In c. 900 the Middle East was on the eve of its domination by the Neo-Assyrian Empire, which came to control much of the region with Ashurnasirpal II, king of Assyria, ruthlessly expanding his borders as far north as Phrygia and south to absorb Babylonia and Elam. The Levantine states, south of the Taurus Mountains, comprised Ancient Israel and Phoenicia. Israel was particularly unstable and, after King Solomon’s death in 900 BCE, separated into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. Urartu, to the north, was a powerful kingdom which, in 900 BCE, formed a confederation under one king. During the 900s it grew in wealth and power and remained a threat to the emerging Neo-Assyrian Empire. The Kingdom of Kush formed in Nubia, after the disintegration of New Kingdom Egypt, which lost control of its Nubian border.
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