The city of Erbil, which now claims to be one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, lies on the rich alluvial plains at the foot of the piedmont of the Zagros mountains in a strategic position which made it a natural gateway between Iran and Mesopotamia. Within the context of ancient Mesopotamian civilisation there can be no doubt that it will have been one of the most important urban centres but archaeological research of the remains has been limited. Three recent archaeological assessments of the mound have sought to evaluate the significance of the remains within their historical context. This work is dedicated to the cuneiform sources of information.
There are a number of references to Erbil in Eblaite and Sumerian administrative texts of Akkadian (2334 - 2193 BC) and Ur III (2120 - 2004 BC) date and hundreds of references in Akkadian texts from the 2nd and 1st millennia; only two of which may actually come from Erbil. There are a handful of references in unpublished Elamite texts from Persepolis. In Old Persian the city only appears in the corresponding version of the inscription at Behistun belonging to the Achaemenid period (539-330 BC). There are no references in Hittite, Hurrian, Urartian or Ugaritic sources. The sources include a wide variety of administrative texts, royal and other inscriptions, letters, votives and lexical texts.
John MacGinnis is an independent post-doctoral researcher at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. He specialises in the study of Neo-Babylonian and Assyrian archaeology and written sources, particularly cuneiform.
Foreword Preface Abbreviations Introduction Cuneiform writing Chronology Overview of the sources Uruk Period (4000-3000 BC) Early Dynastic Period (3000-2334 BC) Akkadian Period (2334-2193 BC) Gutian Period (2193-2120 BC) Ur III (2120-2004 BC) Old Assyrian/Old Babylonian (2004-1595 BC) Middle Assyrian (1595-1000 BC) Neo-Assyrian (1000-612 BC) Neo-Babylonian Empire (612-539 BC) Achaemenid (539-330 BC) Hellenistic/Seleucid (330-126 BC) Parthian (126 BC- 224 AD) The name of Erbil Historical Analysis Erbil in the Gutian Period Erbil in the Ur III Period Erbil in the early second millennium Erbil in the Middle Assyrian Period Erbil in the Neo-Assyrian period Erbil in the Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid Periods Summary: from Ebla to Alexander Istar of Arbail Egasankalamma Milkia Conclusion The Sources Third Millennium Sources Ebla Texts Gutian Sources Erridu-Pizir Ur III Sources Year names Votive Inscription Administrative Texts Early Second Millennium Sources Middle Assyrian Sources Historical sources Votive inscription Administrative texts Neo-Assyrian Sources Historical Texts Epigraphs prepared for reliefs Grants/edicts Votive Inscription Administrative texts Oracular Pronouncements and Divination Hymns and Ritual texts Istar of Arbail Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid Sources Historical texts Administrative texts Astronomical Diary Bibliography