OIP 98. Old Babylonian Public Buildings in the Diyala Region. Part One: Excavations at Ishchali, Part Two: Khafajah Mounds B, C, and D H. D. Hill, Th. Jacobsen, and P. Delougaz, with contributions by T. A. Holland and A. McMahon

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Ishchali (usually identified as ancient Nêribtum) belonged to the independent kingdom of Eshnunna, with its capital at modern Tell Asmar, also excavated by the Diyala Expedition. The architectural chronology established for the Kitîtum Temple (IA = original building) rests ultimately on brick inscriptions of Ipiq-Adad II of Eshnunna (period IIB), which also identify Inanna Kitîtum as the primary deity of the temple, and Ibal-pî-el II (period III/IV), identical with his inscriptions from Tell Asmar so not specific to this structure. Other brick inscriptions, of Sumu-Amnanim, had no context. Broadly the building flourished from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-eighteenth century BC.

The bulk of the report is devoted to the Kitîtum Temple. A detailed room-by-room description incorporates what information is available on registered small finds (except pottery) and, where relevant, the witness of tablets. Written into this are two characteristic essays by Jacobsen. The first is on the development of a common tradition of temple design in Sumer and Babylon from the mid-third to the mid-second millennium BC, following lines of argument originally presented by Frankfort, when he challenged Koldewey's model of temple development (WVDOG 15 [1911]: 14ff.) by arguing that the sanctuary was primary, the court secondary, not vice versa in this evolution. The second, on the function of the Kitîtum Temple Plan, is the highlight of the volume. It sums up a lifetime's reflection on the Sumerian temple in a few elegant paragraphs illuminated and fortified by extensive footnotes, which draw heavily on the textual tradition. [From a review by P. R. S. Moorey in Journal of Near Eastern Studies 53 (1994) 131-33].

  • Oriental Institute Publications 98
  • Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 1990
  • ISBN 0-918986-62-1
  • Pp. xxxii + 257; 31 figures, 68 plates
  • Clothbound 9 x 11.75 in / 23 x 30 cm
  • $60.00