A City from the Dawn of History: Erbil in the Cuneiform Sources [Paperback]

John MacGinnis(Author)

ISBN: 9781782977971 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2014 | Language: English 148p, H10.2 x W7.1, fully color illustrated
Status: In Stock - Available

A City from the Dawn of History


The city of Erbil, which now claims to be one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, lies on the rich alluvial plains at the foot of the piedmont of the Zagros mountains in a strategic position which from the earliest times made it a natural gateway between Iran and Mesopotamia. Within the context of ancient Mesopotamian civilisation there can be no doubt that it will have been one of the most important urban centres. Yet while the citadel of Erbil is without question a site of exceptional interest, archaeologically the mound has until recently remained virtually untouched. On the other hand rich documentation allows us to understand the context in which the city grew and flourished. This work is dedicated to the cuneiform sources. Together these include hundreds of documents stretching from the late third millennium to the mid first millennium BC. The very first references, in administrative documents from the archives of the royal palace at Ebla, date to ca. 2300 BC. In the eras that follow texts written in Sumerian and then Akkadian attest to the city's periods of independence alternating with its incorporation in the Ur III, Assyrian and Babylonian empires. From the Achaemenid period, while the Elamite texts from Persepolis are mostly unpublished, Erbil does appear both in the famous inscription of Darius I at Behistun and in the celebrated Passport of Nehtihur, an Aramaic document from Elephantine in Egypt. The sources include a wide variety of administrative texts, royal inscriptions, grants, chronicles, letters, votive dedications and oracular pronouncements which together give a unique insight into the history and society of this exceptional city.

Table of Contents


Cuneiform writing

Overview of the sources
Uruk Period (4000-3000 BC)
Early Dynastic Period (3000-2334 BC)
Akkadian Period (2334-2193 BC)
Gutian Period (2193-2120 BC)
Ur III (2120-2004 BC)
Old Assyrian/Old Babylonian (2004-1595 BC)
Middle Assyrian (1595-1000 BC) Neo-Assyrian (1000-612 BC)
Neo-Babylonian Empire (612-539 BC)
Achaemenid (539-330 BC)
Hellenistic/Seleucid (330-126 BC)
Parthian (126 BC- 224 AD)
The name of Erbil

Historical Analysis
Erbil in the Gutian Period
Erbil in the Ur III Period
Erbil in the early second millennium
Erbil in the Middle Assyrian Period
Erbil in the Neo-Assyrian period
Erbil in the Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid Periods
Summary: from Ebla to Alexander
Ištar of Arbail

The Sources
Third Millennium Sources
Ebla Texts
Gutian Sources
Ur III Sources
Year names
Votive Inscription
Administrative Texts
Early Second Millennium Sources
Middle Assyrian Sources
Historical sources
Votive inscription
Administrative texts
Neo-Assyrian Sources
Historical Texts
Epigraphs prepared for reliefs
Votive Inscription
Administrative texts
Oracular Pronouncements and Divination
Hymns and Ritual texts
Ištar of Arbail
Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid Sources
Historical texts
Administrative texts
Astronomical Diary


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