Architecture / Empire / Assyria

Accadian architecture: The architecture of the Accads, a people inhabiting the country east of Syria in primitive times.

Assyrian architecture: Architecture of the Assyrian empire (centered between the Tigris and the Upper and Lower Zab rivers in southwest Asia) was expressive of its might, as conquerors of Mesopotamia and much of the adjacent countries between the 9th and 7th century B.C. Mud brick was used as the building material, although stone was available; stone was used only for carved revetments and monumental decorative sculptures. Vaulting played a much greater role than in southern Mesopotamia. Excavations have uncovered large palaces and temple complexes with their ziggurats in Assyrian cities such as Assur, Calah (Nimrud), Nineveh, and Dur Sharrukin (Korsabad), as well as extensive fortifications.

Neo-Babylonian architecture: The Mesopotamian architecture that developed after the decline of the Assyrian Empire, deriving much from Assyrian architecture and enhanced by figured designs of heraldic animals in glazed brickwork.

Persian architecture: The architecture developed under the Achaemenid dynasty of kings who ruled ancient Persia from 550 B.C. until its conquest by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C., characterized by a synthesis of architectural elements of surrounding countries, as Assyria, Egypt, and Ionian Greece.

Assur: See Assyrian architecture.

calah: See Assyrian architecture.

Dur Sharrukin: See Assyrian architecture.

Khorsabad: See Assyrian architecture.

Mesopotamia: An ancient region in western Asia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, comprising the lands of Sumer and Akkad and occupied successively by the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Persians: now part of Iraq.

papakhu: The holy of holies in an Assyrian or Babylonian temple.

unburnt: Not baked, or fired, in a kiln; said of articles of clay such as in most cases are so completed by exposure to heat. Unburnt bricks are very common in Egyptian and Syrian building.

orthostat: One of many large stone slabs, set vertically as a revetment at the lower part of the cella in a classical temple, or at the base of a wall in the ancient architecture of Anatolia, northern Syria, and Assyria.

winged bull: An Assyrian symbol of force and domination, of frequent occurrence in ancient Assyrian architectural sculpture; pairs of winged human-headed bulls and lions of colossal size usually guarded the portals of palaces.

horseshoe arch: An arch shaped like a horseshoe; common in Islamic architecture. Appears in Exotic Revival houses in the 1850s and 1880s. Also called a Syrian arch.

Syrian arch: A type of semicircular arch that has very low supports, with the result that the distance from the impost to the level of the crown of the arch is greater than the height of the impost from the ground. It is so called because it was used in the Early Christian churches of Syria, in the 5th and 6th centuries.

arctuated lintel: Same as Syrian arch.


Old Assyrian Period
Aminu (?)
Sulili (?)
Kikkija (?)
Akija (?)
Puzur-Assur I (?)
Shalim-ahum (?)
Ilushuma (?)
Erishum I (?)
Ikunum (?)
Sargon I (?)
Puzur-Assur II (?)
Year Names of Narām-Sîn (?)
Erishum (?)

1900 BCE
Ashur, capital of Assyria, is founded.

Shamshi-Adad I (ca. 1808 BCE – 1776 BCE)

1813 BCE – 1791 BCE
Reign of Shamashi Adad I who drives out Amorites, secures border of Assyria, makes Ashur capital.

Išme-dagan (1775 BCE – ?)

1680 BCE
Hurrians occupy Assyria.

1472 BCE
Mittani annexes Assyria.

1400 BCE
Assyria regains its independence.

Middle Assyrian Period
Aššur-uballiṭ (1363 BCE – 1328 BCE)

1353 BCE – 1318 BCE
Reign of Ashur-Uballit I who conquers the Hittites and expands Assyria’s territory.

1353 BCE – 1318 BCE
King Ashur-Ubalit I frees Assyria from Mitanni rule.

Enlil-nirari (1327 BCE – 1318 BCE)
Arik-den-ili (1317 BCE – 1306 BCE)
Adad-Nirari (1305 BCE – 1274 BCE)

1307 BCE – 1275 BCE
Reign of Assyrian King Adad-Nirari I, Mitanni becomes vassal state.

1307 BCE – 1275 BCE
Reign of Adad Nirari I, King of Assyria.

Shalmaneser I (1273 BCE – 1244 BCE)

c. 1250 BCE
Shalmaneser I of Assyria conquers the kingdom of Mitanni and defeats its allies.

