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Old Palace at Assur

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Gabriel Mckee
Contributors: Jamie Novotny, Tom Elliott
Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Jun 06, 2022 05:10 PM History
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The Old Palace was the most important palace complex in the city of Assur. Although the oldest, securely-datable archaeological existence for the palace dates to the early Middle Assyrian period, this royal residence was probably founded in the Old Assyrian period, possibly during the reign of Šamšī-Adad I (ca. 1836–1776 BC). This important building was continuously until the sack and destruction of Assur in 614 BC. The Old Palace not only served as a residence for the Assyrian king and his family and an administrative center, but it was also a place of worship where the gods gathered on special occasions and the burial place of Assyrian kings.

35.4590452147, 43.2599486915

palace complex, architectural complex, palace


The following Assyrian kings are known to have sponsored construction on the Old Palace at Assur: Adad-nārārī I, Shalmaneser I, Tukultī-Ninurta I, Aššur-nādin-apli, Aššur-dan I, Aššur-rēša-iši I, Tiglath-pileser I, Aššur-bēl-kala, Ashurnasirpal I, Aššur-dan II, Tukultī-Ninurta II, Ashurnasirpal II, Shalmaneser III, Šamšī-Adad V, Tiglath-pileser III, Sargon II, Sennacherib, and Esarhaddon.

The Assyrian kings Aššur-bēl-kala, Ashurnasirpal II, Šamšī-Adad V, Esarhaddon, and Sennacherib were buried in the Old Palace. As is clear from numerous bricks discovered throughout the city of Assur, the Neo-Assyrian ruler Sennacherib (704–681 BC) appears to have had his own tomb built during his lifetime; that structure may have included both above-ground and underground components. Like other royal tombs at Assur, this king’s tomb, which Sennacherib calls the "Palace of Rest" (ekal tapšuḫti) on one occasion and the "Palace of Sleep" (ekal ṣalāli) on another, might have been situated under the Old Palace. Its location is not known and this likely in part be due to the fact that the tomb was intentionally destroyed at a later date. It is uncertain whether or not Sennacherib was buried in this tomb after he was murdered in late 681 BC.

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Gabriel Mckee, Jamie Novotny, and Tom Elliott, 'Old Palace at Assur: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2022 <> [accessed: 22 May 2024]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 135066932 (Old Palace at Assur) |author=Mckee, G. |accessdate=May 22, 2024 11:36 am |publisher=Pleiades}}