Questions tagged [mesopotamia]

Refers to the land that lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in ancient times where empires such as Sumer, Akkad and Babylon flourished.

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88 views

What method(s) where used to date cuneiform as being as old as 3200 BC?

If anyone could provide the source(s) too that would be great
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Was touching your nose a greeting in second millenium Mesopotamia?

I ran across a curious sentence today, in a Mesopotamian prayer to a personal god (the grammar looked better in verse format): "Daily worship your god with offerings, prayers and appropriate ...
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What is known about the Ubaid lizard-people figurines?

I find the Ubaid lizard-people figurines visually captivating. But for obvious reasons it's difficult to search for information about them online without wading chest deep through pages of ancient ...
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Was early Mari Sumerian or multicultural?

Mari was a multicultural Semitic and Sumerian city in central Mesopotamia. Despite its rich history during the historical period, I have found almost no discussion of the earliest period. This was ...
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How would ancient Sumerian astronomers predict length of the next lunar month?

I know we can do these predictions with extreme degree of precision now, using our extensive knowledge of celestial orbiting patterns and principles. With Sumerian civilization being one of the ...
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What's the dating of the standard Akkadian version of the Gilgamesh Epic?

Wikipedia says: The most recent Akkadian version (c. 1200 BC), also referred to as the standard version, consisting of twelve tablets, was edited by Sin-liqe-unninni and was found in the Library of ...
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is Ubaid 0 actually related to Eridu and Ubaid I-IV?

Most sources state 5400 B.C. as the beginning of the Ubaid period. The Ubaid period is further divided by them into Ubaid I-IV. Wikipedia lists Tel El Oueili (6500 B.C.) as "Ubaid 0", thus placing the ...
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249 views

When was Sura in the Roman Empire?

I am curious about this statement: Sura was under Roman control in the time of Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE) and Ptolemy (c. 100-170 CE) but was conquered by the Sasanian king Shapur I in 253 CE. ...
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Downloadable/Printable 3D Model of Cylinder Seal

My son's high school has some 3D printers and I thought it might be interesting to see if they could print out a cylinder seal. Does anyone know of any 3D models online of real historical cylinder ...
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Are there “Sumerian” figurines from the Uruk and Ubaid periods?

There are distinctive Sumerian figurines from the Early Dynastic period. One of the early arguments for indigenous Sumerians was that these figurines were also in the Jemdet Nasr, Uruk, and Ubaid ...
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Does Winckler's explanation of Semitic migrations have any merit?

Hugo Winckler's 1907 History of Babylon and Assyria, says something along these lines: Semitic people originated in the Arabian Peninsula. All Semitic migrations were caused by overpopulation. Syria ...
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Did Marduk-balassu-iqbi help Assur-Danin-Pal?

This is a question about Assur-Danin-Pal and his relationship to the Babylonian kings. First I need to introduce the characters: Shalmaneser III: King of Assyria (859-824) Assur-Danin-Pal: His son, ...
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132 views

Are there any theories of Tiglath Pileser III's origins?

Most histories gloss over the low point of Assyria from 800-745. I have become interested in the period because of Shammuramat, the Babylonian regent, and her sons, who struggled for power with an ...
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What is the oldest example of conurbation?

Georges Roux, in his book Ancient Iraq (Third edition, p. 68), says that The city of Uruk was born of the coalescence of two towns 800 metres apart: Kullaba, devoted to the sky-god An (or Anu), ...
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Primary annalistic sources for ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt

Are there any surviving dynastic annals from any of the various civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt that provide an authoritative record of their rulers and historical events? This is in ...
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What colors were used as paint in the construction of the ziggurats in early Sumer?

I remember many years ago going through a book about ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia. In the passages where the ziggurats were described there was a mention that each level of the pyramid was ...
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How much contact did Sub-Saharan Africa actually have with the rest of the world since the beginning of civilization?

The book 'Guns, germs and steel' introduced me to the fact that the Sahara desert actually isolated Sub-Saharan Africa from the developments elsewhere since the beginning of civilization until ...
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Mesopotamia laws 196, 197 and 198

While doing some research I stumbled upon some old Mesopotamian laws. Reading through them I found a series of conflicting laws. They state 196: If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye ...
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Did Mesopotamia have coins to represent Gerahs & Minas?

I am doing a project on Mesopotamia and have stumbled upon their currency system. They have Gerahs, Shekels and Minas. These units of currency are referred to by their laws, yet I can only find ...
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What was the purpose of a tally stick?

I was recently reading a translation of "The debate between Sheep and Grain" Babylonian creation myth. It mentioned the following in lines 130-142: Every night your count is made and your tally-...
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Were people in the Neo-Assyrian or Achaemenid Empire aware of the empires before them?

The history of ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia has been a complex one, with several empires spanning a couple of millennia. Were the people from latter empires, say Neo-Assyrian or Achaemenid ...
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What is the historical name(s) for area between Syria and Mesopotamia?

Apologies if this is "really" a geographical question, but I suspect it must have been addressed by scholars of the past millenium of Middle Eastern history, not least because it is so central to a ...
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What kind of incense was used by the Sumerians?

Today, there are many different kinds of aromatic substances used for incense. What kind of incense was used by the ancient Sumerians?
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What did Mesopotamian beehives look like?

Do we still know what beehives looked like in ancient Mesopotamia? Are there any contemporary images or descriptions? I'm looking for anything from before 500 BC. I've found an image of ancient ...
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Which Babylonian tablets contains the list of squares and cubes?

The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive writes Two tablets found at Senkerah on the Euphrates in 1854 date from 2000 BC. They give squares of the numbers up to 59 and cubes of the numbers up to ...
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How many hours per day did a Sumerian farmer sleep?

I wonder about the life-styles of the inhabitants of ancient civilizations. As a particular case, if we consider the era of Sumer, what are the significant diversities compared to rural life today?
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How often did city-destroying floods happen in Mesopotamia?

I keep seeing Mesopotamia described as a floodplain, and I'm finding inklings of evidence that some cities in ancient Mesopotamia were actually destroyed by floods. But how common of an occurrence ...
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Was early Sumerian civilization wiped out by a flood?

Sumerian texts speak of a worldwide flood that wiped out most of mankind's achievements on earth. I had always suspected such a flood -- even if only covering all of Sumer -- was mythical, but then I ...
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How is Bad-Tibira written in Sumerian?

Bad-Tibira is one of the oldest recorded cities in the world. The Sumerians believed it was the second city to exercise kingship (after the more famous Eridu). I can't find the Sumerian spelling of ...