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069. Tell Abu Habba (ancient: Sippar)

Northern Babil Governorate.

Dates: From the Uruk period (4th millennium BC)
          until the Parthian period (circa 100 BC);
          significant evidence during Old- and Neo-Babylonian periods

An important Old Babylonian city, known for its Shamash temple, and for the extensive documentation from the cloister of the naditu women.

Sippar was actually two towns that grew together, one dominated by the temple of the goddess called Annunitum (see site # 11), the other by the Shamash temple. While never the seat of a dynasty, the city enjoyed prestige because of the commercial  activities of its merchants, who  conducted trade with Iran to the East and Syria and Anatolia to the west, and because of the Shamash cult, with his temple Ebabbar . An important feature of this was the Old Babylonian institution of the naidtu women, religious figures from prominent families who lived in a cloister, worshipping Shamash, but also conducted extensive economic activities, investing their shares of paternal property.  Their archives include commercial texts attesting to their purchase of real estate, slaves, etc, and legal texts document adoptions, disputes and transfer of property.

A large number of cuneiform tablets and other monuments has been found in the ruins of the temple of the Sun-god which was called E-Babara by the Sumerians, Bit-Un by the Semites.











  33° 3' 32.9184"    
  33.0591442° N
  44° 15' 7.2000"  
  44.252° E

GoogleEarth satellite view of Sippar

View Sippar site photos
provided by The Oriental
Institute, University of Chicago