, Cairo Museums. Akhenaten and
the Amarna Period. Gods and Goddesses. The Clickable Mummy. Dynasty
by dynasty list of the Pharaohs. Mythology, Tombs & Temples.
King Tut - the most famous of the pharoahs but insignificant. His
life and treasures.
The SPECIAL FOCUS - Akhenaten. Akhenaten gallery
- Pictures and information about the "Heretic Pharaoh."
Who was he? Nefertiti.
Galleries of Egypt Art
- A Special
Deurer Galleries. The Time Warp Gallery - An Odd Special Place
really like! His paintings are a special, humorous look at our
modern world as it might appear through the eyes of the ancient
Egyptians. Late for Work, Ship of Fools, The First Brunch, and so on.
Then take a photgraphic and map tour of Egypt with excellent
explanations. Visit all the major places and then cruise the Nile. Next
visit the Ancient Art Gallery, followed by a beginner's guide to the
fascinating world of Egyptian myths and legends. Includes pictures and
descriptions of the gods and goddess. Description and explanation of
mummies and mummification. Hieroglyphic Directory is first rate and fun
out the Egyptian fashions and design that were "in" 3500 years
Guardian's Egypt - Main Gate: A SPECIAL
Simply the best there is. Take the remarkable CyberJourney through pyramids.
Pharaohs, news, tombs, hieroglyphs, art, music. You could spend
a lifetime here. It is such a busy site that often it is difficult
to connect. Have patience. IT IS THERE!
Odyssey's Egypt -
From Emory University and the University of Rochester
"When we think
about Egypt, camels, pyramids, and mummies often come to mind! No one
knows exactly what life was like in ancient Egypt, but these objects tell
us a lot. Egyptian fashion, religious beliefs, recreational activities,
and much more can be explored through the art they created and included in
their burials. Go to the Map - click for pronunciation and notice where
the cities in ancient Egypt were located. People - People usually married
within their social group and continued in the same job as their parents.
People from all social groups represented in Egyptian art. Nobles &
Priests, Soldiers, Scribes, Merchants, Artisans, Farmers, and even Slaves
& Servants depicted in sculpture or paintings that illustrate scenes
of rituals and everyday life. Mythology - In ancient times each Egyptian
city or region had its own god and worshipped many others. Learn a few
general things about ancient Egyptian religious beliefs. Who did they
worship? Daily Life - Where did they live, what did they wear?" The range
of life in Ancient Egypt.
- The Thebian Mapping Project
One of the finest sites on Egypt. Tour the Necropolis - "The Theban
Necropolis on the West Bank of the Nile across from the modern city of Luxoris
probably the richest archaeological site on earth and one of the largest.
Covers 6 square kilometers (just over two square miles), and was the burial-place
of Egypt's New Kingdom pharaohs, noblemen, officials and priests. Explore
the History of Thebes. Tour the principal monuments in Theban Sites.
See the Theban Necropolis in Virtual Reality through QTVR. The Valley
of the Kings - Follow the Exploration of the Valley. Visit the tombs
individually in KV Sites. Trace the Family Tree of Rameses the Great and
his sons. Meet the ancient Egyptians buried here in Personal Profiles. Trace
the year-by-year History of KV 5's discovery. Take a Tour of the tomb and its many chambers."
A Slice of Time: Ancient
- SUPERB - Explore It All
The Tomb of the
- JUST A VERY SPECIAL PLACE
Egyptian graphics , great stuff for students and teachers, and an
excellent section on why and how the Egyptians mummified their dead.
GENERAL SITES AND HISTORY
- Ancient Egypt -
- "Travel back in time to a
place that has left its imprint and impact on humanity forever.. . At no
other period of known history has a civilization left behind so many clues
and riddles that could answer mankind's
deepest searchings of today."
- Ancient World
Cultures: Ancient Egypt
- Brief essay and links
introducing Egypt. Use the Ancient World Site for links, quizzes,
- Rigby's World of
- Extensive tour of the monuments, palaces,
temples. Chronology, antiquities, King Tut, major museums. "Take a
tour of the country, relish ancient poetry, Egyptian antiquities, see
Egypt from space." The tour is special.
- The British Museum
- The Remarkable "Place"
world cultures." And here is their fine
Interactive Egypt Learning
- Carlos Museum - Ancient Egyptian Art
- For Art
- Emory University's
outstanding collection of Egyptian art.
- Oriental Institute
- Fine virtual museum with
changing exhibits. Faces of Ancient Egypt. Collections highlighted by
geography and subject.
- Web site of the
prestigious ancient Near East museum of the University of
Chicago. The Egyptian
- Egypt: Daily Life
- Family life,
marriage, food and cooking, cosmetics, hair, jewelry, clothing, housing
and furniture, entertainment, government.
- Daily Life
life in ancient Egypt revolved around the Nile and the fertile land along
its banks. The yearly flooding of the Nile
enriched the soil and brought good harvests and
wealth to the land." Learn about a day in the life of two ancient
Egyptian families. Experience the world of an ancient Egyptian
Ancient Egypt Site
- Rich site.
Egyptian history, language and culture. Ancient Egypt from
- Discovery of
- "The ancient Egyptians knew full well that writing was
the mainstay of civilised life. A seated scribe holding a papyrus roll was
one of the most popular subjects in their early art. He was revered and
honoured, for the early Egyptians recognised that writing was the
foundation of ordered life and government and, to some extent, transcended
- In the beginning hieroglyphic signs were used to keep
records of the king's possessions. "Scribes could easily make these
records by drawing a picture of a cow or a boat followed by a number. But
as the language became more complex more pictures were needed. Eventually
the language consisted of more then 750 individual signs." First rate
introductory site. "All these texts
somehow serve to reconstruct ancient civilization at large, its social,
economic, political, legal, religious, linguistic and even medical
history, from a far more authentic angle than is otherwise possible
through the written word. Usually we have only the works of biased
classical authors to tell us what their life was like. Papyri, however,
were not written for us but for the use of the ancients themselves. This
gives them their unique freshness and directness. Their interest is even
greater when they are part of one and the same private archive, because in
that case we can follow the ups and downs of a family through several
decades, or even centuries."
- The Greatest Library - Alexandria From History
library, of course, was the Great Library of Alexandria, a public library
open to those with the proper scholarly and literary qualifications,
founded about 300bc. When Egypt's King Ptolemy I (305-282bc) asked, "How
many scrolls do we have?", Aristotle's disciple Demetrius of Phalerum was
on hand to answer with the latest count. After all, it was Demetrius who
suggested setting up a universal library to hold copies of all the books
in the world. Ptolemy and his successors wanted to understand the people
under their rule and house Latin, Buddhist, Persian, Hebrew, and Egyptian
works - translated into Greek."
