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Ziwiye

(104 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] Town in northwestern Iran with Iron Age III remains (7th cent. BC). The objects made of gold, silver, bronze, ivory and ceramics, some magnificent, published as originating in Z. in numerous museums and collections are, however, all from illicit excavations of unknown location: Z. is a label created by dealers in antiquities and unchallenged by the majority of archaeologists. Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) Bibliography O. W. Muscarella, 'Ziwiye' and Ziwiye: The Forgery of a Provenience, in: Journ. of Field Archaeology 4, 1977, 197-219 Id., Art and Archaeology in …

Tepe

(33 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] (or Tape, Tappe; Turkish 'hill'). Frequent component of the modern name of ruin sites in the region from Near to Central Asia. Synonymous with tell. Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)

Persepolis

(605 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Achaemenids | Alexander | Hellenistic states | India, trade with (modern Taḫt-e Ǧamšīd; Greek Πέρσαι Πόλις/ Pérsai Pólis, Περσέπολις/ Persépolis (Diod. Sic. 17,70,1 et passim.; Str. 15,3,6); Latin Persepolis (Curt. 5,4,33 et passim; Amm. Marc. 23,6,42); Ancient Persian Pārsa, homophone of the name of the territory of Persis). Situated on the north eastern edge of the Marv Dašt Plain, approx. 60 km north of Šīrāz near the opening of the valley through which the road to Pasargadae an…

Höyük

(42 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] also Hüyük. Turkish for hill, mostly used for old settlement sites that have been built up in a mound-like manner and, similar to Arabic  tell, a component in the name of many ruin sites. Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)

Tayma

(165 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] (Taimā). Oasis in northwestern Arabia on the Incense Road, which led along the western side of the Arabian peninsula. The earliest traces of settlement point to the late 2nd millennium BC. T. is mentioned among the Arabian tribes defeated by the Assyrian ruler Tiglath-Pileser III in 733 BC (cf. OT Jes 21,14). The last ruler of the neo-Babylonian Empire, Nabonid, stayed in T. from 552 until 542 BC (cult city of the moon goddess (Moon deities)). After the Achaemenid period T. - its…

Sanbulus

(110 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] According to Tac. Ann. 12,13,3 the place where Gotarzes II defeated Mithridates [15], his anti-king sent by Rome; it is also mentioned that the last battle between Alexander [4] the Great and Darius [3] III was fought in the same place. Reference is made to a fortress near Nineveh (Ninus [2]). S. is a mountain on which Gotarzes sacrificed to Hercules and is presumably close to the field of battle. S. has to date not been identified. Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) Bibliography P. Bernard, Heracles, les grottes de Karafto et le sanctuaire du Mont Sambulos en Ira…

Ziggurat

(350 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] (Akkadian ziqqurratu, 'temple tower', from zaqāru, 'build high'). Tower of block-shaped stages, each smaller than the one below, used as the base for a temple. Although no remains of the uppermost part of a ziggurat are extant, it is definite from descriptions that this upper part existed. The term ziggurat is sometimes also used loosely in modern scholarly terminology for the architectural construction of a 'temple on terraces'. Apart from their stepped terraces, the characteristic feature of a ziggurat is its access via a free-standing flight of…

Ur

(542 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Mesopotamia (modern Tall al-Muqayyar; Sumerian uriki ; in the OT Ūr kaśdīm, cf. Gn 11,28 and 31; 15,7 i.a.; no Greek name, since it was abandoned in the 4th cent. BC). City in the southernmost part of Babylonia, discovered and identified in 1854 by J. E. Taylor. Excavations on a larger scale took place under C. L. Woolley in 1922-1934, which became well-known because of the discovery of royal tombs with burial gifts of gold, silver and coloured stones. The orig…

Tell

(122 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] (or tall; Arabic tall, plural tulūl; 'hill', then also 'settlement mound'). A common component of present-day names of ruin sites in the Near East. It indicates a widespread shape for earlier places of settlement in the Near East and Central Asia, which grew, some to a considerable height, by the accumulation of layers of settlement on top of each other. This was caused by the most widespread building material, unbaked mud bricks, which often disintegrated after a few decades. The resu…

Ichara

(122 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] (Ἰχάρα; Ichára, modern Failaka). Island in the Persian Gulf, on the east coast of Arabia. The island, mentioned in Ptolemy (6,7,47 N), is today generally regarded as a variant of  Icarus. While the identification fluctuated between Failaka, Kharg and Qaru for a long time, the equation of Icarus (and thus Ichara?) with Failaka has meanwhile been confirmed by inscriptions. According to Arrian (Anab. 7,20,2-3), the island received its name from Alexander, after an island in the Aegean…

Uruk

(534 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Mesopotamia (modern al-Warkā; Sumerian unu(g)ki; in the OT Erek/ rk, cf. Gn 10:10; Greek Ὀρχόη/ Orchóē). City in southern Babylonia, discovered in 1849 by W. K. Loftus, excavated by German archaeologists since 1912 (with wartime interruptions). Based on settlements of the 5th millennium BC, Uruk developed in the 2nd half of the 4th millennium ('Uruk period') into one of the first large cities, with an area of 250 ha. Uruk was the cult city of Inanna/Ishtar…

