Deportations: an inquest into the mass-movements of conquered peoples in the Neo-Assyrian Empire
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 01:01 authored by June Ishtar Jako
The Assyrian textual and iconographic sources, including the Bible, depict the deportations undertaken by the Assyrian kings during the Neo-Assyrian period (900-612 BCE), and their violent nature in moving and displacing the conquered peoples. The Assyrian Royal Inscriptions and the palace wall reliefs point to the uprooting of mass quantities of people from their homeland followed by settling them against their will in new lands. Evidence in other textual sources such as the letters of the Assyrian bureaucracy, known as the Administrative Letters, indicate a different treatment towards 'deportees', which appears to have been more friendly, favourable and sympathetic, where the 'conqueror' demonstrates consideration and concern for the wellbeing and fate of the deportees. The lenient treatment towards deportees may have been because of a need for the migration of people to places requiring development and enhancement. The deportation policy practised by the Assyrian Empire can also be considered under contemporary definitions of forced migration. A comparison against recent forced migrations and the displacement of people may indicate similar motivations and intentions.This research will investigate and discuss the imperial motivations which possibly caused the mass-deportations as well as the exchange of population in the Neo-Assyrian Empire. These motivations are likely to have played a significant role behind the rationale for the treatment of the deportees during the different stages of the deportation process.