- The Burning of the
Library of Alexandria
- The loss of the ancient world's single greatest
archive of knowledge, the Library of Alexandria, has been lamented for
ages. But how and why it was lost is still a mystery. The mystery exists
not for lack of suspects but from an excess of them. Alexandria was
founded in Egypt by Alexander the Great. "
- What Happened to the Great Llibrary of
- "Libraries date back to
earliest historic times. Archaeologists have found libraries--that is,
storage places for clay tablets carved in cuneiform--in Mesopotamia,
dating from around 2000 BC. As clay tablets and cuneiform gave way to
scrolls and an alphabet, Greek authors and scholars around the 5th century
BC began to develop history and philosophy, and the evidence strongly
suggests they had access to libraries. . . The Alexandrian library
flourished for several hundred years, and was the center of cultural
development in the west. Scholars from every field of knowledge and every
corner of the Hellenistic world came to learn, study and teach at
Alexandria. Paid staff included grammarians, historians, astronomers,
geographers, mathematicians, physicians, and poets. They studied and
revised the works of earlier writers, beginning with Homer--the division
of Homer's works into separate books is thought to be a product of the
library. Scholarship consisted mostly of compiling, editing, criticizing
and commenting on older texts, rather than composing new ones. . . .Now to
your question: How did it come to an end? We don't know exactly--in fact,
we know very little about the library's history. That hasn't prevented
historians over the centuries from proposing various scenarios. The three
main suspects are Julius Caesar, Bishop Theophilus, and Caliph Omar.
Contrary to myth, there wasn't one great fire that destroyed the library,
but instead several documented fires over a span of centuries. It seems
likely, then, that the destruction of the library was gradual. The problem
is that we have few contemporary accounts, and later writers often have
some axe to grind. "
- Great Library of
- "Being one of the two most important libraries in the
world, the library obtained any scrolls of any consequence, and eventually
contained over 700,000 volumes. Founded around the year 300B.C. by Ptolomy
I, the library was destroyed in 391A.D. by religious fanatics after 700
years of operation. Only a small portion of its knowledge managed to
survive, giving us a small glimpse of what wonders it contained.
With the destruction of the Library in Alexandria, we lost great
works of drama, comedy, poetry, and other texts by philosophers and
historians that we may no nothing about. Information from other cultures,
most likely including the secret of the pyramids, why they were built, and
how were also probably included. Also other great records from Babylonian,
Europe, North Africa, and Mesopotamia have been lost."
- The Revival of the
Ancient Library of Alexandria
- "At the meeting point of the three continents, Asia,
Africa and Europe, Egypt has been the cradle of
civilizations since ancient times. The ancient city of Alexandria was at
the beginning of the third century B.C. the
birthplace of the great plan to build a library. But a fire, which ravaged
Alexandria, destroyed the library, this vast
storehouse of learning. The Egyptian Government, in co-operation with
UNESCO, has decided to resurrect the old dream
to endow this part of the world with an important focal point for culture, education and science."
- Ancient Egypt
- Book of the Dead, Coffin Texts, Creation Myths,
Instruction for Behavior, Pyramid Texts, Spells, Stories, Verse.
- Literature of Ancient Egypt
- "The religious literature of ancient Egypt includes
hymns to the gods, mythological and magical texts, and an extensive
collection of mortuary texts. The range of secular literature includes
stories; instructive literature, known as wisdom texts; poems;
biographical and historical texts; and scientific treatises, including
mathematical and medical texts. Notable also are the many legal,
administrative, and economic texts and private documents such as letters,
although not actually literature." Thoughtful site.
- Love Poems from Ancient
Egypt - WONDERFUL
- "The ancient Egyptians left behind various love poems
which relate the emotions felt all those thousands of years ago. And yet,
they can be read as if they apply to us in the 20th century - has anything
HEALING AND DISCOVERING:
SCIENCE AND MEDICINE
- Earliest Egyptian Chemical
- Egypt is generally recognized as the mother of
chemical and alchemical arts. Site contains important ideas
- Egyptian Mathematics
- Try your hand at solving Egyptian math problems!
The ancient Egyptians were possibly the
first civilisation to practice the scientific arts. Indeed, the word
chemistry is derived from the word Alchemy which is the ancient name for
Egypt.Where the Egyptians really excelled was in medicine and applied
- Historical Astrology in Ancient
- "Astrology has played a major role in society since
the beginning of civilization, and maybe even before that. Astrology's
history is a long one, and common belief is that its origins lie with the
Greeks. However, a closer look shows that the foundations for astrology
were laid much earlier than that, and the Egyptians had much to do with
- Medicine in Ancient
Egypt - Summary of Research Thrusts.
- Research in polio, TB, dwarfism.
- Medicine in Old
Egypt - Excellent
- Papyrology Home Page
- Best Index of Papyrus in existence probably.
Important medical information. "With the turn of the century, . . new life
was breathed into the study of disease and health in the ancient Nile
Valley. Academic study of Egyptian disease segregated into three
categories. First - medical Papyri. Early on it was recognized that the
textual material of the Dynastic Period pertaining to the recognition and
treatment of disease was extremely important for understanding the state
of health as well as the concept of disease in Egypt. Second - the
artistic representation of disease in the Nile Valley. The Egyptian's
predilection to portray life in a relatively realistic manner offers an
excellent opportunity for the study of disease."
- Science in Ancient Egypt
- "It is universally agreed that in technical arts
Egyptian workers pointed the way to the rest of the world, and it is to
them that all must turn for the first discovery of those facts that made
science possible." Technical arts related to alchemy, glassmaking, dying,
metallurgy, gold, textiles, copper and iron extraction.
AND THE GODS
- Ancient Egyptian
Religion: Tombs, embalming,
- "Religion guided every aspect of Egyptian life.
Egyptian religion was based on polytheism, or the worship of many deities,
except for during the reign of Akenaton. The Egyptians had as many as 2000
gods and goddesses. Some were worshipped throughout the whole country,
while others had only a local following. Often gods and goddesses were
represented as part human and part animal."
- Directory of Ancient Egyptian Gods
- Excellent List and
- "Unlike the later myths of the Greeks and Romans, the
Egyptian gods do not have their own dominions, There is no one god that
represents the sun, no strongest, no most beautiful. It is not that
simple, Egyptian deities at times seem to share the same attributes and
sometimes even the same appearance. Due in part to the Egyptian respect of
traditions which made them slow, even reluctant to change their old ideas
and myths, even as they were adopting new ones. This made their mythology
more and more complex as time went by."
- Egyptian Mythology
- Overview "to explain some of the basic concepts and
to introduce some of the gods. Religion in ancient Egypt was not unlike modern times. . . Individual
kings worshipped their own gods, as did the workers, priests, merchants
and peasants. . . . The gods lived, died, hunted, went into battle, gave
birth, ate, drank, and had human emotions. The gods reigns overlapped,
and, in some instances, merged. There was no organized hierarchy structure
of their reign. The dominance of the gods depended on the beliefs of the
reigning king. Likewise, the myths changed with the location of the gods,
as did their names."
- What did we
lose in the destruction of the museum artifacts in the recent
revolution? Well, An announcement of what WAS in the
- Egyptian Kings - From the Egypt Home Page
- Vignettes on almost every king in every dynasty.
