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M. .I.Biny l’da Mezopotamya’da Nehir Ula m : Asur rne i//// Mesopotamia River Transportation in the First Millennium B.C.: The Assyrian Case

Keywords: First Millennium B.C. , Mesopotamia , Assyria , River Transportation , Euphrates River

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According to archaeological evidence and cuneiform records, rivers were used for transportation since the early periods of Mesopotamia. Especially the Assyrian records from the first millennium B.C. mention many river and some canal names. Because the agriculture of North Mesopotamia was dependent on rain, Assyrian kings built canals for dry seasons. Construction of canals became mandatory especially when the kings changed their capital cities: relocation of the capital city required the redistribution of water.In the first half of the first Millennium B.C. the Assyrian kings used the Khabur and Euphrates River banks as routes during their military expeditions to North Syria and Anatolia. Furthermore, the annals of the Assyrian kings record that after military expeditions, Assyrians carried timbers to Assyria through the rivers. The very existence of “canal inspector” as a title in the cuneiform records shows that the Assyrian king maintained the control of canals through their officers


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