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Fort Shalmaneser

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Gabriel Mckee Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Jan 05, 2021 09:07 AM History
The ninth-century-BC Assyrian king Shalmaneser III (r. 858–824 BC) constructed an impressive palatial complex in the southeastern corner of the city Kalhu (biblical Calah). This armory, which the seventh-century-BC ruler Esarhaddon (r. 680–669 BC) referred to as an ēkal māšarti (‘review palace’), was completed ca. 846 BC. Fort Shalmaneser, the name of building dubbed by its excavators, remained in use until the very end of the Assyrian Empire (612 BC), although its importance was significantly diminished after the Assyrian court moved away from Kalhu at the end of the eighth century BC, first to Dūr-Šarrukīn and then to Nineveh.

36.0940793273, 43.3466614293

palace complex, architectural complex


Fort Shalmaneser was the most ambitious building project of Shalmaneser III (r. 858–824 BC). That monumental  palatial complex had numerous workshops, treasuries, barracks, private quarters, and grand state apartments built around several large courtyards. Shalmaneser’s grandson Adad-nārārī III (r. 810-783 BC) added to the work of his grandfather, as evident from in-situ inscriptions. When the Sargon II (r. 721–705 BC) moved the capital of the Assyrian Empire to Dūr-Šarrukīn, the importance of Fort Shalmaneser, a building whose ancient name is not known, was greatly diminished since Sargon and his successors, especially Sennacherib, constructed their own armories at Dūr-Šarrukīn and Nineveh. Esarhaddon (r. 680–669 BC), according to several inscriptions written in his name, renovated Fort Shalmaneser, a building that he referred to as an ēkal māšarti (‘review palace’). The building was twice destroyed, once in 614 BC and again in 612 BC. After the final sack of Kalhu in 612 BC, locals made hasty repairs to the once-grand palatial complex and lived in it for a significant period of time after the fall of the Assyrian Empire.

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Gabriel Mckee, Jeffrey Becker, Jamie Novotny, and Tom Elliott, 'Fort Shalmaneser: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2021 <> [accessed: 25 September 2023]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 586635000 (Fort Shalmaneser) |author=Mckee, G. |accessdate=September 25, 2023 5:03 am |publisher=Pleiades}}