Haz Click y Compra mis libros en la Casa del Libro
  Busca temas de Historia en mi página con Google      
MIS ÚLTIMOS LIBROS             Entrada Pág. Antigua NOTICIAS
  Martius anguis

       Fotos familia 1,  2                                  


      Nedstat Basic - Free web site statistics

ENTRADA, Curriculum     English version..English
E-mail Ecrivez-nous Actualización:  25

sep 2007 

Chronologie Tempus fugit  Nedstat Basic - Free web site statistics


 Noticias mías


  Escrituras megalíticas(IV-III milenio)  en Huelva, ( 2)  Publicaciones UNED http://apliweb.uned.es/publicaciones/busq-articulo/index.asp.


Cabeceras Temas


Mis último libros

Historia del Mundo Antiguo , volumen I, I: Próximo Oriente;

I, II: Egipto, fenicios, Israel

Volumen II El mundo mediterráneo hasta Augusto

Allfabeto cuneiforme Archivo mesopotamia

La ciudad de Ur , General  , Lugal







                                                             LOS ARCHIVO MESOPOTÁMICOS






Ciudades del Creciente Fértil

I - ÉPOCA ARCAICA(3,400  a.C.- 538 a.C)  

Ubaid, casa tipo


 Periodo Acadio  (2334 - 2180 a.C)
Época Neo-Sumeria (2125 - 2025 a.C)  Ur

Época Dinástica antigua (3400- 2340 a.C.  Warka (Uruk) Dama de Warka
Templo Blanco, Ur I, tumbas reales
Carros de las tumbas reales de Ur I
2  Hegemonia de Isin y Larsa  h.(2025 1594 BC)
, Tel Harmal


Harmal (c. 1800 BC) Tel Harmal: temple, palace and school
Primer Imperio Babilonio (Hammurabi)  

3 Dinastía Casita (1600 ­ 1100 BC)
Agarguf (Dur-Kuri-Galzu)
4 Periodo Asirio (1350 - 612 BC)
Assur - Nimroud - Nineveh - Khorsabad
Plan of Ashur (1385 - 1045 BC) Model of Ashur: the double temple of Anu and Adad
  Khorsabad palace in the middle of the picture
5 Imperio Neobabilónico (625 - 538 BC)
Babilonia y los Jardines Colgantes
Plan of Khorsabad under Sargon (721 - 705 BC) Khorsabad palace in the middle of the picture
The winged Bull of Khorsabad Relief on palace of King Ashurnasirpal II (883 - 859 BC) with the winged god at Nimrud
Relief of lion hunting found at Nimrud Lion killing a slave found at Nimrud
Model of the city of Babylon Ruins of Babylon today
Plan of the Hanging gardens of Babylon Wall of Hanging gardens of Babylon still standing
Ishtar gate of Babylon built by Nebuchadnezzar II
(604 - 562 BC) now in the Berlin Museum
Plan of the palace at Babylon centering at the Ishtar gate
II - Época Greco-Persa
(538 a.C. - 637 d.C.)

Model of two Parthian shrines at Hatra (141 - 224 AD)
Hatra was an ally of Rome which led to its destruction at the hands of the Sassanians in 226 AD
Part of the arch of Ctesiphon still stands: the greatest arch of the ancient world (30 meters high). It was built in the fourth century, the middle of the Sassanian period (224 - 637 AD)
Plan of the circular city of Baghdad (c. 766 AD) by Caliph Al-Mansoor: the innermost circle had a diameter of 2000 yards. The four gates led to Khorasan (NE), Basra (SE),
Kufa (SW) and Syria (NW)
Drawing of the city of Baghdad with the Tigris in the background: done from memory by a visitor in 1638
The Abbaside caliph's plan of Samarra (836 AD): the city was 34 km long with a great esplanade 7 km long Model of the Abbaside palace of Ukhaider (8th cent. AD)
It was located SW of Kerbala



Samuel M. Ronaya, Lecturer, Al-Hikma University, Baghdad




HISTORY BEGINS AT S U M E R, by Samuel Noah Kramer
Doubleday Anchor Books: Garden City, New York: 1959


1 Época Helenística (331 - 141 BC )
Babylon and the Greek Theatre


2 Época Parta (141 BC - 224 AD)

Hatra is a fortified city located in Upper Mesopotamia, approximately 80 km (50 mi) southwest of Mosul and 55 km (34 mi ) west of Ashur.  Originally within the boundaries of the former Iranian province of Kharvaran, it is now part of the country of Iraq.  It is situated in the steppe between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers (the northern Jazira), and about 3 km west of the Wadi Thartar. 

1- Monumental relief at Bishapur Iran.Sapor el Grande

Imperio Aquemenida durante el reinado de Dar�o I

Site History 
Hatra was probably used as a seasonal camping ground for semi-nomadic groups in the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE.   By the 1st century BCE, Hatra became a permanent settlement, and the center of a local dynasty along the Parthian-Roman border, subordinate to the larger Parthian Empire centered at Ctesiphon.  The growth of the city peaked in the 2nd century C.E.  In this period, Hatra was attacked by two Roman campaigns, one in 117 C.E. and the other in the 190s C.E, but it was protected by its position and strong fortification.  The prosperity of the city decreased once the Sassanian Dynasty became established with a Roman-Sassanian struggle for power along the border region.  In the early 3rd century, Roman troops were stationed at Hatra.  In 240-41 Hatra was conquered by the Sassanians, which led to the permanent abandonment of the settlement.  The site was unoccupied by 363 when Ammianus Marcellinus, a participant of Roman campaign, documented it as an “old city situated in an uninhabited area and deserted for a long time past


Hatra, Iraq

Hatra, the City of the Sun god, and the perfect ruin, or as Arabs say: Hadhar, is one of Iraq's few stone reserved monuments, a site that will be loved unreservedly and at first sight, because of its stunning beauty.

It is an ancient Arab city about 80 km to the south west of Mosul and 296 km north west of Baghdad. In many people's opinion its the loveliest ancient monument in Iraq from any period in that country's immensely long history.


The Temple of Shamash (the Sun God)

Although archeologists possess few texts that tells about the obscure beginnings of Hatra, it seems things started with a smallish Assyrian settlement which then grew sometime in the 3rd century BC to become a fortress and a trading center. In the 2nd century BC, it flourished as a major staging-post on the famous oriental silk road to become another link in the chain of the great Arab cities: Palmyra in Syria, Petra in Jordan, and Baalbeck in Lebanon.

Around 156 AD, and before the foundation of kingship, Hatra was governed by Arab rulers who combined religious and secular authority. Prominent among them was Nasr, father of the first two kings of Hatra: Lajash and Sanatruq. The latter whose title was King of the Arabs as inscriptions discovered in 1961 reveals and who, it seems, completed the Temple of Shamash (the Sun God), was succeeded by his son Abd Samya (190-200 AD), who in turn was succeeded by his son Sanatruq II (200-241 AD), the last Arab king of the city.


A Column Capital in the North TempleThe Statue of Abbu in the Great Temple

It is good to take one's time in Hatra as there is so much to look at and the compulsion is to go on looking. Hatra is fortified with two city walls and citadels. The outer wall is 8 km long, and the inner is 6 km long. The center of Hatra consists of a group of temples enclosed by a special wall. The most important is the temple of Shamash and the shrine of the goddess Shahiro (the morning star).

The group of temples has been partly restored and exemplifies the unique Hatran architecture: an elegant combination of eastern and western influences. Excavations of Hatra have only started recently. The town itself has not been uncovered yet but you are able to see the temples, the tombs, the wall and the remains of towers.

Impressive examples of Hatran art, with its statues of kings and precious collections of golden, silver and copper objects, can be admired at the National Museum of Iraq( ¡  before war)  ¡ .

Hatra (arabe : الحضر, al-Ḥaḍr) est une ancienne cité arabe de Mésopotamie, dans la région d'Al-Jazira au nord qui s'est développée au cours des trois premiers siècles de l'ère chrétienne et fut détruite par les Perses d'Ardachîr Ier et Shapur Ier en 241. La ville est aujourd'hui appelée al-Hadr et se trouve dans la province de Khvarvaran, à environ 290 km au nord-est de Bagdad et 110 km au sud-ouest de Mossoul.



Un royaume arabe de l'Antiquité [modifier]

Située à l'ouest de Mossoul dans une oasis du Wadi Tharthar, Hatra était la capitale d'un royaume aux frontières mal définies regroupant plusieurs grandes tribus arabes nomades. Théoriquement vassal de l'Empire Parthe, ce royaume était dirigé par des rois qui portaient des noms dynastiques arsacides, ce qui laisse entendre qu'ils étaient apparentés au Roi des rois de Ctésiphon, la capitale parthe. Dans les faits, ce royaume formait un état-tampon entre l'Empire romain et les Parthes, et jouissait d'une quasi indépendance. Hatra est plusieurs fois mentionnée par les historiens tels que Dion Cassius ou Hérodien car elle résista de façon remarquable aux sièges de Trajan en 116 et de Septime Sévère en 195 et 198.