Was the Pharaoh divine? Royal regalia? A tour de force.
- Mark Millmore's Ancient Egyptian
- Attractive, well-designed and informative site: kings
and queens, pyramids, the "Napoleon of Ancient Egypt."
- Background, and The Mystery of Akhenaten: Genetics or
- Akhenaton - Ancient
- "When we place the revolutionary movement of
Akhenaton against this background of popular discontent and then add to it
the secret opposition of a powerful priesthood, a powerful army which
disliked the king's peace policy, we begin to appreciate the powerful
individuality of this first intellectual leader in history. His reign was
the earliest age of the rule sf ideas. Akhenaton was the world's first
revolutionary, and he was fully convinced that he might entirely recast
the world of religion, thought, and life by the invincible purpose he
held. Like all true revolutionaries at all times Akhenaton was fully
persuaded that his ideas were right and that all men would eventually
benefit by them."
- Amara: The Land of the Aten
- Akhenaton, "perhaps one of the most studied,
despised, loved figures of ancient Egypt - and his queen Nefertiti.
Hymn to Aten, details of the City of Akhenaton, map, the royal tomb
(pictures and commentary). The mother of Tut, Tut, Ay, Horemheb -
"Evil Madman or Misunderstood General." Pictures, descriptions of
objects in Tut's tomb linked to Akhenaton and Amara period. And the 1920 record of
Sir Wallace Budge and the discovery of the Amarna Tablets.
Basic family tree of the 18th
- Well designed portrait. "Tutankhamun was a shadowy and
little known figure of the late 18th Dynasty. To a certain extent he still
is, despite the prominence he has acquired from the contents of his
tomb." Actually, he would have been considered a very
brief, unimportant pharaoh. But we discovered his tomb, so....... we
know more about him!
- King Tut - The Boy King - Fine site by Guardian, and
- King Tut - How Did He Die?
- Ever since the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun
there has been speculation about the king's death - was he a victim of the
backlash against the Akhenaten / Amarna heresy? Had he been murdered to
allow his courtiers access to the throne? Or was he a sickly young man
whose genes had been affected by generations of in-breeding by previous
Egyptian pharaohs? Some
say he was as "Disabled, Malarial, and Inbred."
- National Geographic
Presents: At The Tomb of Tutankhamen
- WONDERFUL SITE. Feb. 1923. The NG
correspondent arrives in Luzor, at the Tomb and enters. His
articles. Photos. Preview IMAX film, Mysteries of Egypt. "What would
it be like to be there as the pyramids rise above the dunes, as stoic
priests lay their pharaoh to rest, as an obsessed archaeologist finally
finds the treasure that had eluded him for so long? Sift through
- The Black Pharaohs
- "An ignored chapter of history tells of a time when
kings from deep in Africa conquered ancient Egypt." Important site.
"Piye was the first of the so-called black pharaohs—a series of Nubian
kings who ruled over all of Egypt for three-quarters of a century as that
country’s 25th dynasty. Through inscriptions carved on stelae by both the
Nubians and their enemies, it is possible to map out these rulers’ vast
footprint on the continent. The black pharaohs reunified a tattered Egypt
and filled its landscape with glorious monuments, creating an empire that
stretched from the southern border at present-day Khartoum all the way
north to the Mediterranean Sea. They stood up to the bloodthirsty
Assyrians, perhaps saving Jerusalem in the process. Until recently, theirs
was a chapter of history that largely went untold. Only in the past four
decades have archaeologists resurrected their story—and come to recognize
that the black pharaohs didn’t appear out of nowhere. They sprang from a
robust African civilization that had flourished on the southern banks of
the Nile for 2,500 years, going back at least as far as the first Egyptian
- BBC's Ramesses the Great
- "Is he the Pharaoh of the Bible's Exodus story? Known
today by the majestic temples and colossal monuments that still rise above
the Nile; proclaiming, as they have for more than 3,000 years, the
greatness of Ramses II, "Son of Ra", the sun god and the warrior king of
Egypt. More modern traditions that seek to identify him as the unnamed
Pharaoh of the Exodus."
- Egypt's Golden Empire -
- "Despite a very shaky start, Ramesses II (reigned c1279
- 1212 BC) used diplomacy, a massive building program and endless propaganda
to become the greatest pharaoh of the New Kingdom, Ancient Egypt's Golden
- Hatshepsut - female Pharaoh of the New
- "Maatkare Hatshepsut was the fifth Pharaoh of the
Eighteenth dynasty of Ancient Egypt. Hatshepsut is generally regarded by
modern Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, ruling
longer than any female leader of Egypt other than
- Ancient Egyptian Military
fertile Nile Valley attracted invaders from other territories where
there was famine and drought. The West Delta of the Nile was threatened
by these desert raiders. The East Delta of the Nile was threatened by
invaders from Asia - first the Hittites from Palestine and Syria. The
Hyksos were also invaders from Asia, who reached Egypt via Syria and
Palestine invading the Delta at the end of the Middle Kingdom. The
Hyksos brought with them new bronze weapons and the chariot and horse,
neither of which were known to the Egyptians. Following the wars with
the Hyksos the weapons and style of fighting changed to incorporate the
use of the chariot and new weapons. The Mitanni also mounted invasions
from northern Mesopotamia. To the North the Mediterranean Sea was at
risk from the interest of Europe which eventually brought the armies of
the Greeks under Alexander the Great and the Romans under Julius Caesar.
And to the south was the barren lands of Nubia with its valuable trade
routes bringing treasures from the Sudan.
- The Armed Forces of Ancient Egypt - Extensive
- The Evolution of Warfare
- Egypt was considered to be the most
peaceful country in the ancient world. Its natural boundaries (the First
Cataract on the Nile at
, the deserts east
and west of the Nile Valley, and the Mediterranean coast to the north)
provided plenty of protection from outsiders, and Egyptians themselves
were not a society of invaders or conquerors. Therefore, the country
didn’t consider the need for a professional army – until the invasion of
the Hyksos during the 15th
Dynasty in the Second Intermediate
BUILDING: The Pharaohs, Their
Tombs, Their Temples
- Great Pyramid: A
- "The world's oldest structure is so advanced that it
can't be duplicated today, even using current technology." Details,
- Construction of the Pyramids Overview
- and "the recent robotic
explorations of the 'air-shafts'
in the Great Pyramid have demonstrated that there are still many mysteries
surrounding the ancient monument." So how do you build a
Techniques. And Special
Composition of a Pyramid
- Good directions!
- Archimedia -
Includes Giza Plateau Mapping Project
- Project's object is to assist students in
understanding what ancient buildings looked like and how they were
constructed. Displays numerous views, plans and sections, as well as
computerized reconstructions. Concentrates on buildings from Ancient
Egypt, Mesopotamia. Pyramid, ziggurat, mycenaen palace. Includes the
important Giza Plateau Project.
