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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Assyria

At its greatest extent the Assyrian empire included Egypt and stretched from the eastern Mediterranean coast to the head of the Gulf.

The Assyrian army was the first to make effective use of the new technology by which iron can be hardened into steel suitable for weapons.

The Assyrians were expert horsemen and made good use of the animal in hunting. A stone carving from Nimrod's palace at Nineveh shows the king sitting secure on his galloping horse and, notwithstanding its tremendous speed, shooting an arrow at the prey.

The kilt was part of Assyrian soldiers' uniform.

It was the Assyrians who discovered the calming and sedative properties of the opium poppy, which they cultivated. They used it medicinally to relieve pain, induce sleep, and bring on feelings of serenity and well being for psychologically damaged patients.

The Assyrians excelled in making bricks and tiles with lustrous glazes, often decorated in several colors called polychrome decorations.

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