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Ancient Til Barsib -- Barsip -- Tell Ahmar

PDF Document: Carved Ivories from Til Barsib (2.72 MB)
Guy Bunnens -- American Journal of Archaeology
Volume 101:3:1997:435-450 (JSTOR)
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Til Barsip (Palestine Exploration Fund)

Tell [mound] Ahmar is the site of an ancient Assyrian city known in antiquity as Barsib. There is evidence of habitation at the site dating from the 5th millennium BC through to the present but the period when it ascended to its greatest affluence was during the Iron Age when the city was captured and then occupied by the Assyrians.

Barsib is the ancient Aramaean name of Ahmar. The Assyrian King Shalmaneser III captured the city in 856 BC and renamed it Kar-Shulmanu-Ashared and it remained a provincial capital of the Assyrian empire for some 250 years. Although the city was located more than 500 kilometres away from the capital cities of Assyria it nevertheless is strongly representative of true Assyrian culture. Indeed the style and manufacture of much of the material remains -- the pottery -- and other finds discovered at Ahmar are indistinguishable from those found at Nimrud or Nineveh.

The city's value to the Assyrians lay in its strategic location; situated at the confluence of two rivers -- the Euphrates and the Sajur. It is relatively easy to cross at this point and it is one of the few places where there is an interruption in the line of cliffs that flank the west bank of the Euphrates ...

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium