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Coordinates: 33°03′32″N 44°15′08″E / 33.058829°N 44.252153°E / 33.058829; 44.252153 (Sippar)

Being close to Babylon, Sippar
Sippar
was an early addition to its empire under Hammurabi.

Sippar
Sippar
(Sumerian: 𒌓𒄒𒉣𒆠,Zimbir) was an ancient Near Eastern Sumerian and later Babylonian tell (hill city) on the east bank of the Euphrates
Euphrates
river, located at the site of modern Tell Abu Habbah in Iraq's Babil Governorate, some 60 km north of Babylon
Babylon
and 30 km southwest of Baghdad. The city's ancient name, Sippar, could also refer to its sister city, Sippar-Amnanum
Sippar-Amnanum
(located at the modern site of Tell ed-Der); a more specific designation for the city here referred to as Sippar
Sippar
was Sippar-Yahrurum.[1]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Rulers 1.2 Classical speculation

2 Archaeology 3 Notes 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

History[edit] Despite the fact that thousands of cuneiform clay tablets have been recovered at the site, relatively little is known about the history of Sippar. As was often the case in Mesopotamia, it was part of a pair of cities, separated by a river. Sippar
Sippar
was on the east side of the Euphrates, while its sister city, Sippar-Amnanum
Sippar-Amnanum
(modern Tell ed-Der), was on the west. While pottery finds indicate that the site of Sippar
Sippar
was in use as early as the Uruk
Uruk
period, substantial occupation occurred only in the Early Dynastic period of the 3rd millennium BC, the Old Babylonian period of the 2nd millennium BC, and the Neo-Babylonian
Neo-Babylonian
time of the 1st millennium BC. Lesser levels of use continued into the time of the Achaemenid, Seleucid and Parthian Empires. Sippar
Sippar
was the cult site of the sun god (Sumerian Utu, Akkadian Shamash) and the home of his temple E-babbara. The Code of Hammurabi
Hammurabi
stele was probably erected at Sippar. Shamash was the god of justice, and he is depicted handing authority to the king in the image at the top of the stele.[2] A closely related motif occurs on some cylinder seals of the Old Babylonian period.[3] By the end of the 19th century BC, Sippar
Sippar
was producing some of the finest Old Babylonian cylinder seals.[4] Sippar
Sippar
has been suggested as the location of the Biblical Sepharvaim in the Old Testament, which alludes to the two parts of the city in its dual form.[5] Rulers[edit] In the Sumerian king list
Sumerian king list
a king of Sippar, En-men-dur-ana, is listed as one of the early pre-dynastic rulers of the region, but has not yet turned up in the epigraphic records. In his 29th year of reign Sumu-la-El of Babylon
Babylon
reported building the city wall of Sippar. Some years later Hammurabi
Hammurabi
of Babylon
Babylon
reported laying the foundations of the city wall of Sippar
Sippar
in his 23rd year and worked on the wall again in his 43rd year. His successor in Babylon, Samsu-iluna
Samsu-iluna
worked on Sippar's wall in his 1st year. The city walls, being typically made of mud bricks, required much attention. Records of Nebuchadnezzar II
Nebuchadnezzar II
and Nabonidos
Nabonidos
record that they repaired the Shamash
Shamash
temple E-babbara. Classical speculation[edit] Xisuthros, the "Chaldean Noah" in Sumerian mythology, is said by Berossus to have buried the records of the antediluvian world here—possibly because the name of Sippar
Sippar
was supposed to be connected with sipru, "a writing". And according to Abydenus, Nebuchadnezzar II
Nebuchadnezzar II
excavated a great reservoir in the neighbourhood. Pliny (Natural History 6.30.123) mentions a sect of Chaldeans called the Hippareni. It is often assumed that this name refers to Sippar (especially because the other two schools mentioned seem to be named after cities as well: the Orcheni after Uruk, and the Borsippeni after Borsippa), but this is not universally accepted.[6] Archaeology[edit]

Hammurabi
Hammurabi
clay cone from Sippar
Sippar
at Louvre

Old Babylonian Cylinder Seal, hematite. The king makes an animal offering to Shamash. The style of this seal suggests that it originated from a workshop in Sippar[7]

