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Queens of Assyria

The period between ca. 934-609 BCE is called the Neo-Assyrian or the Assyrian Imperial Period. The kings of Assyria who lived during this period are very well known, but the queens are less so. On these pages is information on the Assyrian queens’ positions, titles and activities during the Neo-Assyrian Period. Our knowledge of these queens comes from textual as well as archaeological sources. During the 1988-1989 excavation season at Nimrud the queens’ tombs were found at the Northwest Palace. These tombs included jewellery and objects belonging to three Assyrian queens, although ten Assyrian queens are known from this period. It is known that the Assyrian queens lived in the "harem" at the palace. They played an active role in the social, economic, religious and political life of Assyria. Some of them were very wealthy and had their own army under their command. They supported their husbands and sons as wife or mother. According to the sources, most of the Assyrian queens were not natives of Assyria. They came to the Assyrian palace from a foreign country via marriage. They had the title “woman of the palace” (in Sumerian, MI2.E2.GAL, and in Akkadian, sēgallu). The figure of the scorpion which appears on texts, seals and the other archaeological artefacts was identified with the queenship.

Titles of the Assyrian Queens

Archaeological evidence for the queens of Assyria

The Queens of Assyria



Hamȃ, Yabȃ - Banītu, and Ataliya

Naqī’a (Zakūtu)





the Neo-Assyrian Royal Harem

The Assyrian Queen and The Scorpion

Bibliography of the Assyrian Queens

by H.Hande Duymuş Florioti (University of Pamukkale,Faculty of Science&Art, Department of History, Denizli/Turkey) (This study has been funded by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK)-2219 from AUG 2013 to AUG 2014 during the author's academic visit in Oxford)

queens_of_assyria.txt · Last modified: 2014/10/17 09:38 by gombert
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