This dissertation re-evaluates the reign of Tiglath-pileser I in light of new evidence provided by recently published cuneiform tablets and by archaeological excavations in Syria. I first establish a historical context for Tiglath-pileser's reign within the broader ancient Near East, highlighting the importance of his documentation for historical reconstruction during a time when most of the political and administrative structures across the region had collapsed. As a result of this turmoil, those structures produced few textual sources, leading to what scholars have called a "dark age"---a designation applied to a period in which documentation is lacking, thus preventing scholars from reconstructing its history. With this foundation, I turn to an examination of Tiglath-pileser I's reign. My dissertation provides a more precise sequencing of the king's eponyms and revises the period's chronology---both absolute and relative. My exploration of the absolute chronology shows that the Assyrians likely utilized a lunar calendar until the early years of Tiglath-pileser I's second successor, Assur-bel-kala. This discovery buttresses the approach in some recent scholarship to date the reigns of Middle Assyrian kings by lunar instead of solar years. However, my work demonstrates that this calendrical system should also apply to Tiglath-pileser's reign, thus leading to a re-dating of his regnal years. With respect to refining the relative chronology, my research emphasizes the historical reconstruction of events surrounding Tiglath-pileser's two campaigns against Babylonia that may help to secure regnal dates for its kings. Apart from chronological inquiries, my project re-assesses the literary structures of Tiglath-pileser's royal inscriptions and delineates their evolution with respect to the inscriptions of previous Assyrian kings. I also collect the data of the economic texts and the excavations of sites in the Assyrian periphery to explicate the differences between the aforementioned royal propaganda and the true governing mechanisms of the kingdom. This dissertation redefines our understanding of the political and historical context in which Tiglath-pileser I ruled, resulting in an innovative reconstruction of this transformative king's reign in a "dark age" of ancient Near Eastern history.
Thesis (Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations) -- University of Pennsylvania, 2013. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 75-01(E), Section: A. Adviser: Grant Frame.