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Niffar

(1,055 words)

Author(s): Streck, M. | Richardson, M.E.J.
, Nuffar , a ruined site, ancient Nippur, in southern ʿIrāḳ, situated in lat. 32°7′ N. and long. 45° 10′ E., now in the liwā or province of al-Ḳādisiyya; close by lies the K̲h̲ōr al-ʿAfak. The site is very extensive. Rising 20 m above the ¶ plain, it has proved to be one of the earliest cities to have developed in the region. Even before neighbouring Uruk and Akkad became political centres in the last centuries of the third millennium Nippur seems to have been a religious centre for the independent communities, no doubt because, according …

Nafṭ

(5,427 words)

Author(s): Richardson, M.E.J. | Christides, V. | Ferrier, R.W.
1. In pre-Islamic times. The Greek word naphtha is probably borrowed from Semitic, for in Akkadian literature from Northern ʿIrāḳ the word napṭu is well attested. There the substance could be easily found and its special qualities soon discovered. In Sumerian it is described as “mountain oil”, in contrast to “fish oil” and “vegetable oil”. In Aramaic it has been linked by assonance with the root n-ṭ-p , which commonly describes oozing blood or dripping water, but the link is weak and it is safer to assume the nominal stem has been simply borrowed in Greek. Akkadian literature distinguishes…

At̲h̲ūr

(2,466 words)

Author(s): Richardson, M. E. J.
, modem ḳalʿat s̲h̲arḳāt , a large ancient mound on the west bank of the River Tigris in the vilāyet of Mawṣil, about 250 km. north of Bag̲h̲dād and about 100 km. south of Mawsil, in 35° 30′ N and 45° 15′ E. It is strategically placed on a spur of the D̲j̲abal Ḥamrīn and is identified with Ashur, one of the capital cities of ancient Assyria. In the middle of the 3rd millennium, it was occupied by migratory tribes coming either from the west or the s…

Zind̲j̲irli

(307 words)

Author(s): Richardson, M.E.J.
, Modem Tkish. Zincirli, a village of southeastern Turkey, lying in the Karasu valley between the Gâvur Daǧlari (Amanus) and the Kurd Daǧi/D̲j̲abal al-Akrād, near the small town of Islahiye. It now comes within the western part of the il or province of Gaziantep. A tell there, excavated by Berlin archaeologists 1888-1902, revealed the capital Yʾdy ; the earlier vocalisation as Yaudi is now regarded as uncertain, but it is to be identified with the place known as Sam’al in the records of the Assyrian king Tiglath Pileser III. A s…

Nimrūd

(710 words)

Author(s): Richardson, M.E.J.
, a ruined site of ancient Assyria, now in northern ʿIrāḳ some 30 km/20 miles south of al-Mawṣil [ q.v.] in lat. 36°5′N. and long. 43°20′E. The ruins on the plateau of Nimrūd are those of the ancient Assyrian city of Kalk̲h̲ū, apparently mentioned in Gen. x. 11-12 as Calah. It is mentioned in Syriac sources, but the mediaeval Islamic geographers mention it only incidentally and under differing names; thus Yāḳūt, i, 119, iii, 113, says that al-Salāmiyya is in the vicinity of the ruins of the town of At̲h̲ūr, which can onl…

Nīnawā

(907 words)

Author(s): Richardson, M.E.J.
1. An extensive area of ruins in northern ʿIrāḳ, on the left bank of the Tigris and opposite the city of al-Mawṣil [ q.v.]. Where the river Khawsar joins the Tigris was a natural place to build a city and those early settlers of the seventh millennium spawned the greatest metropolis of Ancient ʿIrāḳ. Sedimentation has now moved the main course of the Tigris more than a kilometre westwards. In 1932 R. Campbell Thompson dug a pit 30 m deep from the top of the mound to virgin soil. At the lowest level he found obsidian f…

K̲h̲ursābād

(1,144 words)

Author(s): Richardson, M.E.J.
, a village situated 36° 40′ N. and 43° 10′ E. in the plain 17 km. to the north-east of Mosul, in the muḥāfaẓa of al-Mawṣil. It is the site of the ancient Assyrian royal city Dur Sharrukin, ¶ “The Fortress of Sargon”. The earliest excavations there were undertaken by Paul Emile Botta in 1843 when he was the French Consul at Mosul, and he has been described by Parrot as “the first systematic excavator of a Near Eastern site”. He himself described his work in a series of letters which he wrote after each importan…

Senkere

(313 words)

Author(s): Richardson, M.E.J.
, Sankara , a village of ʿIrāḳ on the lower Euphrates, between al-Samāwa and al-Nāṣiriyya [ q.vv.] (lat. 31° 12′ N., long. 45° 52′ E.), at present in the liwāʾ of al-Mut̲h̲annā. It is famous as the site of Larsa, one of the most important Sumero-Akkadian cities of ancient times. Then it would have been much closer to the waters of the Euphrates than it is now and would have had Ur (40 km/25 miles to the south) and Uruk (20 km/12 miles to the west) as its equally illustrious neighbours. The archaeological importance of the site…