The Relations of the Assyrian Capital of Nineveh with the City of Harran during the Neo Assyrian Period (911-612 B.C)
AbstractThe Assyrian period (911-612 BC) is one of the most ancient times in the history of ancient Iraq in general and Assyria in particular. The Assyrians had a significant and direct impact on the ancient Near East with their accomplishments in the fields of military conquests, urban planning and economic development. The Assyrian achievements spread along the geographical boundaries of the Assyrian Empire and the neighboring countries. These Assyrian achievements had a great impact on the definition of the long Assyrian history which ended with the fall of the Assyrian capital "Nineveh" in 612 BC by the Babylonian-Medi alliance. There have been many studies and researches over the history of the Assyrian Empire from various political, cultural and economic aspects. They have considerably contributed to the continuous excavations and modern readings of the cuneiform texts and substantially enriched the relevant researches with a lot of details.
What concerns us in this research is the Assyrian relations in the modern Assyrian era in North and North-West of Mesopotamia, the area referred to by many researchers as the Upper Euphrates. This study is intended to investigate the relationship between the Assyrian capital Nineveh and the city of Harran on various political, religious and economic dimensions drawing on the cuneiform texts from contracts, royal letters and the results of archaeological excavations. Though Harran appeared as a big city early in the third millennium BC, its prominent territorial and strategic significance was only evident in the first millennium BC, especially in the Assyrian and Babylonian modern era. The ambitions of the kings during that period to take control of the city of Harran noticeably increased due to its geographic location, scarcity, and welfare. Archaeological excavations proved that Harran was a great city and its strategic geographic location made it a target for conquest and occupation by the Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Medieval kings. Harran had an observable value in terms of religion. It was mentioned in the Old Testament as the city of Abraham, PBUH. In addition, the Assyrian kings of the first millennium BC considered the city the main center of worship of the god of the moon.
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