Marathus

(164 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Diadochi and Epigoni | Phoenicians, Poeni Modern Amrīt, important town in northern Phoenicia south of Aradus [1], which controlled it in 333/2 BC (Arr. Anab. 2,13,8; 14,1; 15,6; Curt. 4,1,6) and in 218 (Pol. 5,68,7). Around the middle of the 2nd cent. M. was independent and was able to defend itself against the Aradians (Diod. Sic. 33,5f.). According to Str. 16,2,12, M. was destroyed and its land divided among settlers from Aradus, but the city must…

Susiana

(76 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] (ἡ Σουσιανή/ hē Sousianḗ), cf. OGIS 54,17; Pol. 5,46,7); today the plain forming part of Ḫūzestān in Iran. From the 3rd millennium onwards the main region of the kingdom of Elam, satrapy of the Achaemenid kingdom, in the Seleucid-Sassanid period referred to as Elymais. Its most significant town (from 4000 BC onwards) was Susa. Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) Bibliography E. Carter, M. W. Stolper, Elam: Surveys of Political History and Archaeology, 1984  J. Wiesehöfer, Das antike Persien, 1993.

Sippar

(193 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Mesopotamia full name S.-Yaẖrurum [1; 2], modern Abū Ḥabba. One of the most significant cities of northern Babylonia, counted among the cities 'before the flood' in the Sumerian kings' lists. Main cultic site of the sun god Šamaš. With origins going back to the 4th millennium BC; it reached its zenith in the 2nd and 1st millennia. The nearby twin city of S.-Amnānum (modern Tall al-Dair) can also be designated S. Supplementing the results of 19th…

Yazılıkaya

(171 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] Hittite rock sanctuary (dated to c. 1260 BC), about 2 km to the northeast of the capital Ḫattusa. In a limestone layer – accessible from the outside by means of a cleft – there are two naturally formed main chambers and two side chambers, whose vertical rock walls are covered in reliefs. In front of the opening there were several buildings, serving as an entrance area for the sanctuary proper in the upwardly open rock chambers. In the centre of the depiction on the northern wall of Cha…

Sogdiana

(304 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] (Σογδιανή; Sogdianḗ). Region of the Achaemenid Empire between Oxus (Araxes [2]) and Iaxartes, part of the Sixteenth Satrapy; The inhabitants were called Sogdianoí or Sógdoi, Old Persian Sug(u)da, Avestan Su γδ a, Sogdian Sughdh. The capital was Maracanda (modern Samarkand), the Achaemenid base for ruling eastern Iran. In Darius [2] II's building report on his palace in Susa S. is mentioned as the supplier of lapis lazuli and cornelian. S. played an important part in trade with the peoples of the Steppes and the …

Steppe

(316 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] Steppe is a term for semi-arid regions of vegetation and climate that, in relation to temperature, experience inadequate precipitation for trees to grow. This form of vegetation and climate can be found in southeastern Europe, northern Africa, in various areas of the Near East, of southern Russia and of central Asia. The boundaries both with agrarian land and with desert can fluctuate in accordance with the annual climatic conditions; in the latter case, one can also speak of dese…

Tashkent

(152 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] The capital of modern Uzbekistan, on the western slopes of Mount Tianshan, in an oasis irrigated by the Čirčik (a tributary of the Iaxartes). The country of Juni mentioned in 2nd cent. BC Chinese sources was later identified with the area of T. The local name was presumably Čač, as also used in the Islamic period; Arabic authors used Šaš. The earliest traces of settlement date from the 6th-4th cents. BC (Šaš-Tepe). From the 5th cent. AD several towns developed, which ultimately me…

Turfan

(280 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] Town and oasis region (T. basin) in eastern Uyghurstan (Xinjian) in China, to the south of the Tianshan mountains, on the northeastern edge of the Taklamakan desert, an important station on the Silk Road. There are numerous historically and archaeologically significant places there: 10 km to the west of modern T. is the Chinese fortress of Jiaohe, which from the 2nd cent. BC until the 5th cent. AD was the capital of the kingdom of Cheshi. Around 100 BC Gaochang came into being 30 …

Thumna

(102 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
[German version] (Θούμνα/ Thoúmna Ptol. 6,7,31; Τάμνα/ Támna Str. 16,4,2-4 and Steph. Byz.; Thomna Plin. HN 6,153 and 12,64; inscriptions Tumna, cf. Biblical Timna Gn 36:12, 1 Chr 1:51; modern Ḥaǧar Kuḥlān). On the Incense Road between Sabbatha and Mariaba in modern Yemen, once the capital of the kingdom of the Qatabān ( Kattabaneís). Besides houses, excavations have revealed a gate building, a temple and graves. The dating is still uncertain: between 685/430 BC and 100/200 AD. Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) Bibliography G. W. van Beek, s. v. Timna, The Oxford Encyclopedia of…
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