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Today they are a Christian people, with most being followers of the Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Ancient Church of the East, Assyrian Pentecostal Church and Assyrian Evangelical Church.In prehistoric times, the region that was to become known as Assyria (and Subartu) was home to a Neanderthal culture such as has been found at the Shanidar Cave.In the 18th century BC the south Mesopotamian states were subsumed into a new power, that of Babylonia.However, Babylonia unlike Assyria, was founded and originally ruled by non indigenous Amorites, and was to be more often than not ruled by other waves of non indigenous peoples such as Kassites, Hittites, Elamites, Arameans and Chaldeans, as well as by the Assyrians.
In 626 it descended into a bitter series of civil wars conducted by rival claimants to the throne, allowing it to be conquered by a coalition of former subject peoples.
In 615 BC combined attacks by an alliance of its former subjects; namely the Medes, Babylonians, Persians, Chaldeans, Scythians, Sagartians and Cimmerians, gradually led to its fall by 599 BC.
However, Assyria was to survive as a geo-political entity until the mid 7th century AD.
After the defeat of Ashur-uballit II in 608 BC at Haran, at Carchemish in 605 BC, and after the last centre of Assyrian imperial records at Dūr-Katlimmu in 599 BC, the Assyrian empire was divided up by the key invading forces, the Babylonians and the Medes, with the Medes ruling Assyria proper.
The Assyrian people, after the fall of their empire, fell under foreign domination ever since.
Assyrians became front line soldiers for the Persian empire under King Xerxes, playing a major role in the Battle of Marathon under King Darius I in 490 BC.