OIP 129.

The Early Dynastic To Akkadian Transition: The Area WF Sounding At Nippur

Augusta McMahon, with contributions by Pamela Vandiver and David Reese.

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The city of Nippur, a large, multi-period site strategically located in central southern Mesopotamia, was the most important religious center in ancient Mesopotamia. Since 1972, one of the main goals of excavation at this site has been the investigation of chronological questions. During the eighteenth and nineteenth seasons at Nippur (1988/89, 1990), the excavation of Area WF, located at the center of the city, aimed specifically at delineating the third-millennium B.C. transition between the Early Dynastic and Akkadian periods and to test the validity of the Diyala sequence at a site near the center of southern Mesopotamia. The Diyala pottery and artifactual sequence has been the standard since the 1930s, but recent excavations have revealed both internal problems with dates and external difficulties when using the sequence for parallels for sites farther south.

The Area WF sounding exposed an unbroken sequence of domestic architecture representing nearly two millennia of occupation, from the Early Dynastic IIIa through the late Ur III or Isin-Larsa periods, with additional levels of Kassite and first-millennium B.C. date. These excavations provide important new information on the late third-millennium B.C. artifactual sequence for the site and region and contribute to both our biography of the city and our general picture of Mesopotamian domestic occupation.

This book, Nippur V, represents the final report on the entire excavation, with the main focus on the third-millennium B.C. levels. It is the fifth monograph in the series of Oriental Institute Publications devoted to Nippur and the third that reports on a renewed program of research initiated in 1972. The previous reports on the renewed program include Nippur III, Richard L. Zettler’s treatment of Kassite houses in Area WC-1, and Steven W. Cole’s Nippur IV, dealing with an important cache of early Neo-Babylonian texts.

  • Oriental Institute Publications 129
  • Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2006
  • ISBN: 1-885923-38-4
  • Pp. xxxiii + 173; 12 figures, 193 plates, 78 tables
  • Hardbound quarto with dust jacket, 9" x 12"; 23 x 30.5 cm)
  • $95.00 (hardback)