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Asshur

ASSHUR ăsh’ ər (אַשּׁ֑וּר, meaning uncertain). Name of the son of Shem, borne also by the patron deity, people, and capital city of Assyria. (See [[Assyria]].) The ruins of Asshur (modern Qala’at Sherqat) lie c. 56 m. S of Mosul/Nineveh on the W bank of the Tigris River, bordering the great desert. Excavations by H. Rassam in 1853 and by the Deutsches Orient-Gesellschaft under R. Koldewey and W. Andrae (1903-14) reveal occupation of an archaic Ishtar temple in Sumer. levels and during the Sargonic period, after it had prob. fallen to Sargon of Agade c. 2350 b.c. About this time the city is named in Old Assyrian texts, and from that time until it fell to the Medes and Babylonians in 614 b.c. it held an important place as a religious and political center. Shamshi-Adad I built a temple to the god Enlil, while the older shrine with its distinctive twin-towered ziggurat dedicated to Anu and Adad was constantly renovated. A library of Middle Assyrian documents, including religious an