Assyria was a major Mesopotamian East Semitic-speaking kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East and the Levant. Centered on the Tigris in Upper Mesopotamia, the Assyrians came to rule powerful empires at several times. Assyria is named after its capital, the ancient city of Aššur. In the 25th and 24th centuries BC, Assyrian kings were pastoral leaders, Assyria can also refer to the geographic region or heartland where Assyria, its empires and the Assyrian people were centered. The indigenous modern Eastern Aramaic-speaking Assyrian Christian ethnic minority in northern Iraq, north east Syria, southeast Turkey, in prehistoric times, the region that was to become known as Assyria was home to a Neanderthal culture such as has been found at the Shanidar Cave. The earliest Neolithic sites in Assyria were the Jarmo culture c.7100 BC and Tell Hassuna, during the 3rd millennium BC, a very intimate cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians and the Akkadians throughout Mesopotamia, which included widespread bilingualism. The influence of Sumerian on Akkadian, and vice versa, is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a scale, to syntactic, morphological. This has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the third millennium BC as a sprachbund and it is highly likely that the city was named in honour of its patron Assyrian god with the same name. The city of Aššur, together with a number of other Assyrian cities, however it is likely that they were initially Sumerian-dominated administrative centres. In the late 26th century BC, Eannatum of Lagash, then the dominant Sumerian ruler in Mesopotamia, similarly, in c. the early 25th century BC, Lugal-Anne-Mundu the king of the Sumerian state of Adab lists Subartu as paying tribute to him. Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria, little is known, in the Assyrian King List, the earliest king recorded was Tudiya. According to Georges Roux he would have lived in the mid 25th century BC, Tudiya was succeeded on the list by Adamu, the first known reference to the Semitic name Adam and then a further thirteen rulers. The earliest kings, such as Tudiya, who are recorded as kings who lived in tents, were independent semi-nomadic pastoralist rulers and these kings at some point became fully urbanised and founded the city state of Ashur in the mid 21st century BC. During the Akkadian Empire, the Assyrians, like all the Mesopotamian Semites, became subject to the dynasty of the city state of Akkad, the Akkadian Empire founded by Sargon the Great claimed to encompass the surrounding four quarters. Assyrian rulers were subject to Sargon and his successors, and the city of Ashur became an administrative center of the Empire. On those tablets, Assyrian traders in Burushanda implored the help of their ruler, Sargon the Great, the name Hatti itself even appears in later accounts of his grandson, Naram-Sin, campaigning in Anatolia. Assyrian and Akkadian traders spread the use of writing in the form of the Mesopotamian cuneiform script to Asia Minor, the Akkadian Empire was destroyed by economic decline and internal civil war, followed by attacks from barbarian Gutian people in 2154 BC. The rulers of Assyria during the period between c.2154 BC and 2112 BC once again fully independent, as the Gutians are only known to have administered southern Mesopotamia
Letter sent by the high-priest Lu'enna to the king of Lagash (maybe Urukagina), informing him of his son's death in combat, c. 2400 BC, found in Girsu.
Ashurbanipal's brutal campaign against Elam in 647 BC is recorded in this relief.
The burning of bodies of Christian Assyrian women during the Assyrian Genocide