- Guardian's Great Pyramid
- Guardian's Meidum
- Good site for the mystery pyramid. Interactive
elements allow one to enter and explore.
- What Happened to the Nose of the
- The Sphinx of
- Guardian's CyberJourney
- Take a well-done trip to the pyramids, tombs,
- Nova Online/Pyramids/Explore the
- Great online interactive site. Explore the Pyramids
of Khufu, Khafre, Menkaure, Sphinx. History, builders, science, age. Enter
each one in this miltimedia effort. Then follow the excavation. Resources,
- Temple Palace of
Ramses III - Good
- Thebes Photographic Project
- Quite a remarkable project by Tom Van Eynde. "130
years after Francis Frith began his photographic expedition in Luxor,
Egypt. I followed, continuing the work the University of Chicago's
Oriental Institute's Epigraphic Survey at Luxor. My goal being to
photograph the ancient capital of Thebes, and its sites, both, the little
known, as well as the popular tourist attractions - to record the
topography of the ancient sites in their present state, as well as, the
interrelationships that they form with the landscape."
- Valley Of The Kings
- The Pharoahs in all their glory. Pictures, history.
DYING, DEATH AND
- The Clickable Mummy - Fascinating!
- Death in Ancient Egypt
- From the research archives of the Oriental Institute
in Chicago. Background, history, tomb scenes, supplies for the
Mummies - From the
- Mummies of Ancient Egypt
- What are mummies? How are they made? Who
were they? The Afterlife.
- The Mummy
- The ambition of every Egyptian was to have a well
mummified body and a perpetually cared-for tomb. The children of the
deceased were charged with the maintenance of this home on earth and the
observation of all attendant ceremonies. In the case of a favored
government official a portion of the state revenue might be assigned as an
endowment for the care of the tomb. As the number of deceased ancestors
and officials multiplied, however, and the consequent cost of tomb
maintenance became excessive, the tendency was to neglect those of the
remote past and to concentrate attention on those of the more recently
AND THE RIVER
- Bounty of Black
- " Egypt is the 'gift of the Nile' and her harvests
depend on its floodwaters. Fundamental pacemaker of the Egyptian farmer's life."
- History of Plumbing in Egypt
- "From ancient times, the rise and fall of the River
Nile portended periods of famine or good fortune for the peoples of Egypt.
Other than wells, the River Nile is the only source of water in the
country. During an idyllic year, the flooding of the Nile would begin in
July, and by September its receding waters would deposit a rich, black
silt in its wake for farming. Before taming the river, however, the
ancient Egyptians had to overcome the river's peculiar problem. When the
Nile is the lowest, the ground completely dries up. When it floods, the
water seeps into the dry soil and causes the ground to rise as much as a
foot or two."
- Wild Egypt
- The Nile - an online safari for all ages. "The
Nile River is possibly the most famous river in history. It was by its
banks that one of the oldest civilizations in the world began. Not
surprisingly, the Nile teems with life. Many different types of animals,
birds, and fish all call the Nile River home. Hundreds of years ago, even
hippos and lions could be found here in the Nile Valley."
AND THE SLAVES
- Slavery colors ancient civilization as a continuing
theme. Important as is the issue, the Web offers only minimal
assistance. Look to more recent books and special articles.
Slavery in Egypt
- "There is some controversy whether there was slavery
at all in ancient Egypt. The differences of opinion stem mostly from how
slavery is defined. Theory and practice of Egyptian slavery were, as far
as we can ascertain, very different from those of Greece, Rome or the
southern states of the USA, where slaves were wholly at the mercy of their
owners with little protection from society, and more in line with the kind
of slavery practiced in the rest of Africa." Excellent, ranging
- It Did Exist But Not A Dominant
- Egypt FAQ
- " Slavery in ancient Egypt was different from the
kind of slavery we have come to recognize, and certainly different from
slavery in Mesopotamia or Rome at the same time. Egyptian slaves were more
like the indentured servants of colonial America. They were able to buy or
work their way to freedom, and were usually well cared for. They could
hold important advisory positions in government, and there were several
well-known slaves who became high officials in the Pharaoh's court.
Prisoners were sent to work in the various mines which Egypt owned. The
Pyramids, by the way, were NOT built by slaves, but by paid workers who
were very proud of their work. The workers put their names and the names
of their work teams on the insides of the blocks of stones, and they were
allowed to build their own tombs within sight of the Pyramid, which was
quite an honor. In those ancient times, you were better off as a slave in
Egypt than as a free but poor person anywhere else."
AND THE WOMEN
- Ankhesenamun: Princess of Armana, Queen of
Destiny - Fictional and Factual
- Ankhesenamun - Wife of Tutankhamun, Daughter of
Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis: A Royal
- Outstanding article by Dr. J. Tyldesley. After
her death, the female king vanished from Egyptian history. Was her
stepson to blame? Read on.
- Maatkare Hatshepsut. Ancient
- Hatshepsut had herself portrayed in the royal
headdress, sometimes as a woman with prominent breasts but more often as
male in body as well as costume. Her self-promotion, which extended to a
miraculous conception and fictitious coronation in childhood, involved
deliberately obscuring the rightful ruler, Tuthmosis III, who was a man by
the time he succeeded to unfettered rulership in 1483 BC. Hatshepsut accomplished what no woman had before her.
She ruled the most powerful, advanced civilization in the world. Her
consort and true love was her advisor, Senmut.
- Hatshepsut - 1473 - 1458
- The end of Hatshepsut - "Towards the end of her
reign, the Asiatic peoples staged a revolt centered on the city of Kadesh,
Tuthmosis III himself led the Egyptian to quash this uprising and
Hatshepsut disappeared. Tuthmosis III was finally able to claim his
rightful place as King of Egypt, now came vengeance - all images of
Hatshepsut were attacked; statues, reliefs and shrines all were
- The first oceanographic cruise? Queen Hatshepsut
ruled Egypt from ca. 1503 to 1480 B.C. In contrast to the warlike temper
of her dynasty, she devoted herself to administration and the
encouragement of commerce. In the summer of 1493 B.C., she sent a fleet of
five ships with thirty rowers each from Kosseir, on the Red Sea, to the
Land of Punt, near present-day Somalia. It was primarily a trading
expedition. "Crew brought back exotic goods like ivory, myrrh, wood,
monkeys, and gold. Hatshepsut was able to open and increase trade
expansion, keep a country at peace for the length of her rule, and begin
to perfect domestic advancement. Cottrell (1960) believed Hatshepsut was
loved by many due to the thousands that worked for and supported her every
day of her rule. However it is not understood what happened to the
powerful Hatshepsut. Some think she was either poisoned by Thutmosis III
or left the country."
