Seleukia overview
Modern name(s) Tell Umar
Region Mesopotamia
Section Lower Mesopotamia
Latitude 33.13365127 N suggest info
Longitude 44.51748234 E
Status Accurate location
Info A major Hellenistic-era city and capital or the Seleucid and Parthian empires. The city was founded by Alexander the Great's calvary commander during the Eastern campaign, Seleucus Nicator (one of several Diodochi, or followers of Alexander who divided the empire among themselves after Alexander's death and esttablshed their dynasties. [The Hellenistic period, a flowering of art and culture extending from the Mediterranean to north Africa and Central Asia, took place during the two centuries following Alecander's death.]

Along with Alexandria and Antioch in Syria, Seleucia became one of the three great Hellenistic-era capitals inteh East (the eastern capital of the Seleucids, later the western capital of the Parthians), with a cosmpolitan population of Greeks, Arameans, Syrians, etc.

Excavators at this site were among the first to use ariel photography extensively; their photos reveal a precise grid plan, with blocks of housing separated by straight avenues and streets crossing at right angles. Artifacts uncovered at the site include numerous coins (some 30,000 specimens), pottery, clay figuines, and about 15,000 seal impressions or bullae (all in fully Greek style).

Proof that cities during this period were often built and rebuilt from the rubble of previous civilizations was found in a brick that was used in the rebuilding of an outer wall during Parthian times: the brick was stamped with a mark datable to 821 BC during the Neo-Babylonian period.

Architecturally, the city of Seleucia is known for decorative stucco (plaster), used in and about courtyards, important rooms and door entrances, combining motifs that are Greoc-Roman as well as Eastern. The repeating rosette pattern was well suited for plaster work, and was adapted by the Parthians into the stucco grillwork that is a common feature today throughout the Middle East.
general info
University of Michigan, 1920's-30's; 1960's.
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33.133651, 44.517482 === 33.133651 N, 44.517482 E === 33° 8' 1.1" N, 44° 31' 2.9" E
Scott Arnold / John Philip
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Scott Arnold
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Web Seleukia at Wikipedia
Related site Tel Omar Theatre, circa 3.7 km (2.3 mi) south
Nearest sites Ctesiphon, Taq Kisra, circa 7.3 km (4.6 mi) south-east
Tell Deheb, circa 9 km (5.6 mi) south-east
Tell Rishad, circa 11.8 km (7.3 mi) north
Tell Bismaya, circa 13.9 km (8.6 mi) north-east
Diniktum, Tell Muhammad, circa 19.1 km (11.9 mi) north
Shaduppum, Tell Harmal, circa 20.2 km (12.5 mi) north
Nerebtum, Tell Ishchali, circa 19.8 km (12.3 mi) north
Zaralulu, Tell al Dhibai, circa 21.3 km (13.2 mi) north
Tutub, Tell Khafajah, circa 24.8 km (15.4 mi) north
Tulul Mahasin, circa 21.2 km (13.2 mi) south-west
Tell Ishaqi I, circa 16.2 km (10.1 mi) west
Tell Ishaqi II, circa 16.9 km (10.5 mi) west
Tell Hadari, circa 19.2 km (11.9 mi) west
Tell Aswad, circa 21.5 km (13.4 mi) north-west
Sippar-Amnanum, Tell ed-Der, circa 20.7 km (12.9 mi) west
Sippar, Zimbir, Tell Abu Habbah, circa 26.1 km (16.2 mi) west
Tell Jawan II, circa 22.7 km (14.1 mi) west
Tell Jawan I, circa 23 km (14.3 mi) west
Tell Jawan IV, circa 23.7 km (14.7 mi) west
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Database ID 416, created 20 Sep 2008, 11:34, Last changed 29 Dec 2011, 01:32