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13th-6th century BCE6th-3rd century BCE


Ancient World /
Ammon
Hebrew: amon




Contents
1. Economy
2. People
3. Language
4. Religion
5. History


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Limestone heads, 7th century BCE. These decorative heads seem to have been part of an important structure


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Landscape of Ammon (near modern Ajlun).

Ancient country of modern northern Jordan, inhabited by the Ammonite people. Their period as a distinct people lasted from the 13th century BCE until the 3rd century CE, while their kingdom lasted only until the 6th century BCE.
The Ammonite heartland lay between the Syrian Desert and the Jordan River, with Rabbath Ammon as its principal city. It corresponds to modern Amman, the capital of Jordan.

Economy
The Ammonites appear to have lived mainly off the land, benefiting from the fertile regions along the Jordan River and south of Rabbath Ammon. Craft production, as well as trade and the taxation of caravans passing through the Ammonite territory, generated additional revenue.

Religion
Fairly little is known of the Ammonite religion(s). According to the Bible, the chief Ammonite god was Milcon, who was worshipped from an altar. Human sacrifices are supposed to have been used in certain circumstances, and the priests had supernatural abilities, controlling both death and forecasting of the future.
The relations between the Ammonites and the Israelites were often tense, resulting in several wars. There are reports of one incident of Ammonite influence on Israelite culture, when the worship of the Ammonite god, Milcon, was introduced during Solomon's reign in the 10th century BCE. Also the mother of King Rehobaom (son of Solomon, 10th century) was Ammonite.

History
13th century BCE: The Ammonites, originally semi-nomads, form a kingdom north of Moab.
993: The fortress of Rabbath Ammon is conquered by King David of Israel and Judah. He forces many of the Ammonites to labour service.
Middle 10th century: The Ammonite god, Malcom, becomes a part of the cult of King Solomon.
853: Ammonite King Ba'sa joins with 1000 men King Ahab of Israel and his Syrian allies, in order to fight Assyrian King Shalmaneser 3 at the Battle of Karkar.
734: King Sanipu becomes vassal of Tiglath-Pileser 3.
721: With the fall of the kingdom of Israel, the Ammonites use their freedom to settle in the region to the east of the Jordan River.
6th century: Ammon joins a coalition against Judah. This is also the time when the autonomy of Ammon comes to a final end.
2nd century: Local leaders in Ammon are defeated by the Judaean chief, Judas Maccabeus.
1st century: The lands of Ammon are incorporated into the Roman Empire.
3rd century CE: Immigration of Arab tribes into the old lands of Ammon. The Arabs would initially form the leadership in the society, but the peoples would mix.




By Tore Kjeilen