Portal:Ancient Near East

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Akkadian signs for /ni/
The Akkadian language is the earliest attested Semitic language. It used the cuneiform writing system derived ultimately from ancient Sumerian, an unrelated language isolate. It was originally the language of the Akkadian Empire (ca. 2270 – 2083 BC (short chronology)), centered in Akkad. After the empire collapsed, the written language continued to be used as the official, diplomatic lingua franca throughout the ancient Near East until it was gradually displaced by Aramaic and later Greek more than a millennium later.

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Sargon of Akkad.jpg
Sargon of Akkad (Akkadian: Šarru-kinu, "legitimate king", reigned c. 2270 – 2215 BC (short chronology)) founded the Dynasty of Akkad, and created the Akkadian Empire after conquering all the Sumerian city-states.

Early in his career, he was as a prominent member of the royal court of Kish, ultimately overthrowing its king before embarking on the conquest of Mesopotamia. Sargon's vast empire is known to have extended from Elam to the Mediterranean sea, including Mesopotamia, parts of modern-day Iran and Syria, and possibly parts of Anatolia and the Arabian peninsula. He ruled from a new capital, Akkad (Agade), which the Sumerian king list claims he built (or possibly renovated), on the left bank of the Euphrates. Sargon is regarded as one of the first individuals in recorded history to create a multiethnic, centrally ruled empire, and his dynasty controlled Mesopotamia for around a century and a half.

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[[Image:|center|300x300px|Gold Helmet]]

Credit: Sumerophile
Gold Helmet
Meskalamdug's grave, Ur, ca. 26th century BC (National Museum of Iraq)

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Nabonidus Cylinder
...that the Hurrian language and the Urartian language are proposed to be distantly related to the modern Armenian language?

...that the Aramaic language, the lingua franca of the ancient Near East in Biblical times is still spoken as a first language today?

...that the syllabic cuneiform script was adapted to create a phonetic alphabet twice, for the Ugaritic language and for the Old Persian language?

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