The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut néerlandais du Proche-Orient

Book Specifications
XIV, 255 pp.

The Ikūn-pîša Letter Archive from Tell ed-Dēr

2021  |  PIHANS Volume 131 ISBN 13: 978-90-429-4315-5

R. de Boer

This volume sees the publication of fifty-six early Old Babylonian letters from ca. 1880 BCE. They were found by legendary Iraqi archaeologist Taha Baqir in 1941 at the site of Tell ed-Dēr, ancient Sippar-Amnānum, in central Iraq.

The letters are written in an early dialect of Akkadian and are part of the archives of an ancient firm. This firm consisted of a number of families engaged in local agriculture, the manufacturing of textiles, crediting, and international trade. As such it was part of the same larger trade networks as those already known from the contemporary Old Assyrian archives found in central Turkey. The firm strived to have good relations with local Amorite rulers, such as Sumu-la-El, the first king of Babylon, and they used their own trading agents to represent them in far away cities such as Mari. For these reasons, the letters are also an important source for Babylonia’s political and socio-economic history.

Copies by Kh. Al-‘Adhami and D.O. Edzard; photographs by W. Sommerfeld and N. Muhammad.