Nefertiti - Queen of All Lands
- Nefertiti: The Beautiful One Has Come
- "Famed throughout the ancient world for her
outstanding beauty, Nefertiti remains the one of the most well known
Queens of Egypt. Though Akhenaten had several wives, Queen Nefertiti was
his chief wife. Nefertiti is remembered for the painted limestone bust
depicting her, in one of the greatest works of art of the pre-modern
world. Exhibited in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. The Berlin bust, seen
from two different angles, is indeed, the most famous depiction of Queen
Nefertiti. Found in the workshop of the famed sculptor Thutmose, the bust
is believed to be a sculptor's model."
- The Egyptian
Economy and Non-royal Women
- Their Status in Public Life. NEH lecutre by Dr.
Ward of Brown University. "The best I can offer as a general rule of
thumb: public life was the domain of men, women had the vast
responsibility of private life. The number of women who were able to move
into the public professional sector was relatively small and those that we
can identify are the exceptions."
- Egyptian Women in Ptolemaic and Roman
- Interesting dissertation summary by A. O'Brien.
"The history of women in the ancient world has
been, until recently, a neglected topic, and it seems that women in
ancient Egypt suffer from an even greater lack of attention than their
contemporaries elsewhere in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean
- From Warrior Women to Female Pharaohs - Careers for
Women in Ancient Egypt
- Excellent BBC-sponsored article on the "equality" of
- Status of Women in
- Important article by Joyce Tyldesley. "Unlike
the position of women in most other ancient civilizations, including that
of Greece, the Egyptian woman seems to have enjoyed the same legal and
economic rights as the Egyptian man-- at least in theory. This notion is
reflected in Egyptian art and historical
inscriptions. It is uncertain why these rights existed for the woman in
Egypt but no where else in the ancient world."
- Women in the Ancient Near East:
- Select bibliography of recent sources in The Oriental
Institute Research Archives at the University of Chicago. Subject index
alone is 18 pages - and helpful. Much has been researched lately on women
in this time. The most important literature is found in a few books and
the 500 articles listed here.
- Women and Gender in Ancient Egypt
- Kelsey Museum exhibit. Gender ambiguity, and
power, religion, engendered protection. Gender, mortality, and
demographics. Faces of gender. Gender in the Archaeological Record.
Cleopatra: The Last Pharaoh
- "When Cleopatra VII ascended the Egyptian throne, she
was only seventeen. She reigned as Queen Philopator and Pharaoh between 51
and 30 BC, and died at the age of 39."
- "She was a quick-witted woman who was fluent in nine
languages. She was a mathematician and a very good businesswoman. She had
a genuine respect for Caesar, whose intelligence and wit matched her own.
Antony on the other hand almost drove her insane with his lack of
intelligence and his excesses. She dealt with him and made the most of
what she had to do. She fought for her country. She had a charismatic
personality, was a born leader and an ambitious monarch who deserved
better than suicide."
- Cleopatra from the BBC
- The real Cleopatra. "If you believe what you
read, Cleopatra was the beautiful Egyptian queen who seduced the Romans,
fascinated the French philosopher Pascal, and inspired the writings of
Shakespeare, the paintings of Tiepolo and a fair few Hollywood
blockbusters. . . . However, a new book by Joyce Tyldesley, a lecturer in
Egyptology at the University of Manchester, challenges that popular
portrait of the Ancient World’s most famous female monarch. Cleopatra:
Last Queen of Egypt takes issue with almost everything that is attached to
her, from her reported beauty and powers of seduction to her motives and
abilities. Indeed, Joyce says in order to understand the real Cleopatra,
we must disregard everything we know about her, beginning with that
alleged promiscuity. "Who she wasn’t was this glamorous seductress
that film-makers seem to like so much. There’s no evidence that she had
more than two sexual partners - Julius Caesar, who she was faithful to
until he died, and Mark Antony - but I think we like to see her that way –
there’s something appealing about it, but it’s most unfair."
AND NUBIA - THE "REST" OF
- 1987 Nubian Exhibition: Brochure
- "Nubia - Its Glory and Its People." The outstanding
1987 exhibition of the Univ. Chicago Oriental Institute Museum.
- Nubian Homepage
- The section on "Nubia in the Old Days." Links,
chronology, map. "For unjustifiable reasons Nubian Civilization has
been overlooked in favor of the another Great Egyptian Civilization. All
findings in the past have been attributed to Egypt, while Egypt's High Dam
made it impossible for current excavations. More than 100 of Nubian
villages in (most of them in Sudan )with all onuments,tombs,temples were
flooded by the waters of Nasser Lake after the construction of this High
dam. Very few monuments (only 4)of Nubia of Sudan were saved during an
international campaign by world community to salvage Nubian Culture."
- Vanished Kingdoms of the Nile: The Rediscovery
of Ancient Nubia
- 1992 Oriental Institute Exhibition. "Nubia is
located in today's southern Egypt and northern Sudan. This land has one of
the harshest climates in the world. The temperatures are high throughout
most of the year, and rainfall is infrequent. The banks of the Nile are
narrow, making farming difficult. Yet, in antiquity, Nubia was a land of
great natural wealth, of gold mines, ebony, ivory and incense which was
always prized by her neighbors. Nubia is the homeland of Africa's earliest
black culture with a history which can be traced from 3100 B.C. onward
through monuments and artifacts, as well as written records from Egypt and
- Racisim and the
Rediscovery of Ancient Nubia
- The Black
Pharoahs - From
National Geographic - Very IMPORTANT
- "An ignored chapter of history tells of a time when
kings from deep in Africa conquered ancient Egypt." And the Photo Gallery
AND THEIR CITIES AND TOWNS
- Basic antiquity reference. History of Alexandra,
people, events, geography.
- Cairo History Guide
- Cairo's deep-rooted history. "When Alexander the
Great conquered Egypt, Cairo was older to him than he is to us." Takes
viewer on long journey from 3500 BC to today.
CONTROVERSIAL EGYPT PAGES
Controversy exists in all scholarly pursuits. It should
not surprise us that it does in ancient Egypt. It seems more intense -
perhaps because Egypt appears more mysterious than Rome and Greece. Of the
many puzzles, the Athena Controversy stands apart - for its seriousness and
- The Ten Plagues of Egypt
- Great! And more causes of the
THE BLACK ATHENA CONTROVERSY
This controversy stems from propositions considered
controversial: that the ancient Egyptians were black, that ancient Egypt was
superior to other ancient civilizations and had a major influence on Europe
and Africa, and that academic racists over the years prevented this
information from being disseminated. If you want to enter this debate, you
need to read carefully the major responses of the participants in this
debate. What I should think we would all agree upon is the wonder, richness,
and "multiculturality" of the mixture of peoples in the Ancient
- "A heated, racial, academic
debate between establishment and other theorists about the role of Egypt
and other parts of Africa in the formation of our Greco-Roman
heritage." Several diverse but analytical sites.
- Building Bridges to
- Excellent 1995 article, beginning with: " "What
color were the ancient Egyptians?" This is a question that strikes fear
into the hearts of most American Egyptologists, since it so often presages
a barrage of questions and assertions from the Afrocentric perspective.
