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Ancient Near-East Blog

Epic of Creation (Mesopotamia)

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Stories describing creation are prominent in many cultures of the world. In Mesopotamia, the surviving evidence from the third millennium to the end of the first millennium B.C. indicates that although many of the gods were associated with natural forces, no single myth addressed issues of initial creation. It was simply assumed that the gods existed before the world was formed. Unfortunately, v...

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The Tower of Babel with British Museum curator Irving Finkel

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

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British Museum curator Irving Finkel © Trustees of the British Museum. Created by British Museum.


Ishtar gate and Processional Way

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)

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Reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way, Babylon, c. 575 B.C.E., glazed mud brick (Pergamon Museum, Berlin). Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.

Neo-Babylonian

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The chronology of Mesopotamia is complicated. Scholars refer to places (Sumer, for example) and peoples (the Babylonians), but also empires (Babylonia) and unfortunately for students of the Ancient Near East these organizing principles do not always agree. The result is that we might, for example, speak of the very ancient Babylonians starting in the 1800s B.C.E. and then also the Neo-Ba...

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Kassite Art: Unfinished Kudurru

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)


Top level: Mesopotamian Gods in symbolic form, second level: animals and deities playing musical instruments (detail), "Unfinished" Kudurru, Kassite period, attributed to the reign of Melishipak, 1186–1172 B.C.E., found in Susa, where it had been taken as war booty in the 12th c. B.C.E. (Louvre)

Artistic Exchange

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Law Code of Hammurabi

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

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Law Code Stele of King Hammurabi, basalt, Babylonian, 1792-1750 B.C.E. (Musée du Louvre, Paris) A stele is a vertical stone monument or marker often inscribed with text or with relief carving. Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.

Hammurabi: The king who made the four quarters of the earth obedient

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)


Hammurabi of the city state of Babylon conquered much of northern and western Mesopotamia and by 1776 B.C.E., he is the most far-reaching leader of Mesopotamian history, describing himself as “the king who made the four quarters of the earth obedient.” Documents show Hammurabi was a classic micro-manager, concerned with all aspects of his rule, and ...

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The "Queen of the Night" relief

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The "Queen of the Night" Relief, 1800-1750 B.C.E., Old Babylonian, baked straw-tempered clay, 49 x 37 x 4.8 cm, Southern Iraq © Trustees of the British Museum

This large plaque is made of baked straw-tempered clay, modeled in high relief. The figure of the curvaceous naked woman was originally painted red. She wears the horned headdress characteristic of ...

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The Babylonian mind

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

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Many of the concepts you live by today have Babylonian ancestry. Hours being split into 60 minutes, minutes being split into 60 seconds – that’s Babylonian. Zodiac signs and predicting the future – also Babylonian.

Trace the legacy of Babylonian discoveries and ideas, including their mat...

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Babylonia, an Introduction

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

The "Queen of the Night" Relief, 1800-1750 B.C.E., Old Babylonian,
baked straw-tempered clay, 49 x 37 x 4.8 cm © Trustees of the British Museum

On the River Euphrates

 

The city of Babylon on the River Euphrates in southern Iraq is mentioned in documents of the late third millennium B.C.E. and first came to promin...

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