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CALAH:

The name of a city mentioned in Gen. x. 11 et seq., and forming with Nineveh, Reḥoboth 'Ir, and Resen the chief places in the Assyrian extension of Nimrod's domain. The verse in question embodies a correct tradition that the Assyrian empire was originally an offshoot of Babylonia. Assyrian culture similarly represents a natural extension toward the work of the civilization that arose in the South. The mound of Nimrod, lying in the fork of land between the rivers Tigris and the Upper Zab, marks the site of the city. Excavations were begun here by Layard in 1845, and subsequently continued by Rassam and George Smith. Their work has resulted in the discovery of a great platform built of sun-dried bricks and faced with stone, extending 600 yards north and south by 400 yards east and west, on which have been found remains of new palaces and of restoration works carried on by Shalmaneser I., Assurnazirpal, Shalmaneser II., Tiglathpileser III., Sargon, and Esarhaddon. Very little is known of the history of the city, but Assurnazirpal ascribes its origin to Shalmaneser I. (about 1300 B.C.); it is, however, scarcely probable that the city came into existence at so late a period. It is safe to assume that he means that Shalmaneser rebuilt it and made it a city of importance. Though the city was at times the residence of the king, it never became so populous as either Asshur or Nineveh.

Bibliography:
  • See the Babylonian-Assyrian histories of Tiele, Hommel, Winckler, and Rogers, s.v.
J. Jr. R. W. R.
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