Few of us have devoted much thought or research to the contentions of the
Afrocentric movement, so we nervously try to say something reasonable, and
hope that the questioner won't persist and that we won't end up looking
- silly or racist or both."
- Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse
to Teach Myth as History
- The Lefkowitz book title (1996). And her
thesis: "There are of course many possible interpretations of the
truth, but some things are simply not true. It is not true that there was
no Holocaust. There was a Holocaust, although we may disagree about the
numbers of people killed. Likewise, it is not true that the Greeks stole
their philosophy from Egypt; rather, it is true that the Greeks were
influenced in various ways over a long period of time by their contact
with the Egyptians. But then, what culture at any time has not been
influenced by other cultures, and what exactly do we mean by "influence"?
If we talk about Greek philosophy as a "Stolen Legacy," which the Greeks
swiped from Egyptian universities, we are not telling the truth, but
relating a story, or a myth, or a tall tale. But if we talk about Egyptian
influence on Greece, we are discussing an
- What Race Were the Ancient
- Another point of view (2000): "Civilization as
it exists today is the culmination of the historical development of
mankind, layer upon layer from ancient times to modern, each group
contributing its share to the whole. Through human interaction, whether by
trade or warfare, ideas, reform, and invention are assimilated, adapted,
and again dispersed. It's the nature of history regardless of ethnicity."
- Afrocentric Debate Resource
ByrnMawr Classical Review
COMPLEXITY THAT WAS THE "OTHER ANCIENTS"
The peoples that "time forgot!" Obscure to the
mainstream of classical ancient civilization. But central and contributory
to so much. The Web is growing in sites. I have spent hours going
through each one. A few excellent ones exist, but many are of little
value. I list here only those that are useful. Mesopotamia,
Babylon, Sumer, King Sargon, Akkadian Empire, Dynasty of Ur, Sumerians,
Akkad, cuneiform, Assyria, Hammurabi, Babylon, Chaldeans, Celts.
- The British
- Geography, Gods and Goddesses, Demons,
- Extravagant site. Library,
Courtyard, Study, Music Room, Avatars, Royal Tombs of Ur, Tower of Babel,
Hanging Gardens, Ziggurats, War Room, Earaly Sumerian Warfare, Assyrian
Campaigns, Fall of Nineveh, Babylonian Campaigns, Fall of Babylon, Prelude
to Persian Wars, and on and on. Remarkable "place."
- Map of Ancient Mesopotamia
- Mesopotamia - A Large
- Summary with essays on religion, trade, Assyriology
and Archeology, geography, climate, people.
- Mesopotamian Prehistory: Prehistory
- New Societies in West Asia
The successive waves of
invaders on the Mesopotamian plains and their
- Assyro-Babylonian Mythology
- Sumerian Mythology FAQ: Religion,
- Cuneiform Writing System (Babylonian and Assyrian
- Structure and use,
- The Sumerians and Assyrians - Country
- "Cradled by the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers in what
is today Iraq, the Sumerians of Mesopatamia established the earliest known
society in which people could read and write. Although the Sumerian's gift
of writing made possible the recording of history, Sumer itself was lost
until a century ago, when the translation of cunieform tablets revealed a
civilization and a language quite unlike the Semitic tongues of the
Babylonians and Assyrians."
- Oriental Institute of the University of
- World-renowned center for near eastern research.
Click to the Mesopotamian SECTION and then the Assyrian
- Seven Wonders: The Hanging Gardens of
- Fruits, flowers, waterfalls, gardens, terraces,
exotic animals? Not so. They "might have never existed except in Greek
poets and historians imagination."
- Babylon, Iraq
- "Babylon, the legendary city, is indeed, the most
famous ancient city in the whole World. It was the capital of ten
Mesopotamian dynasties starting with the dynasty of King Hammurabi
(1792-1750 BC); the 6th king of the 1st dynasty; reaching prominence as
the capital city of the great kingdom of Babylonia. The last dynasty at
which Babylon achieved its zenith, is well known particularly of its 2nd
king, Nebuchadnezzar II (605-563 BC), to whom most of Babylon's existing
buildings belongs." A rebuilding.
- Ancient Babylonia - Good site.
History, rulers, Archaeology, law, economy
- Ancient Tablets, Ancient
- "Assessing Women's Lives in Mesopotamia." Women
in World History Curriculum - Lesson of the Month . Special article.
- Babylonian and Egyptian
Mathematics - Fascinating study
- History of Plumbing - Babylon
- "To the ancient traveler on
foot or camel back, the massive walled city of Babylon and its network of
canals and verdant crop lands must have loomed like a mirage in the
simmering heat of the Near East sun. Adding to a disbelieving eye was a
300-ft. high ziggurat or temple tower in the city's center, surrounded on
all sides by lush gardens and date palm trees that swayed upon the
terraced city. . . Located some 50 miles south of Baghdad in what is now
Iraq, the flat land today is broken only by a series of desolate mounds
and occasional patches of green cultivation and small villages. But
beneath these mounds or "tells" are shattered remnants of past
civilizations, crumbled foundations of clay cities literally layered one
on top of the other. What developed in this area between the Tigris and
Euphrates Rivers from about 6000-3000 B.C. were the beginnings of western
civilization. . . . Wheeled vehicles became common - and water management
evolved into irrigation dams, drains and basins, and personal bathrooms of
their era's rich and famous." Great info.
- The Full Code of Hammurabi and Extended
- Although the myth of the "eye for an eye" came from
this code, most of the items deal with civil law and protecting business,
property of value (like camels), transactions. By reading through
all the 200+ items, one can be specific about what was important in that
- Code of Hammurabi, c.
1780 BCE -
Ancient History Sourcebook most complete and detailed
treatment. THIS ESSAY IS KEY.
- Hammurabi: King of
- "Hammurabi is principally known for his codification
of Babylonian laws, which was probably not his own creation, but a
continuation of older legal systems.Although Hammurabi experienced many
military victories during the last period of his reign, he was not a great
state builder — principally due to the existence of relatively few models
for states and their structure. He did not develop a functional
bureaucracy and chose to follow a totalitarian approach to governance."
- You be the Judge on Hammurabi's
Code - Give it a Try
- You decide by clicking to the link to "Solve some
problems Hammurabi faced." See Hammurabi's Code.
- Brief info. THEN Type the
word "Ziggurats" into Google and you will get 264 pictures, photos of
- Ancient Ziggurats
- "Ziggurats were huge 'stepped' structures and,
on their summit, far above the ground, a temple. To the city god. The city
ziggurat would easily be the most conspicuous building in the city,
towering above any visitors coming to their city. The ziggurat was not
just a religious center but also a center of civic pride. Any visitor
could not but see the ziggurat. The ziggurats were built on an immense
scale: in the time of Hammurapi they would sometimes reach the height of
150 feet. Around the base there might be more temples or in some case
accommodation for priests."
