Assyrians

By: Laine Apple

Time period

  1. Emergence: Beginnings To 2400 B.C.
  2. Golden Age: 2400 B.C. to 612 B.C.

Geography

Assyria is located in north Mesopotamia and spans four countries: In Syria it extends west to the Euphrates river; in Turkey it extends north to Harran, Edessa, Diyarbakir, and Lake Van; in Iran it extends east to Lake Urmi, and in Iraq it extends to about 100 miles south of Kirkuk. This is the Assyrian heartland, from which so much of the ancient Near East came to be controlled. They settled around rivers because this is the surest way of survival in this time period.

Advanced cities

Most cities formed around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers because of the large avaliblity of water and the fertile soil from the yearly floods. The floods created lots of mud which was very useful in many ways. Some of the biggest and most advanced cities were Syria, Northern Israel, Jerusalem/Judah, Egypt, and Babylonia. Some of there's cities still exist today.

Social Structures

In ancient Assyria the basic social unit was mainly the tribe and secondarily, the family. Almost every person lived in the cities where there was safety in numbers. There were laws that governed the cities and Assyria’s people were very conscious of their rights as citizens.The idea of family was not very highly developed in the Assyrian culture, especially in the earliest times.Kings and the wealthy lived luxuriously and spent much time feasting.The citizens spent most the time working their farms or other form of labor.
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Religion

Ashurism was the first religion of the Assyrians, it comes from the god Asshur, who was the believed to be the king of all the gods. Ashurism is polytheistic religion very similar to the religion of the Babylonians in that, their main gods were based around nature.

Goverment

To have an organized government, they had to have an organized hierarchy. If the slaves didn't do their jobs, then the hierarchy didn't work. If the farmers didn't grow enough food, the population would go down due to starvation. If every body did their jobs, they could have a well running society and hierarchy. Organized government in ancient Assyria was highly related to social classes.

System of Writing

The Assyrians used a style of writing called cuneiform. Cuneiform was used in many ways, It started out as a way to record business transactions, IOUs, and things like that. It helped priests know who had gotten their monthly share of crops and ect. Later on, it became a way to send messages to one another and communicate in general.

Technology/Contributions

  • The wheel
  • Cuneiform (As seen Above)
  • Paved roads
  • Beer
  • Algebra
  • Astronomy
  • Calendar
  • Postal system
  • Anti-depressants
  • Telescope
  • Magnifying glass
  • Plumbing (includes flush toilet)
  • Electric battery
  • The first chariots
  • The first aqueduct
  • The first library
  • The first school

Primary Source Document- Cuneform Tablet Case

When the merchants from Ashur in Assyria came to Anatolia early in the second millennium B.C. they brought with them the writing techniques invented in Mesopotamia: the script known as cuneiform and the medium of clay tablets encased in clay envelopes

Analysis

The Assyrians as a whole we're very advanced, they created things that still benefit us today. Their government was a hierarchy and was very organized and seemed to work well. There system of writing(cuneiform) was advanced and helped them be organized, communicate well with each other, and keep track of trade. Overall the Assyrian had a very we'll working society.