- (also spelled ASHUR)1. City in Assyria. The site, known as Qalat Sherqat, lies on a limestone bluff overlooking the river Tigris. It was excavated by the German Oriental Society, directed for many years by WalterAndrae. A deep sounding at the site of the Ishtar temples revealed that it had been inhabited at least since the middle of the third millennium B.C. At the beginning of the second millennium, Assur was involved in profitable tradewith Anatolia, importing and exporting primarily tin obtained from western Iran, as well as textiles, in exchange for Anatolian copper.The Amorite chief Shamshi-Addu I (reigning 1813–1781 B.C.) incorporated Assur into his kingdom and it became a ceremonial center and thereafter the capital of Assyria until 883, when Ashurnasirpal II moved the seat of government to Kalhu. The city remained a ritually important place as the seat of the eponymous godAssur and served as the burial site for Assyrian monarchs. The stone stelae bearing the names of the “eponym officials” (Assyrian limmu) were also displayed at Assur. This formed the basis of Assyrian chronology (see HISTORIOGRAPHY).2. Assyrian national god. He is known as a local mountain and weather god since the Third Dynasty of Ur. As Assur became capital of the Old Assyrian kingdom, he became closely associated with the political fortunes of the country and thereafter assumed the position of supreme leader in the Assyrian pantheon.
Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. EdwART. 2012.