- Cyrus the Great
- "Cyrus was the first Achaemenian Emperor of Persia,
who issued a decree on his aims and policies, later hailed for his
charter of the rights of nations. Inscribed on a clay cylinder, thought to
be the first declaration of Human Rights, and is now kept at the British
Museum. Syymbolizes Multiculturalism, a word coined to express the
coexistence and peaceful cohabitation of peoples from different background
and culture in one land." And one general view: By pursuing a policy of
generosity, instead of repression, Cyrus demonstrated his Greatness. So
successful were his policies of conquest, mercifulness and assimilation
that the empire continued to thrive for some 200 years after his death.
Cyrus' compassionate principles continue to resonate today: his religious
and cultural tolerance and commitment to the liberation of enslaved
peoples remain an aspiration in our troubled modern world."
LANGUAGE, MYTHOLOGY, RELIGION, SCIENCE
- The Curse of Akkad
- "First of the world's empires, Akkad was not the last
to blame its fall on sacrilege. In a fit of pique, the author of the curse
believed, the Akkadian emperor had destroyed a temple to the sky god
Enlil, bringing on a century of drought, famine, and barbarian invasions.
How else to explain the empire's sudden, calamitous decline?"
- Epic of Gilgamesh - Great YouTube
- Gilgamesh Page
- An almost complete translation.
- Dead Sea Scrolls
- Are they authentic, who hid them away, what are their
secrets, what were the lives like of those who hid them. 2000 year-old
- Internet Resources for the Study of Judaism and
Christianity - Extensive
- Jerusalem Mosaic
- "This 6th century mosaic map of Jerusalem was found
under the floor of Madaba's St George's Church. The mosaic was probably
made during the reign of the Emperor Justinian (AD 527-65) and hold
significant historical value. Detailed and
- Virtual Tour of Jerusalem
- Hebrew University takes you through one of the
world's oldest and most culturally rich cities. And more Tours.
- Assyria 1995: The Glory and Fall of
- Good and interesting summary of the 10th conference
- Assyria On Line
- One of most informative sites about the Assyrians and
their empire. Many links on diiverse subjects such as daily Assyrian life,
women, language, holidays, literature, and mythology. Includes real
Assyrian yellow pages containing Assyrian affiliates throughout the
country and the world.
- The Old Testament - Assyria
- What is important to remember is that many historians
believe from their research that the Assyrians were no more cruel and
"awful" than the others in Mesopotamia. So be careful here.
"Assyria was a kingdom located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
that dominated the ancient world from the ninth century to the seventh
century B. C. Its capital was Nineveh. In stature the Assyrians were of
average modern European height, and were powerfully built. Their
complexion was dark, the nose prominent, the hair, eyebrows, and beard
thick and bushy. They rarely intermarried with neighboring
peoples. The early inhabitants of Assyria were ancient tribesmen
(Gen. 10:22) who probably migrated from Babylonia. They grew powerful
enough around 1300 B. C. to conquer Babylonia. For the next 700 years they
were the leading power in the ancient world, with their leading rival
nation, Babylon, constantly challenging them for this position. "
- "It was the Assyrians that destroyed the northern
kingdom Israel under Shalmaneser IV who besieged Samaria and then died
during the siege leaving Sargon II to finish the task and drag Israel into
captivity. After defeating the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B. C.,
the Assyrians carried away thousands of Israelites and resettled them in
other parts of the Assyrian Empire. This was a blow from which the nation
of Israel never recovered. The ten tribes that were taken to Assyria
became the ten lost tribes, for they have never again emerged in world
history. Assyrian policy was to deport conquered peoples to other
lands within the empire, to destroy their sense of nationalism, and break
any pride or hope of rebellion and replace them with strangers from far
away. Assyrians were great warriors. Most nations at that time period were
looters, building their state by robbing other nations. Assyria was the
most ferocious of them all. Their very name became a byword for cruelty
and atrocity. They skinned their prisoners alive, and cut off various body
parts to inspire terror in their enemies. There is records of Assyrian
officials pulling out tongues and displaying mounds of human skulls all to
bring about stark horror and wealthy tribute from surrounding nations.
Nowhere are the pages of history more bloody than in the records of their
- Assyrian - From Ancient
- The Assyrian Empire
- Succinct clear history of this empire.
- Critical Analysis.
"Assyrians were one of the most warlike people in history, lovers of the
violence of the war and hunt. Amongst the people of the ancient Middle
East, they were famous for their cruelty. At the peak of its power,
Assyria stretched from Egypt to Persian Gulf. Their aggressiveness was
partially attributed to their location: Assyria was in northern
Mesopotamia, north of Babylon. As no natural bounders like shores or
mountains were found there, they were vulnerable to attacks from any
direction. This required the presence of a strong and mobile army.
Assyrians were also good traders, and the main trade
routes of Mesopotamia passed through Assyria. Their control was a source
of richness. . . . The expansionism exhausted the power of Assyria,
facing continuously new enemies. During Ashurbanipal, Assyria was at its
peak, even if it had lost Egypt. But a weak moment appeared in 620 BC, due
to a civil war. The attack of the Medes from the East and Babylonians from
the south ended with the fall of the capital, Ashur, in 614 BC and Nineveh
and Kalack in 612 BC. This time the massacre was perpetrated on the
Assyrians, so badly that they were out of
- An Assyrian Emperor's Resume: Ferocious Conquests a
bloody activities in his own words.
- University of Chicago. Compilation of comprehensive
dictionary of the various dialects of Akkadian, the earliest known Semitic
language that was recorded on cuneiform texts.
- Assyrian King List
- The Great Ashurbanipal
- "Asurbanipal or Sardanapal, (reigned 669 - 627 BCE),
the son of Esarhaddon and Naqi'a-Zakutu, was the last great king of
ancient Assyria. He is famous as one of the few kings in antiquity who
could himself read and write. . . . The early part of Ashurbanipal's
reign, like that of most Assyrian kings, was marked by incessant warfare.
He made war on his brother Shamash-shum-ukin, who had been installed as
king in Babylon, and who had rebelled against him. The Babylonian king was
the leader of a large coalition of peoples from southern Mesopotamia (but
including also Egypt). Eventually, Ashurbanipal reconquered Babylon, and
the coalition disbanded. Ashurbanipal also crushed a rebellion in Egypt,
and conquered Elam, destroying its capital city, Susa. He also conquered a
great part of the Arab territories."
- Welcome to the Library of King
- "King Ashurbanipal (ca. 668-627 B.C.) was the ruler
of ancient Assyria at the height of Assyrian military and cultural
accomplishments. He is known in Greek writings as Sardanapalus and as
Asnappeer or Osnapper in the Bible. Through military conquests
Ashurbanipal also expanded Assyrian territory and its number of vassal
states. However, of far greater importance to posterity was Ashurbanipal's
establishment of a great library in the city of Nineveh. The military and
territorial gains made by this ruler barely outlived him but the Library
he established has survived partially intact. A collection of 20,000 to
30,000 cuneiform tablets containing approximately 1,200 distinct texts
remains for scholars to study today. Ashurbanipal's library was not the
first library of its kind but it was one of the largest and one of the
ones to survive to the present day. Most of it is now in the possession of
the British Museum or the Iraq Department of Antiquities.
