Creating Capitals
Creating Capitals
The Rationale, Construction, and Function of the Imperial Capitals of Assyria
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21 x 27.3 cm
Table of Contents
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1: Creating Capitals – Approaches, Perspectives, and Methodology
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Classifying Cities
1.3 Capital Creation as a Form of Statecraft
1.4 Capital Creation and the Study of Empires
1.5 Methodology
2: Assyria and A..ur
2.1 Choosing Assyria
2.2 A..ur, the Traditional Capital of Assyria
3: K.r-Tukult.-Ninurta – Capital Creation in the Middle Assyrian Empire
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Setting the Stage – Historical Overview of Middle Assyria
3.3 Why – Building a Capital, Building an Empire
3.4 How – The Realization of a New Capital
3.5 What – The Function and ‘Demise’ of K.r-Tukult.-Ninurta
4: Kal.u – The First New Neo Assyrian Capital
4.1 Introduction
4.2 From Decline to Empire - Political History of the Early Neo Assyrian State
4.3 Why – The Case of a New(?) Foundation
4.4 How – The Construction and Opening Festival of Kal.u
4.5 What – City Design and Function of Kal.u
4.6 Concluding Remarks on the Creation of Kal.u
5: Dur-.arruk.n – A Short-lived Capital
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Paving the Way – from Decline to Tiglath-Pileser III
5.3 The History of the Sargonic Period
5.4 Why – An attempt of Imperial Consolidation
5.5 How – Building Dur-.arruk.n
5.6 What – Urban Design of Dur-.arruk.n
5.7 What – The Citadels
5.8 What – Conclusions
6: Nineveh – The Largest Capital of Assyria
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Middle Assyrian Nineveh
6.3 Neo Assyrian Nineveh
6.4 Historical Context
6.5 Why – A capital waiting to happen?
6.6 How
6.7 What – Urban Layout
6.8 What – Citadels
6.9 What – Waters of Nineveh
6.10 What – Conclusions
7: Creating Capitals – Comparative Analysis and Conclusions
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Why – The Reasons Behind Capital Creation in Assyria
7.3 How – The Construction Process of Assyrian Capitals
7.4 What - A Conceptual Challenge
8: Conclusions
8.1 A Model for Assyrian Capital Creation
8.2 Applicability of the Model through History
8.3 Recommendations
List of Figures
List of Tables
Appendix 1
Appendix 2

Aris Politopoulos

Creating Capitals

The Rationale, Construction, and Function of the Imperial Capitals of Assyria

"The creation of new capital cities are watershed moments in the lives of ancient empires. Assyria, arguably the most successful imperial state of the ancient Near East, repeatedly engaged in capital creation. Capital creation denotes the development of a monumental capital, either in a new location or through the profound transformation of a pre-existing settlement. This volume focusses on the rationale, construction, and function of the imperial capitals of Assyria: K.r-Tukult.-Ninurta, Kal.u, Dur-.arruk.n, and Nineveh. By exploring three key questions – why was a capital created, how was a capital created, and what were the functions of the capital – this study presents a comparative analysis of these four urban centers and presents a new perspective on their creation, as well as an innovative framework for the study of capital creation from antiquity to today. "

Aris Politopoulos

Aris Politopoulos is an archaeologist whose research focuses on ancient Near Eastern empires, the development of cities, and the study of play in the past. He is a lecturer of Near Eastern Archaeology at the Faculty of Archaeology (Leiden University) and a post-doctoral researcher for the Past-at-Play Lab in the Leiden University Centre for Arts in Society.