Archaeology of Ancient Assyria


Gen 10:8-12

8 Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth.

9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD."

10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

11 From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah,

12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city).



It is revealed in the Scriptures that Nimrod first built Calah in the land of Assyria. It later became one of the capital cities of Assyria, and revealed in cuneiform texts as Kalhu. The modern site is called Nimrud and is located 22 miles northeast of the area where the Tigris River and the Upper Zab rivers come together.


Calah was one of the mounds that was excavated by Austen Henry Layard of Britain, the young Assyriological pioneer, in 1845. During his excavations he also uncovered three palaces revealing a great variety of inscriptions, statues and sculpture, among these was the famous Black Obelisk of Shamaneser III (859-824 B.C.). The panels on the obelisk depict the tribute that was brought to king Shalmaneser from various kings (tributaries), including an Israelite king "Jehu, son of Omri" who is shown bowing before the Assyrian monarch (841 B.C.). Layard also uncovered the colossal winged man-headed lions guarding the palace entrance. A statue of Ashurnasirpal II was found in an excellent state of preservation.


The discoveries at Calah can be traced back to the most ancient of times, when civilization first began. The ancient city had been making trade with Ur, the city in Lower Mesopotamia where Abraham was living before he journeyed to Canaan. Shalmaneser I (1274-1245 B.C.) rebuilt Calah and made it his capital giving it fame in his day. Later the city had fallen into decay and the great conqueror Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 B.C.) chose to make Calah his capital over Ashur beautifying it with new temples, a new citadel and began the construction of the Great Ziggurat. Shalmaneser III and Tiglath-Pileser also made Calah their capital in Assyria. The Assyrians launched their campaigns against Israel from Calah and there Sargon II brought his booty and captives after the fall of Samaria (722 B.C.). Assyrian annals mention contacts with some nine Hebrew kings: Omri, Ahab, Jehu, Menahem, Pekah, Uzziah, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manasseh.


Ancient Calah covered an area of around 16 square miles. Calah finally fell after Nineveh in 612 B.C.


Priceless discoveries from Calah are on display in the British Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the University Museum at Philadelphia, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.


Also see Archaeological Discoveries


"Heaven and earth will pass away but My Word will abide forever."


Archaeology of Ancient Assyria

Archaeology of Ancient Assyria Introduction - Archaeology of Ancient Assyria Overview - Archaeology of Ancient Assyria Brief History of Ancient Assyria - Archaeology of Ancient Assyria Archaeology and Assyria Archaeological Discoveries - Archaeology of Ancient Assyria Neo Assyrian Kings - Archaeology of Ancient Assyria Scriptures about Ancient Assyria Bible Dictionaries - Archaeology of Ancient Assyria Conclusion - Archaeology of Ancient Assyria Ancient Assyria Khorsabad - Ancient Assyria Ashur - Ancient Assyria Calah - Ancient Assyria Nineveh - Ancient Assyria Copyright Bible History Online Archaeology and Ancient Assyria



Ancient Assyria

Ancient Assyria and Archaeology

Archaeological Discoveries

Paul Emil Botta - French Archaeologist

Austen Henry Layard - British Archaeologist

List of Later Assyrian Kings

The Ancient City of Nineveh

The Ancient City of Khorsabad

The Ancient City of Calah

The Ancient City of Asshur

Scriptures about Ancient Assyria

Bible Dictionaries

Bible Encyclopedias

Assyrian Texts - Ancient Documents

Conclusion - Heart Message and Devotional


Archaeology and Ancient Assyria

Bible History Online