Tukulti-Ninurta I (1243 BCE – 1207 BCE)


c. 1245 BCE
Battle of Nihriya: Tukulti-Ninurta I of Assyria defeats Tudḫalia IV of the Hittites.

1244 BCE – 1208 BCE
Reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I, King of Assyria.

1244 BCE – 1208 BCE
Reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I, Hittites conquered.

c. 1225 BCE
Tukulti-Ninurta I sacks Babylon.

1220 BCE
Babylon is under Assyrian control.

Assur-nadin-apli (1206 BCE – 1203 BCE)
Enlil-kudur-uṣur (1196 BCE – 1192 BCE)
Assur-nirari III (1202 BCE – 1197 BCE)
Ninurta-apil-Ekur (1191 BCE – 1179 BCE)
Assur-dan I (1178 BCE – 1133 BCE)
Ninurta-tukulti-Assur (?)
Mutakkil-Nusku (?)
Assur-resha-ishi I (1132 BCE – 1115 BCE)
Tiglath-Pileser I (1114 BCE – 1076 BCE)

1115 BCE – 1076 BCE
Reign of Tiglath-Pileser I of Assyria who conquers Phoenicia and revitalizes the empire.

Asharid-apil-Ekur (1075 BCE – 1074 BCE)
Assur-bel-kala (1073 BCE – 1056 BCE)
Eriba-Adad II (1055 BCE – 1054 BCE)
Shamshi-Adad IV (1053 BCE – 1050 BCE)
Assurnasirpal I (1049 BCE – 1031 BCE)
Shalmaneser II (1030 BCE – 1019 BCE)
Assur-nirari IV (1018 BCE – 1013 BCE)
Assur-rabi II (1012 BCE – 972 BCE)
Assur-resha-ishi II (971 BCE – 967 BCE)
Tiglath-pileser II (966 BCE – 935 BCE)

beit hilani: In northern Syria, a type of palace in the first millennium BC having a forward section with two large transverse rooms, a portico with one to three columns, and a throne room. 2. In ancient Assyrian architecture, the pillared portico of a belt hilani.

bit hilani: In northern Syria, a type of palace in the first millennium B.C. having a forward section with two large traverse rooms, a portico with one to three columns, and throne room. 2. In ancient Assyrian architecture, the pillared portico of a beit hilani. See beit hilani.


Neo Assyrian Period
Aššur-dan II (934 BCE – 912 BCE)
Adad-nirari II (911 BCE – 891 BCE)

912 BCE – 891 BCE
Reign of Adad Nirari II who revitalizes kingdom and secures borders.

900 BCE – 800 BCE
Surviving sphinxes from the Assyrian civilization, usually placed as guards outside palaces.

Tukulti-ninurta II (890 BCE – 884 BCE)
Assurnasirpal II (883 BCE – 859 BCE)

884 BCE – 859 BCE
Rule of king Ashurnasirpal II of Assyria who moves capital from Ashur to Kalhu (Caleh).

c. 879 BCE – c. 627 BCE
Ashur remains an important spiritual center for Assyria, though no longer the capital.

Shalmaneser III (858 BCE – 824 BCE)

853 BCE
Babylonian kings depend on Assyrian military support.

841 BCE
Israel pays tribute to Assyria.

Šamši-Adad V (823 BCE – 811 BCE)

824 BCE – 811 BCE
Reign of King Shamshi Adad V under whose reign civil war erupts.

Adad-nirai III (810 BCE – 783 BCE)
Shalmaneser IV (782 BCE – 773 BCE)
Assur-dan III (772 BCE – 755 BCE)
Aššur-nirari V (754 BCE – 745 BCE)

746 BCE
Ashur Nirari V, King of Assyria, deposed in palace coup. Tiglath Pileser III assumes the throne.

Tiglath-pileser III (744 BCE – 727 BCE)

