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(kā`lə) or


(kä`läkh), ancient city of Assyria, S of Nineveh and therefore S of present Mosul, Iraq. Known as Calah in the Bible, it is the same as the ancient Nimrud, named after a legendary Assyrian hunting hero. Calah emerged as a famous city when Ashurnasirpal II chose (c.880 B.C.) the site for his capital. Excavations carried on since the mid-19th cent. have revealed remarkable bas-reliefs, ivories, and sculptures. Also discovered were the palaces of Ashurnasirpal II, Shalmaneser III, and Tiglathpileser III. Calah continued to be a royal residence even after Nineveh became the political capital. The famous black obelisk of Shalmaneser III was discovered in Calah by A. H. Layard in 1846. The excavated ruins of the city were looted and razed (2015) by the Islamic StateIslamic State
(IS), Sunni Islamic militant group committed to the establishment of an Islamic caliphate that would unite Muslims in a transnational, strict-fundamentalist Islamic state.
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 during its uprising against the Iraqi government.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Kalhu), one of the largest cities of Assyria; founded by King Shalmaneser I in the first half of the 13th century B.C. Located on the left bank of the Tigris River (now the archaeological site of Nimrud, near the city of Nimrud in Iraq).

Calah was the capital of Assyria from the 13th to the 11th century B.C. and in the ninth and eighth centuries B.C. At the end of the seventh century B.C. it was destroyed by the Midianites and the Babylonians. The ruins of Calah were excavated by the British archaeologist A. H. Layard from 1845 to 1851 and by an expedition from the British School of Archaeology in Iraq from 1949 to 1963. A citadel was unearthed along with temples, a ziggurat, the obelisk of Shalmaneser III, and palaces (the palace of Ashurnasirpal II, which has reliefs and sculptures in the round, and the unfinished palace of Esarhaddon). Small ivory sculptures dating from about 715 B.C. have been found, as well as a large number of cuneiform documents. Some reliefs from the palace of King Ashurnasirpal are housed in the Hermitage.


Golenishchev, V. S. Opisanie assiriiskikh pamiatnikov. St. Petersburg, 1897.
Mallowan, M. E. L. “The Excavations at Nimrud (Kalhu).’Vra^, 1958, vol. 20, part 2, pp. 101-08.
Mallowan, M. E. L. Nimrud and Its Remains, vols. 1-2. [London, 1966.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The result can be troubling for a young mind like that of Calah Williams of North Miami.
The quest to educate Calah led to public schools, but the school district didn't offer programs to meet the bright youngster's needs, says grandmother Catherine Jackson, who turned to home-schooling.
Trostel-Breaux - Calah Trostel and Cory Breaux, of Eugene, a son.
(60) It appears on an illustrated tile from Ashur dating to the tenth or early ninth centuries B.C.E., and in a group of reliefs from the palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Calah. (61) (Although built in the ninth century, Ashurnasirpal's palace was still in use until Tiglath-Pileser completed his own palace at the same site, very close to the end of his reign.) The cloud on which Ashur is seated seems to represent his chariot, and the sun-disk which surrounds him represents the radiance which in turn represents his power.
For the statue on the coast, see A.0.102.8 (bull inscription from Calah), 20"-25" and subsequently in A.0.102.10 (Walters Art Gallery stele) iv 7-19.
Jennifer Mayer, Jessie McCann, David McCartney, Brian McNabb, Gavin McQuillan, Eloy Morales, Alandra Morin, Amanda Morse, Christopher Naylor, Calah Newman, Matthew O'Brien, Jeffrey Petty,
In a display inscription of Shalmaneser III from the ekal masarti ("Fort Shalmaneser") at Calah, the titulary is followed by the following description of the king: sa ina zikir belutisu kibrate ultanapsaqa, ihilu alane, zikaru dannu mukabbis kisad ajabisu muparrir kisri multarhi dais kullat nakiri ...
(3.) The delivery of tribute is recorded in the text from Calah which Tadmor labels "Summary Inscription 7" (published in Hayim Tadmor, The Inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser III, King of Assyria [Jerusalem: Israel Academy, 1994], 154-71, 11').
(16.) SAA 10 294 (SAAS 7 5.1) reports the consultation of a prophet by a disenfranchised scholar, which judging from the individual's visit to the Istar temple in Calah (SAA 10 294 r.
The letters from the king come first, followed by letters from priests, temple officials, and bureaucrats dealing with temple or cultic affairs in Assur (48 letters), Calah (81), Arbela (15), Nineveh (6, a small number because the king was usually in residence there so business could be discussed face to face), Babylon (24), Kurba[contains]il, Harran, and Kilizi (a total of 4), and the province of the chief cup-bearer ().
In 1997, when attention was again focused on the volume, it was decided to add several letters from Babylonia and a large block of letters discussing the delivery of horses to the temple of Naba in Calah. Since Machinist had by then moved on to other work, Steven Cole replaced him as editor, translating the new texts, revising Machinist's translations for consistency of style, and updating the critical apparatus.
After some prefatory matters, the book begins with a "General Introduction" followed in order by editions of the inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III: "The Calah Annals," "The Stele from Iran" (in collaboration with Louis D.