Highlights of the Dūr-Abiešuḫ Archives

Garšana tablet exampleThese 89 texts orginate from the late Old Babylonian period in Mesopotamia, primarily from the 80-year period from Abiešuḫ year 20 to Ammiṣaduqa year 15 (ca. 1691-1631 BCE). They consist primarily of sealed tablets from the archive of Enlil-mansum, a nešakkum-official of Enlil, who was in charge of the new Ekur temple in Dūr-Abiešuḫ, and reveal the details of an important town, yet to be located, settled by refugees from Nippur during the disruptions of the late Old Babylonian period.
The documents derive from a group of priests who re-established the Ekur temple at Dūr-Abiešuḫ while, at the same time, continuing to correspond with the priesthood in the Ekur in Nippur. The texts include economic records dealing with slave sales, long-distance trade and cultic activities in the Ekur of Dūr-Abiešuḫ and its relationship with Nippur, evidence that indicates that Nippur remained a functioning community during this period. The documents reveal that Nippur had a population strong enough to repel two different attacks of 500 and 300 horsemen, as reported by express messengers from Nippur.
The texts also contain many unusual and well-preserved seal impressions. The tablets will be of value to Assyriologists, archaeologists and historians interested in the Old Babylonian period, and especially the lesser known 17th century B.C.E.