Tell Abu Habba, measuring over 1 square kilometer was first excavated by Hormuzd Rassam
Hormuzd Rassam
between 1880 and 1881 for the British Museum
British Museum
in a dig that lasted 18 months. [8] Tens of thousands of tablets were recovered including the Tablet of Shamash
Shamash
in the Temple of Shamash/Utu. Most of the tablets were Neo-Babylonian. [9] [10] [11] The temple had been mentioned as early as the 18th year of Samsu-iluna of Babylon, who reported restoring "Ebabbar, the temple of Szamasz in Sippar", along with the city's ziggurat. The tablets, which ended up in the British Museum, are being studied to this day.[12] As was often the case in the early days of archaeology, excavation records were not made, particularly find spots. This makes it difficult to tell which tablets came from Sippar-Amnanum
Sippar-Amnanum
as opposed to Sippar.[13] Other tablets from Sippar were bought on the open market during that time and ended up at places like the British Museum
British Museum
and the University of Pennsylvania.[14] [15] Since the site is relatively close to Baghdad, it was a popular target for illegal excavations.[16] In 1894, Sippar
Sippar
was worked briefly by Jean-Vincent Scheil.[17] The tablets recovered, mainly Old Babylonian, went to the Istanbul Museum. In modern times, the site was worked by a Belgian team from 1972 to 1973. Iraqi archaeologists from the College of Arts at the University of Baghdad, led by Walid al-Jadir with Farouk al-Rawi, have excavated at Tell Abu Habbah from 1977 through the present in 24 seasons.[18][19] [20] After 2000, they were joined by the German Archaeological Institute. [21] [22] According to Professor Andrew George, a cuneiform tablet containing a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh probably came from Sippar.[23] Notes[edit]

^ Gasche, Hermann and Caroline Janssen. 1997. “Sippar.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Ancient Near East, Vol. 5, edited by Eric M. Meyers, 47-49. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ^ "Law Code of Hammurabi, king of Babylon" [1], Louvre , retrieved on 29 Nov 2013. ^ Collon,Dominique, Catalogue of the Western Asiatic Seals in the British Museum, Cylinder Seals III: nos. 104 & 105, British Museum Publications, 1986, ISBN 0-7141-1120-1 ^ Collon, Dominique, First Impressions, Cylinder Seals in the Ancient Near East: p.45, British Museum
British Museum
Press, 1987, 2005. ISBN 0-7141-1136-8 ^ G. R. Driver, Geographical Problems, Eretz Israel, vol. 5, pp. 18-20, 1958 ^ "It is usually assumed that the Hippareni refers to Sippar (Ptolemy's Sippara), but even that requires proof, since the change of ‘s’ to ‘h’ is strange." —R. D. Barnett (1963). "Xenophon and the Wall of Media". The Journal of Hellenic Studies. The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 83. 83: 1–26. doi:10.2307/628451. JSTOR 628451.  ^ Al-Gailani Werr, L., 1988. Studies in the chronology and regional style of Old Babylonian Cylinder Seals. Bibliotheca Mesopotamica, Volume 23. ^ [2] Hormuzd Rassam, Asshur and the Land of Nimrod: Being an Account of the Discoveries Made in the Ancient Ruins of Nineveh, Asshur, Sepharvaim, Calah, [etc]..., Curts & Jennings, 1897 ^ Erle Leichty, Catalogue of the Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum: Tablets from Sippar
Sippar
1, vol. 6, British Museum
British Museum
Publications, 1986, ISBN 0-7141-1115-5 ^ Erie Leichty and A. K. Grayson, Catalogue of the Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum: Tablets from Sippar
Sippar
2, vol. 7, British Museum Publications, 1987, ISBN 0-7141-1122-8 ^ Erie Leichty et al., Catalogue of the Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum: Tablets from Sippar
Sippar
3, vol. 8, British Museum Publications, 1988, ISBN 0-7141-1124-4 ^ [3] Nebo-Sarsekim Cuneiform Tablet at Archaeology.org ^ Anne Goddeeris, Economy and Society in Northern Babylonia
Babylonia
in the Early Old Babylonian Period, Peeters Publishers, 2002, ISBN 90-429-1123-9 ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-02-06.  Hermann Ranke, Babylonian Legal and Business Documents from the Time of the First Dynasty of Babylon; Chiefly from Sippar, University of Pennsylvania, 1906 (reprinted by Nabu Press ISBN 1-144-69277-6) ^ Karel Van Lerberghe, Old Babylonian legal and administrative texts from Philadelphia, Leuven : Departement Oriëntalistiek, 1986, ISBN 90-6831-063-1 ^ E. A. Budge, By Nile and Tigris: A Narrative of Journeys in Egypt and Mesopotamia on Behalf of the British Museum
British Museum
Between the Years 1886 and 1913, John Murray, 1920 ^ V. Scheil, Une Saison de fouilles a Sippar, Le Caire, 1902 ^ Lamia al-Gailani and Walid al-Jadir, Seal Impressions from Sippar, Sumer, vol. 37, pp. 129-144, 1981 ^ F. N. H. Al-Rawi and Stephanie Dalley, Old Babylonian texts from private houses at Abu Habbah ancient Sippir : Baghdad
Baghdad
University Excavations, Nabu Publications, 2000, ISBN 1-897750-07-2 ^ W. al-Jadir and Z. Rajib, Archaeological Results from the Eighth Season at Sippar, Sumer, vol. 46, pp. 69-90, 1990 ^ Abdulillah Fadhil et al., Ausgrabungen in Sippar
Sippar
(Tell Abu Habbah). Vorbericht über die Grabungsergebnisse der 24. Kampagne 2002, in: Baghdader Mitteilungen (BaM) 36, pp. 157-224, 2005 ^ Abdulillah Fadhil et. el., Sippar
Sippar
- Results of prospecting 2004/24, in: Sumer, A journal of archaeology in Iraq
Iraq
and the Arab world, vol. LII, no. 1&2, pp. 294-357, 2004 ^ George, Andrew R., trans. & edit. (2003). The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic: Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts. England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-814922-0. p.172

