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, H260 x W180 (mm) fully colour illustrated

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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 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 but archaeological research of the remains has been limited. Three recent archaeological assessments of the mound have sought to evaluate the significance of the remains within their historical context. This work is dedicated to the cuneiform sources of information.

There are a number of references to Erbil in Eblaite and Sumerian administrative texts of Akkadian (2334 - 2193 BC) and Ur III (2120 - 2004 BC) date and hundreds of references in Akkadian texts from the 2nd and 1st millennia; only two of which may actually come from Erbil. There are a handful of references in unpublished Elamite texts from Persepolis. In Old Persian the city only appears in the corresponding version of the inscription at Behistun belonging to the Achaemenid period (539-330 BC). There are no references in Hittite, Hurrian, Urartian or Ugaritic sources. The sources include a wide variety of administrative texts, royal and other inscriptions, letters, votives and lexical texts.

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


Reviews & Quotes

"For the future of ancient Near Eastern studies, there needs to be more publications like this one with the potential to reach a wide range of reader well beyond the traditional scientific archaeological community."
Andrew Jamieson
Ancient Near Eastern Studies (08/12/2016)

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