Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (2003)

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The ancient city of Ashur is located on the Tigris River in northern Mesopotamia in a specific geo-ecological zone, at the borderline between rain-fed and irrigation agriculture. The city dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. From the 14th to the 9th centuries BC it was the first capital of the Assyrian Empire, a city-state and trading platform of international importance. It also served as the religious capital of the Assyrians, associated with the god Ashur. The city was destroyed by the Babylonians, but revived during the Parthian period in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. 

In its justification for inscription the UNESCO states that: Founded in the 3rd millennium BCE, the most important role of Ashur was from the 14th to 9th century BCE when it was the first capital of the Assyrian empire. Ashur was also the religious capital of Assyrians, and the place for crowning and burial of its kings. 

The excavated remains of the public and residential buildings of Ashur provide an outstanding record of the evolution of building practice from the Sumerian and Akkadian period through the Assyrian empire, as well as including the short revival during the Parthian period.  

At present there are no postage stamps available directly related to the site of Ashur. For the same reason this page should be considered a placeholder only. 

Instead I have found these two stamps (issued during British Mandate) featuring motifs of Assyrian origin. 

  • Iraq 1923. Postage and Revenue. Assyrian Winged Bull. 
  • Iraq 1923. Motif of Assyrian Origin. 
Iraq 1923. Postage and Revenue. Assyrian Winged Bull. Iraq 1923. Motif of Assyrian Origin.

The site was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2003. When the property was nominated before the conflict, a large dam project threatened the site, which would have been partially flooded by a reservoir. While the dam project has been suspended by the current administration, the Committee considered that its possible future construction, as well as the present lack of adequate protection, justified the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in Iraq (on this site). Inactive links are not described on postage stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Iraq for further information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 08 sep 2007  
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