Ancient Assyrians

Assyria, also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East in the area today known as the Levant that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC (in the form of the Assur city-state) until its collapse between 612 BC and 609 BC — spanning the periods of the Early to Middle Bronze Age through to the late Iron Age.

This vast span of time is divided into the Early Period (2500–2025 BC), Old Assyrian Empire (2025–1378 BC), Middle Assyrian Empire (1392–934 BC) and Neo-Assyrian Empire (911–609 BC).

Assyria was centred on the Tigris in Upper Mesopotamia, in modern terms, northern Iraq, northeast Syria, and southeast Turkey.

The Assyrians came to rule powerful empires in several periods. Making up a substantial part of the greater Mesopotamian “cradle of civilization”, which included Sumer, the Akkadian Empire, and Babylonia, Assyria reached the height of technological, scientific and cultural achievements for its time.

Starting around 900 BC, the Assyrians began campaigning to expand their empire and to dominate other people. They conquered, exacted tribute, building new fortified towns, palaces and tempels.

The Assyrians created an empire that stretched from eastern Libya and Cyprus in the East Mediterranean to Iran, and from present-day Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Transcaucasia to the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt in the south.

The name “Assyria” originates with the Assyrian state’s original capital, the ancient city of Aššur, which dates to c. 2600 BC — originally one of a number of Akkadian-speaking city-states in Mesopotamia.

(Adapted from Assyria Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia. )