Portal:Ancient Near East

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Standard of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Zoroastrian Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC) was forged by Cyrus the Great, and became territorially the largest empire in antiquity, stretching from Pakistan and Central Asia to the Black Sea, Asia Minor and Thrace, and much of Egypt going as far west as Libya. It is noted in western history as the foe of the Greek city states in the Greco-Persian Wars, for freeing the Israelites from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting Aramaic as the empire's official language. This era saw the spread of Persian culture, and the beginning of the decline of ancient Near East culture centered in Babylon. Two centuries later, after Alexander the Great's conquest, Greece would eclipse both.

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Sargon of Akkad.jpg
Sargon of Akkad (Akkadian: Šarru-kinu, "legitimate king", reigned c. 2270 – 2215 BC (short chronology)) founded the Dynasty of Akkad, and created the Akkadian Empire after conquering all the Sumerian city-states.

Early in his career, he was as a prominent member of the royal court of Kish, ultimately overthrowing its king before embarking on the conquest of Mesopotamia. Sargon's vast empire is known to have extended from Elam to the Mediterranean sea, including Mesopotamia, parts of modern-day Iran and Syria, and possibly parts of Anatolia and the Arabian peninsula. He ruled from a new capital, Akkad (Agade), which the Sumerian king list claims he built (or possibly renovated), on the left bank of the Euphrates. Sargon is regarded as one of the first individuals in recorded history to create a multiethnic, centrally ruled empire, and his dynasty controlled Mesopotamia for around a century and a half.

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Tatchara
Credit: Elnaz Sarbar
Tatchara
Darius I's palace, Persepolis, 522 – 486 BC

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Did you know...

Earliest known pictographic writing c. 3500 BC
...that c. 5300 BC Eridu was the first settlement in what would become the cradle of civilization?

...that the first writing system was developed in the late 4th millennium BC in Sumer? It was a logographic script which is still incompletely deciphered.

...that the Sumerian language, the Kassite language, and the Hattic language are all language isolates, unrelated to any other known language?

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