5th C. BCE. Carved Bull found in the Eshmun sanctuary near Sidon, South Lebanon, home to the Phoenicians' largest city. This marble protome shows the influence of Aecheminid rule at the time. The Achaemenid Empire (c. 550–330 BCE) was a Persian empire in Western Asia, founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great, who overthrew the Median confederation.
Nineveh. Mashki Gate. Iraq Nineveh was one of the oldest and greatest cities in antiquity. The area was settled as early as 6000 BC and, by 3000 BC, had become an important religious center for worship of the Assyrian goddess Ishtar. The early city (and subsequent buildings) were constructed on a fault line and, consequently, suffered damage from a number of earthquakes. One such event destroyed the first temple of Ishtar which was then rebuilt in 2260 BC by the Akkadian king Manishtusu.