See also[edit]

Cities of the Ancient Near East Tell (archaeology) Short chronology timeline

References[edit]

Rivkah Harris, Ancient Sippar : a demographic study of an old-Babylonian city, 1894-1595 B.C., Nederlands Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut, 1975 F. N. H. al-Rawi, Tablets from the Sippar
Sippar
Library I. The "Weidner Chronicle": A Suppositious Royal Letter concerning a Vision, Iraq, vol. 52, pp. 1–15, 1990 F. N. H. al-Rawi and A. R. George, Tablets from the Sippar
Sippar
Library II. Tablet II of the Babylonian Creation Epic, Iraq, vol. 52, pp. 149–158, 1990 F. N. H. al-Rawi and A. R. George, Tablets from the Sippar
Sippar
Library III. Two Royal Counterfeits, Iraq, vol. 56, pp. 135–149, 1994 Luc Dekier, Old Babylonian real estate documents from Sippar
Sippar
in the British Museum, University of Ghent, 1994 F. N. H. al-Rawi and A. R. George, Tablets from the Sippar
Sippar
Library IV. Lugale, Iraq, vol. 57, pp. 199–224, 1995 John MacGinnis, Letter orders from Sippar
Sippar
and the administration of the Ebabbara in the late-Babylonian period, Bonami, 1995, ISBN 83-85274-07-3 F. N. H. al-Rawi and A. R. George, Tablets from the Sippar
Sippar
Library V. An Incantation from Mis Pi, Iraq, vol. 57, pp. 225–228, 1995 F. N. H. Al-Rawi and Andrew George, Tablets from the Sippar
Sippar
Library, VI. Atra-hasis, Iraq, vol. 58, pp. 147–190, 1996 A. C. V. M. Bongenaar, The Neo-Babylonian
Neo-Babylonian
Ebabbar Temple at Sippar : its administration and its prosopography, Nederlands Historisch-Archeologisch Instituut te Istanbul, 1997, ISBN 90-6258-081-5 F. N. H. al-Rawi and A. R. George, Tablets from the Sippar
Sippar
Library VII. Three wisdom texts, Iraq, vol. 60, pp. 187–206, 1998 F. N. H. al-Rawi, Tablets from the Sippar
Sippar
library X: A dedication of Zabaya of Larsa, Iraq, vol. 64, pp. 247–248, 2002 Andrew George and Khalid Salim Ismail, Tablets from the Sippar library, XI. The Babylonian almanac, Iraq, vol. 64, pp. 249–258, 2002 Theophilus Goldridge Pinches, The Antiquities found by Mr. H. Rassam at Abu-habbah (Sippara), Harrison and Sons, 1884  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sippar.

German Archaeological Institute
German Archaeological Institute
page for Sipar Site photographs at Oriental Institute Year Named mentioning Sippar
Sippar
at CDLI Stone mace head from Sippa

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