745 BCE – 727 BCE
Reign of Tiglath Pileser III who restructures government and military and expands empire.

745 BCE – 727 BCE
Reign of Tiglath Pileser III, King of Assyria.

729 BCE
Tiglath Pileser III reigns at height as King of Babylon and Assyria.

729 BCE
Babylon is occupied by Assyrians.


Shalmaneser V (726 BCE – 722 BCE)

727 BCE – 722 BCE
Reign of Shalmaneser V.


Sargon II (721 BCE – 705 BCE)

722 BCE – 705 BCE
Reign of Sargon II of Assyria. Capital moved from Kalhu to Dur-Sharrukin.

722 BCE – 705 BCE
Reign of King Sargon II of Assyria.

722 BCE – 705 BCE
Reign of Sargon II of Assyria.

722 BCE – 612 BCE
The Sargonid Dynasty of Assyria.

722 BCE – 705 BCE
Peak of the Assyrian empire under the reign of Sargon II.

721 BCE
Israel is conquered by Assyria.

719 BCE – 717 BCE
Border wars between Assyria and the Kingdom of Urartu.

c. 713 BCE
Zakutu is associated with the crown prince of Assyria Sennacherib.

710 BCE – 707 BCE
Sargon II resides at Babylon, rules Assyria from Babylonian court.

709 BCE
Mita of the Mushki (possibly King Midas) allies with King Sargon II of Assyria.


Sennacherib (704 BCE – 681 BCE)

hanging gardens: Gardens planted in a series of stepped hillside terraces. The paradigm, was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, although it appears there were exemplars at Nineveh laid out under the Assyrian Sennacherib constructed on an artificial hill and featuring running water


705 BCE – 681 BCE
Reign of king Sennacherib of Assyria.

705 BCE
Sennacherib moves capital from Dur-Sharrukin to Nineveh.

701 BCE
King Sennacherib of Assyria sacks the city of Lachish in Judah but fails to take the capital Jerusalem.


Esarhaddon (680 BCE – 669 BCE)

681 BCE – 669 BCE

Reign of Esarhaddon who expands the empire.

c. 676 BCE
Scythians and Mannaens attack Assyria.

671 BCE
Egypt is conquered by Assyria.

671 BCE
Second Egyptian Campaign, Assyrian army successfully captures Memphis and conquers Egypt.

c. 669 BCE – c. 668 BCE
Issuance of the Loyal Treaty of Queen of Assyria Naqia-Zakutu, ensuring the succession of Ashurbanipal as king.

Aššurbanipal (668 BCE – 627 BCE)

668 BCE – 627 BCE
Reign of Ashurbanipal, the last great king of Assyria.

668 BCE – 627 BCE
Reign of Ashurbanipal, King of Assyria, last king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

668 BCE
Ashurbanipal succeeds his father as King of the Assyrian Empire.

653 BCE
Egypt expels Assyrians.

648 BCE
War between Assyria and the Elamites.

627 BCE
Death of King Ashurbanipal.


Assur-etel-ilani (627 BCE – 623 BCE)
Sin-shar-ishkun (622 BCE – 612 BCE)

627 BCE
Revolts break out following the death of Ashurbanipal, empire begins to fail.

612 BCE
Downfall of the Assyrian empire.

612 BCE
The great Assyrian cities of Ashur, Kalhu, and Nineveh are sacked and burned by the Medes, Babylonians, and Persian forces.


Assur-uballit II (611 BCE – ?)

605 BCE – 549 BCE
Babylon rules over the Assyrian regions.

c. 600 BCE
Assyrians control the Fertile Crescent.

549 BCE – 330 BCE
Persian rule in the region.

332 BCE – 330 BCE
Alexander the Great invades Syria, conquers the Persians.

c. 304 BCE – 64 BCE
Rule of the Seleucids in Mesopotamia.

115 CE – 116 CE
The Roman Empire conquers Mesopotamia.

226 CE – 650 CE
Sassanid Empire rules the region until the Arab Conquest of 7th century CE.


Also see Architecture index.


Sources Cited

Assyrian Timeline, Ancient History Encyclopedia

Rulers of Assyria, CDLI:wiki