OIP 58.

Pre-Sargonid Temples in the Diyala Region

Pinhas Delougaz and Seton Lloyd with chapters by Henri Frankfort and Thorkild Jacobsen.

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This magnificent volume is one of a group of twelve projected by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago to present as a whole the work of the Oriental Institute’s Iraq Expedition in the Diyala region. That, in the midst of the greatest and most widespread war in the history of mankind, it should have been possible to produce such a work as this with such technical perfection is a portent. A note to the effect that Seton Lloyd has been unable to read proofs owing to war duties is a reminder of the difficulties under which the editors have labored. No praise could be excessive for the care and scrupulous accuracy with which the work has been carried out.

Various monographs have already been published by the Oriental Institute dealing with excavations at Tell Asmar and elsewhere, but here we have the first installment of the full reports of the Iraq Expedition’s work in the Diyala region. The volume before us is devoted to a full description of the constructional details of the Khafajah temples, the Abu temple at Tell Asmar, and the Shara temple at Tell Agrab, with a chapter on the inscriptions by Dr. Jacobsen, and a valuable chapter of conclusions by Professor Henry Frankfort.

A new chronological term has been invented by the authors to describe the period covered by the first five Sin temples, namely, “proto-literate.” The duration of the proto-literate period is computed to be about 400 years and is dated either as from 3850 to 3450 B.C. (based on Jacobsen), or from 3575 to 3175 B.C. (based on Sidney Smith). By this new term the authors intend to designate “those cultural phases in early Mesopotamian history in the course of which writing first appeared and developed until it reached the stage in which the phonetic principle (as rebus writing) began to be employed.”

  • Oriental Institute Publications 58
  • Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1942
  • Pp. xvii + 320; 213 figures, 1 map, 28 plates, 1 table
  • Hardbound 9 x 12 inches
  • Out of Print