- (modern ABU HABBAH and TELLED-DER)Babylonian city on the river Euphrates. It was excavated by Hormuzd Rassam (c. 1880), Vincent Scheil (1894), and a Belgian team from 1972 to 1973, and since 1978 by Iraqi archaeologists. The site was occupied since the Uruk period in the fourth millennium B.C. and was not abandoned before the Parthian period, in the second century A.D. Most of the excavated monuments date from the Old Babylonian and Neo-Babylonian periods. Sippar was in fact composed of two towns that eventually grew together. One was dominated by the temple of a goddess called Anunnitum, the other by the larger sanctuary of the sun god Shamash. Apart from a single reign of an antediluvian king (according to the Sumerian King List), Sippar was never the seat of a dynasty. Its main prestige derived from the cult of the sun god and the commercial activities, which were favored by the location of the city in central Babylonia, along the navigable Euphrates, and in close proximity also to the Tigris. Merchants of Sippar traveled north and westward to Anatolia and Syria, as well as east to Iran. Sippar, like Nippur and Babylon, was one of the privileged cities that enjoyed special taxstatus and whose citizens were exempt from conscription. Most of the written documentation from the Old Babylonian period was found in the “cloister” of the so-called naditu women, who were placed there by their fathers in order to “pray continuously” but who were also free to invest their shares of paternal property. The tablets from the Neo-Babylonian period come mainly from the Shamash temple. Iraqi archaeologists recently discovered an important library at the site.
Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. EdwART. 2012.