Nimrud is the later Arab name for the ancient Assyrian city originally known as Kalhu or Kalah, located 30 kilometres south of the city of Mosul in the Nineveh plains in northern Mesopotamia. It was a major Assyrian city of the Mesopotamian civilization between approximately 1250 BC and 610 BC.

The Assyrian king Shalmaneser I built the city of Kalah somewhere during his rule from 1274 BC to 1245 BC, though his capital was at a city named Ashur. His descendant, King Ashurnasirpal II, who reigned from 883 to 859 BC, built a new capital at Nimrud. King Ashurnasirpal’s son Shalmaneser III (858–823 BC) built a magnificent palace at Nimrud which far exceeded in opulence than any other palace built by his ancestors. Notice how all the names mentioned above have a Sanskrit-Indic pattern. The suffixes in both these names, Shalmanesar and Ashurnasirpal are Sanskritic. Manesar (मानसार) means ‘high degree of pride’ and ‘pal’ (पाल) means ‘guardian’ are therefore apt names for a king. The words ‘sura’ and ‘asura’ are also of Sanskritic in origin.

What is also of interest is a particular glaze ceramic artifact found at the Palace of Nimrud dated to 900 BC. At present it belongs to the British Museum. The artifact is identified by mainstream scholars as that of Ashurbaipal-II with his attendants! Here is the artifact!! Take a close look. Anyone familiar with the Ramayana, the ancient Hindu epic will easily identify the depiction of Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana in this artifact.

This artifact from Nimrud Palace, Iraq dated to 900 BC
belonging to the British Museum is identified as that of
Assurbanipal II with his attendants.
But this artifact certainly depicts Sri Rama-Sita-Lakshman.
of the Ramayana.

The fact remains that the Mesopotamian kings, just like the Egyptian and Mittani kings, sported Sanskritic names – Ashurbanipal is an example. The same is true of the names of rivers and mountains of Mesopotamia and Babylon. Their cities and major centres of civilization depict a deep influence of Indian culture and philosophy. For more on the Sanskrit connect to the names of Mesopotamian and Babylonian rivers click here and here.

A similar artifact was found in a collection belonging to the Etruscan civilization. Long before the days of the rise of the Roman Empire, Italy was home to the Etruscans – a people far more advanced in civilization than the later Romans.  As early as 1200 B.C. they were living in a part of Italy covering an area equivalent to modern day Tuscany. Here is a sketch of one artifact found amongst the Etruscan collection:

A sketch from a collection of Etruscan artifact.

The Etruscans were a pre-Roman civilization

who followed a pagan religion

Both these artifacts depict the same story. That of the Ramayana. From time immemorial Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana, have been depicted in the Hindu sculptures and tradition in this manner, and is a representation of them walking in the woods when they are in exile. Sri Rama walks ahead, Sita in the middle, while Lkshmana brings up the rear, guarding and protecting the two ahead from any attack. It is also said that Lakshmana in honour of Sri Rama and Sita did not step on the footstep marks of his brother and brother’s wife – a part of the Hindu culture.

For more on Etruscan artifacts that tell the story of the Ramayana and Ramayana’s connect to the Etruscan civilization, click here.

Sometimes the truth is obvious. It may not be a coincidence that some of the greatest kings of Egypt bore the name Ramses. The father of Nefrititi, the wife of the Egyptian king Pharaoh Akhenaten was Tushratta (Dushratha), the Assurs or Ashurs derived their clan name from the Sanskrit clan name asura. Akhenaten, who brought the concept of one god into a polytheist society is believed to have named himself ‘Eknathan’, Sanskrit for ‘one god’.

Related Links:

1. The Globalization of the Early Iron Age

2. Sadigh Gallery of Ancient Art

3. Hindu Kings who ruled Syria and Turkey


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