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Mesopotamia / Cities /
Sumerian: zimbir



Stone mace head. British Museum, London, UK.


King Nabu-apla-iddina in front of the Sun-god, Shamash. British Museum, London, UK.

Ancient city-state of Babylonia in Mesopotamia, in what today is central Iraq. Its location corresponds to modern Abu Habbah at the east bank of the Euphrates river, close to Ramadi, and 60 km north of Babylon.
In addition to the original Sippar, called Sippar of Aunit, there was another one, Sippar of the Sun-god, which is located 60 km away, 20 km southeast of modern Baghdad. The two distant twin cities coexisted as a unity; the Old Testament calls then Sepharvaim, reflecting their dual status. Two more Sippar are mentioned, but they have not been located.
The main god of the city was the sun god, in Sumerian Utu, in Akkadian Shamash.
Little is known about Sippar, except what is related to its Temple of Shamash. Upon rebuilding this, the Babylonian king, Nabu-apla-iddina, is told to have found an ancient image of the god, ordering a memorial tablet being made depicting himself together with the god. This tablet is now in British Museum, London, UK.
The Temple of Shamash is suggested to have developed the world's first bank system, loaning out and allowing deposits of valuables; this was all before the introduction of money.

1174 BCE: Sippar is sacked by Elamite king, Kurit-Nahhunte.
890: Babylonian king, Nabu-apla-iddina, rebuilds the Temple Shamash.
Late 7th century: King Nabopolassar restores the Temple of Shamash.

Confused? Try to find a good place to start learning about Mesopotamia in
Where to begin?Detailed article

By Tore Kjeilen