La ville [modifier]

Le nom complet de la ville est Hatra de Shamash, ce qui signifie l'Enclos du Soleil. C'était une ville ronde, selon le modèle urbanistique parthe que l'on retrouve à Arbèles (Erbil) ou Ctésiphon. En son centre s'élevait le vaste enclos du dieu Soleil, seul monument de pierre au sein d'une cité faite entièrement de brique crue. Ce sanctuaire, qui comprenait plusieurs temples à l'extrémité d'une vaste esplanade, était un lieu de pèlerinage annuel pour les Arabes de Mésopotamie. Le tissu urbain s'est progressivement constitué sans plan directeur dans toutes les directions autour de ce sanctuaire central. Il était protégé par une double muraille en briques crues.

La civilisation de Hatra [modifier]

Les Hatréniens parlaient ou du moins écrivaient l'araméen, noté avec un alphabet propre à la ville. Ils vénéraient le Soleil, divinité principale de la cité, à côté d'autres divinités comme Héraclès, Nergal assimilé à Hadès, un couple divin désigné par une périphrase telle que "Mon Seigneur" et "Ma Dame", ou encore Simia représentée sous la forme d'une enseigne terminée par un croissant.

La prospérité de la cité venait essentiellement de l'exploitation de l'oasis qui la faisait vivre, ainsi que de l'élevage extensif pratiqué par les Nomades. Sans doute pratiquait-elle aussi le commerce caravanier, mais on n'a pas retrouvé à Hatra d'inscriptions caravanières comme à Palmyre, cité qui lui ressemblait beaucoup par ailleurs. Sa puissance militaire reposait surtout sur ses formidables défenses qui résistèrent à plusieurs reprises aux Romains. Les Arabes utilisaient notamment le pétrole pour confectionner un mélange incendiaire nommé "feu hatrénien" (ancêtre du feu grégeois des Byzantins) que l'on projetait avec succès sur les machines d'assaut ennemies.

La fin de Hatra [modifier]

Hatra s'était trouvée à plusieurs reprises depuis Trajan en conflit avec les Romains, et avait toujours résisté. Le siège mené en 198 par Septime Sévère fut le plus dangereux : les Romains parvinrent cette fois à entamer les défenses de la ville mais n'y pénétrèrent pas, sans doute à la suite d'un accord. Hatra passa alors dans l'alliance romaine, et la présence d'un détachement de soldats romains y est attesté au début du IIIe siècle.

C'est sans doute pour cela, comme pour les liens dynastiques qui liaient le roi de Hatra à la dynastie Arsacide, que la ville fut assiégée, sans doute dès 238, par les Perses Sassanides d'Ardachîr Ier. L'assaut final fut mené par Shapur Ier, le fils d'Ardachîr, en 241, et la ville fut prise. Elle fut méthodiquement détruite avec son oasis et intégralement vidée de sa population.

L'historien arabo-persan al-Tabari (Xe siècle) se fait l'écho des traditions arabes sur la chute de Hadr (Hatra). L'événement a en effet frappé les imaginations dans le monde arabe de l'époque, donnant lieu à des poèmes élégiaques sur le thème de la puissance brutalement anéantie. Le récit qu'il fait de la prise de la ville, trahie par la fille du roi, est l'ancêtre du conte de la Princesse au petit pois (popularisé en Europe par Andersen).

Le site de Hatra aujourd'hui

Partiellement fouillé au XXe siècle, notamment par des missions italiennes, le site archéologique de Hatra est un des temps forts d'une visite de l'Irak. Le sanctuaire du Soleil, en pierres, a été largement restauré (comme Babylone ou l'enceinte de Ninive à Mossoul) sous le régime de Saddam Hussein. C'est à Hatra qu'ont été tournées les premières scènes du film l'Exorciste (1973.

Aujourd'hui, Hatra n'est plus guère visitée que par des militaires américains en permission, et livrée le reste du temps aux fouilleurs clandestins. La plupart des œuvres d'art retrouvées avant la guerre à Hatra se trouvent au Musée de Mossoul ou à celui de Bagdad (une partie en a été volée en 2003 et est toujours recherchée).

Hatra : limestone relief showing the god Heracles-Nergal. Probably IInd century AD (from : Colledge 1967 : 159, fig. 46).

veuillez cliquer sur l'image pour l'agrandir

  hatra1.jpg (14164 octets)
veuillez cliquer sur l'image pour l'agrandir

hatra4.jpg (13003 octets)
veuillez cliquer sur l'image pour l'agrandir

wpe53.jpg (12501 octets)
veuillez cliquer sur l'image pour l'agrandir

hatra8.jpg (9564 octets)
veuillez cliquer sur l'image pour l'agrandir

retour plan musée


www.ezida.com/musee%20hatra.htm  Visitad el Museo de Irak...

CHRISTIDES, V., 1982. Heracles-Nergal in Hatra. Berytus Archaeological Studies XXX : 105-115.

