Archaeology of Ancient Assyria
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.
covered an area of around 16 square miles. Calah finally fell after Nineveh in
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.
"Heaven and earth will pass away but My Word will abide forever."
Archaeology of Ancient Assyria
Ancient Assyria and Archaeology
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
- Ancient Documents
- Heart Message and Devotional
Archaeology and Ancient Assyria