Nibru overview
Other name(s) Nippur
Modern name(s) Afak
Region Mesopotamia
Section Lower Mesopotamia
Latitude 32.12693858 N suggest info
Longitude 45.23078534 E
Status Accurate location
Info City in the middle of Sumer and center of the Enlil cult.

Nippur is one of the most ancient of all the Babylonian cities of which we have any knowledge (some historians date it back to 5262 BC) , revered cultic center, and seat of the worship to the Sumerian god, Enlil (ruler of the cosmos, subject to An alone) and housed the Ekur, temple of Enlil, leader of the pantheon. According to political ideology, all kings who exercised hegemony in southern Mesopotamia were seen as having been given the kingship by Enlil, and they showed their respect to him by building projects and dedicating war booty and cultic objects.

Underscoring the city's religious purpose is this fact: in Sumerian cuneiform, the signs that translated as 'Nibru' and 'Enlil' are one and the same.

One of the largest sites in Mesopotamia, Nippur covers about 150 hectares, measures over 1-1/2 km across, and rises as much as 20 kilometers above the plain. The site is divided in two by the dried bed of a watercourse. In addition to the Ekur complex, consisting of a ziggurat and temple to Enlil, are other temples, the most important of which is the Inanna/ Ishtar temple. Careful excavations here uncovered more than 20 building levels from the Middle Uruk (4000 BC) - Parthian (220 AD), providing the longest continuous archaeological sequence for Mesopotamia. Small finds include statuary, plaques with carved reliefs, objects with relief decoration and cylinder seals, and foundation deposits,; while the cuneiform texts discovered detail the operation and bureaucratic administration of the temple complex. Many tablets were excavated in an area of the eastern mound known as Tablet hill or the Scribal Quarter. As late as the Parthian period, the Inanna temple was rebuilt, and a fortress was built in the ziggurat area.(which could not be excavated further, as the Iraqi Dept of Antiquities wanted to leave the Parthian fortress standing).
general info
University of Pennsylvania, late 19th c.; Oriental Institute, University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania, mid 20th c.; Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, mid-late 20th c.
Ubaid to Parthian periods
time frame from 5200 BCE to 2000 BCE
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32.126939, 45.230785 === 32.126939 N, 45.230785 E === 32° 7' 37.0" N, 45° 13' 50.8" E
Web Nibru at Wikipedia
Nearest sites Puzrish-Dagan, Tell Drehem, circa 8.9 km (5.5 mi) south-east
Isin, Ishan al-Bahriyat, circa 27.2 km (16.9 mi) south
Sharrakum, Urusagrig, circa 18.8 km (11.7 mi) east
Mashkan-Shapir, Tell Abu Dhuwari, circa 31.3 km (19.5 mi) north
Kesh?, Abu Salabikh, circa 21.9 km (13.6 mi) north-west
Umm al-Hafriyat, circa 23.4 km (14.5 mi) east
Ishan Abu Basur esh-Sharqi, circa 29.3 km (18.2 mi) north-east
Tell Abu Dhaba, circa 33.4 km (20.7 mi) north-east
Abar Yafa, circa 34.2 km (21.2 mi) north
Kisurra, Tell Abu Hatab, circa 39.8 km (24.7 mi) south-east
Tell Banura, circa 36.5 km (22.7 mi) north-east
Shuruppak, Tell Fara, circa 46.9 km (29.2 mi) south-east
Marad, Wana as-Sadoum, circa 42.3 km (26.3 mi) west
Kesh?, Larak?, Tell Wilaya, circa 45.4 km (28.2 mi) north-east
Ishan Abu Hatab, circa 68.1 km (42.3 mi) north-west
Ishan Abu Qabr, circa 73.5 km (45.7 mi) north-west
Niru, Jemdet Nasr, circa 78.2 km (48.6 mi) north-west
Abu Biyariq, circa 73.4 km (45.6 mi) north-west
Karunah, circa 71.7 km (44.6 mi) north-west
Sura, circa 74.2 km (46.1 mi) west
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Tags Settlements
Database ID 36, created 15 Jun 2008, 15:14, Last changed 15 Apr 2012, 19:06