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Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the late 25th or early–24th century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia (present day northern Iraq), that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur (Akkadian: Aššūrāyu; Aramaic: אתור Aṯur;Hebrew: אַשּׁוּר Aššûr; Arabic: آشور Āšūr). Assyria was also sometimes known as Subartu, and after its fall, from 605 BC through to the late seventh century AD variously as Athura, Syria (Greek), Assyria(Latin) and Assuristan. The term Assyria can also refer to the geographic region or heartland where Assyria, its empires and the Assyrian people were centred. The modern Assyrian Christian minority in northern Iraq, north east Syria, south east Turkey and north west Iran are the descendants of the ancient Assyrians (see Assyrian continuity). Assyria evolved originally as a minor Akkadian kingdom. From the late 24th Century BC Assyrian kings would certainly have been regional leaders only, and subject to Sargon of Akkad who united all the Akkadian speaking peoples of Mesopotamia under the Akkadian Empire which lasted from 2334 BC to 2154 BC. After the fall of the Akkadian Empire circa 2154 BC, and the succeeding Sumerian3rd Dynasty of Ur, Mesopotamia eventually coalesced into just two separate nations; Assyria in the north, and some century and a half later, Babylonia in the south. In the Old Assyrian period of the Early Bronze Age, Assyria had been a kingdom of northernMesopotamia (modern-day northern Iraq), initially competing with their fellow Sumero-Akkadian states in southern Mesopotamia for dominance of the region, and also with the Hattians and Hurrians to the north in Asia Minor, the Gutians to the east in...