- The importance of Ashurbanipal's Library can not be
overstated. It was buried by invaders centuries before the famous library
at Alexandria was established and gives modern historians much information
about the peoples of the Ancient Near East. The ancient Sumerian "Epic of
Gilgamesh" and a nearly complete list of ancient Near Eastern rulers among
other priceless writings were preserved in Ashurbanipal's palace library
at Nineveh. Ashurbanipal's accomplishments are also of great importance to
scholars of library history. As a scholar Ashurbanipal reached greatnesss.
Though this library was not the first of its kind, it was one of the
largest and the first library modern scholars can document as having most
or even all of the attributes one expects to find in a modern library.
Like a modern library this collection was spread out into many rooms
according to subject matter. Some rooms were devoted to history and
government, others to religion and magic and still others to geography,
science, poetry, etc. Ashurbanipal's collection even held what could be
called classified government materials. The findings of spies and secret
affairs of state were held secure from access in deep recesses of the
palace much like a modern government archive."
- Ashurbanipal II
- "Ashurbanipal II, King of Assyria (884 – 859 BC),
called himself “trampler of nations”. Blood-curdling inscriptions of his
- 'I besieged and conquered the city… I captured many
troops alive. I cut off of some their arms and hands. I cut off others
their noses, ears and extremities. I gouged out the eyes of many troops. I
made one pile of the living and one of heads. I hung their heads on trees
around the city. I flayed as many nobles as had rebelled against me and
draped their skins over the pile of corpses… I flayed many, right through
my land and draped their skins over the walls. I cut off the heads of
their fighters and built therewith a tower before the city. I burnt their
adolescent boys and girls.'"
- Ninevah On Line -
- The Nippur Expedition
- Nippur, Sacred City of
- Supreme God of Sumer and Akkad.
- Palace of Ashurnasirpal II
- 3D animated fly-through of Assyrian palace.
- Songs of Assyria
- Stolen Stones: The Modern Sack of
- Excellent article on the Sack of Nineveh and the
finds at the lost palace of Sennacherib.
- The Akkadians
- "A history of ancient Akkad (Akkadians) from its rise
to fall including its kings, cities, laws and contributions to
civilization. The Akkadians were a Semitic people living on the Arabic
peninsula during the great flourishing period of the Sumerian city-states.
There are several reasons for taking the year 2350 as a turning point in
the history of Mesopotamia. For the first time, an empire arose on
Mesopotamian soil. The driving force of that empire was the Akkadians, so
called after the city of Akkad, which Sargon chose for his capital (it has
not yet been identified but was presumably located on the Euphrates
between Sippar and Kish). The name Akkad became synonymous with a
population group that stood side by side with the Sumerians. Southern
Mesopotamia became known as the "land of Sumer and Akkad"; Akkadian became
the name of a language; and the arts rose to new heights."
- Sargon The
- "SARGON OF AKKAD was an ancient Mesopotamian ruler
who reigned approximately 2334-2279 BC, and was one of the earliest of the
world's great empire builders, conquering all of southern Mesopotamia as
well as parts of Syria, Anatolia, and Elam (western Iran). He established
the region's first Semitic dynasty and was considered the founder of the
Mesopotamian military tradition. Sargon based his empire in the city of
Akkad, which became the basis of the name of his people. This great
capital of the largest empire humans had ever seen up until that point
later became the city of Babylon, which was the commercial and cultural
center of the middle east for almost two thousand years." And
- The Story of Sargon's
- The Advice of an Akkadian Father to His Son, c. 2200
- "Do not honor a slave girl in your house; she should
not rule your bedroom like a wife, do not give yourself over to slave
girls....Let this be said among your people: "The household which a slave
girl rules, she disrupts." Do not marry a prostitute, whose husbands are
legion, an Ishtar-woman who is dedicated to a god, a kulmashitu-woman. . .
.When you have trouble, she will not support you, when you have a dispute
she will be a mocker." The rest of the advice is quite "good" also.
- Akkad and the Arts
- "Sargon of Akkad's (reigned c. 2334-c. 2279 BC)
unification of the Sumerian city-states and creation of a first
Mesopotamian empire profoundly affected the art of his people, as well as
their language and political thought. The increasingly large proportion of
Semitic elements in the population were in the ascendancy, and their
personal loyalty to Sargon and his successors replaced the regional
patriotism of the old cities. The new conception of kingship thus
engendered is reflected in artworks of secular grandeur, unprecedented in
the god-fearing world of the Sumerians."
- Sargon - Legendary King of
- "There are many legends surrounding the birth and
upbringing of Sargon, though they probably have varying degrees of truth.
When the events from the legends are combined, we see that Sargon’s rise
to emperor was a huge accomplishment. While the identity of his father is
not clearly known, the legend states that his mother was a temple
priestess. Giving birth to him in secret and setting him in a basket to
float, she abandoned him to the Euphrates river. Akki, a gardener, rescued
him from the river and raised him. After working as a gardener for Akki,
Sargon rose to the position of cup-bearer to Ur-Zababa, the king of Kish."
- Sargon I of Akkad
- "Sargon is the great teacher who taught early mankind
how to build an empire."
THE HITTITES AND THEIR NEW-FOUND FAME
- Focus on Anatolia
- Anatolia through the ages, major civilizations and
famous settlements, ancient cities from Ephesus to Catal Hoyuk.
- Chicago Hittite Dictionary
- "Hittite language is the earliest preserved member of
the Indo-European family of langues...The vast majority of Hittite tablets
were excavated from the ruins of the ancient Hittite capital Hattusa
located near the modern Turkish town of Boghazkoy." Excavation began in
1906, recovering about 10,000 clay tablets, most in an unknown language
(Hittite). By 1916 the language had been deciphered. Gradually knowledge
increased. The Chicago Project officially started in 1975.
- Great Hittite Kingdom -
- Hittites From the Encyclopedia
- The Hittite Civilization
- "Roaring into history from mysterious origins, the
Hittites would rule a great empire that stretched from Mesopotamia to
Syria and Palestine. The Hittites are shrouded in fog and mystery; we
don't where they came from, and for a long time the language they spoke
was undecipherable. In the end, it turns out they were Indo-European, that
is, they spoke a language from the Indo-European language family, which
includes English, German, Greek, Latin, Persian, and the languages of
India. Their invasion spelled the end of the Old Babylonian empire in
Mesopotamia (1900-1600 BC), and like so many others before them, the
invaders adopted the ways of the conquered; after the conquest of
Mesopotamia, the Hittites adopted the laws, religion, and the literature
of the Old Babylonians thus continuing the long heritage of Sumerian
culture. Their empire was at its greatest from 1600-1200 BC, and even
after the Assyrians gained control of Mesopotamia after 1300 BC, the
Hittite cities and territories thrived independently until 717 BC, when
the territories were finally conquered by Assyrians and others."