COLLEDGE M. A. R., 1967. The Parthians. London : Thames and Hudson, 'Ancient peoples and places' : 244 p.

l'Irak est encore occupé

 Les sites archéologiques continuent à être sauvagement pillés

Certaines villes antiques ont complément disparu sous les coups des pioches des trafiquants

Vue aérienne de la ville d'Umma, détruite par des pilleurs 

3 ´Época Sasánida (224 AD - 637 AD)
Arch of Sapor
Arco de Sapor - Ctesifonte


A drawing by Leonard Woolley of the ziggurrat of the moon god at Ur, restored as it is thought to have been in the time of Ur-Nammu1). This is the best preserved ziggurrat in Mesopotamia and the restoration in the mid 20th century of its surviving remains enabled visitors to climb the central staircase. Todays condition is unknown.
Compare this ziggurrat with a rare drawing of one from the walls of Niniveh.
The drawing of a detail on a stone relief from the palace of Assurbanipal at Niniveh (7th century) which provides a rare glimpse of the ancient representations of a ziggurrat. On top is a horned shrine. The scene is in the ancient country of Elam, city uncertain, although we know that the city ziggurrat at Susa had horns of burnished bronze. This drawing was made by the 19th century French artist William Boutcher. The original slab was lost in 1854 when a raft carrying a large number of Assyrian sculptures from Baghdad to Basra was sunk by bandits near Qurna.
In some ways the ancient wisdom of what is called `Sumer' reminds of Hebrew beliefs.
"Only the gods live forever ..."

"As for mankind, numbered are their days ...

"Whatever they achieve is but wind."
"And God said to Moses, `I Am That I Am.'"
"... from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."
"... All flesh is grass ... the grass withers ... surely people are like grass."
"Make me know my end, and the measure of my days..."

A mighty ziggurat stood once at the city of Uruk, called Erek in the Bible and Warka in modern Iraq. Even today it is quite a sizable mud brick mount but damaged from centuries of exposure to weather and human visitors. The tall, tripple-tiered ziggurat at Ur is much better preserved and gives a good impression of the size of these structures. [For an image of the ziggurat at Ur see Biblical Archaeology Review, Vol. XI, Jan/Feb 1985, p. 36.]
It was the Elamite husband of Napir-asu who built a mighty, five stage ziggurat at Choga Zambil, near his capital of Susa. [See The Horizon Book of the Lost Worlds, N.Y., 1962, p. 174] There is also a ziggurat at Nippur whose condition is unknown to us at this time. [For images see, Splendors of the Past, National Geographic, 1981, p. 36ff.]

Leonard Wooley published a drawing of the burial of the retinue of a king of Ur, ostensibly to serve him in the afterlife. The drawing is titled `Death Pit, PG 1237'. It is approximately square with 2 parallel sides and the other 2 sides are uneven in length. In all 74 bodies are drawn in a crouched position. The pagan belief in an immortal soul was especially advanced in ancient Egypt. Original Hebrew believes taught that man has no advantage over animals in death but that there would be a resurrection at the end of time. (Genesis 7:21, 22; Job 4:17 - man is mortal; Job 14:12-14; 19:25; Psalm 104:29) However, many Hebrews probably had no clear understanding of these doctrinal points. [Ovid R. Sellers, `Israelite Belief in Immortality' in BA, Vol. VIII, Feb. 1945, p. 1-(7)-16; From Wooley, `Ur Excavations', Vol. II, plate 71.]



1.  Limestone cup from Uruk: Ht 12.7 cm. 3,100-3,000 BCE, Uruk in Southern Iraq (Photo from pg. 53 of D. Collon's 1995 Ancient Near Eastern Art).

The figure on the front wears only a belt and has his curled hair parted in the center. He embraces a bull on either side of his torso, his arm around their neck. On the back of each bull stands a large bird.


2. Chlorite vessel found at Khafajeh: Ht 11.5 cm. 2,600 BCE, Khafajeh, north-east of Baghdad (Photo from pg. 69 of D. Collon's 1995 Ancient Near Eastern Art).

 The vessel was made somewhere east of Baghdad, possibly in Iran, and transported to Khafajeh where it was found. At the left of the panel, a man wearing a net skirt is kneeling on a pair of Zebus who are standing back to back. He is holding streams of water showering down onto vegetables and a palm tree. The wavy line above his head may be rain clouds, they share the sky with a crescent moon and a rosette sun. The second figure is also depicted with a rosette at his shoulder.  He has a snake in each hand and is standing between two felines, both turned in his direction. At the right of the panel, a bull is being attacked by a large bird (eagle) and a lion while another small animal faces the other way.  This image was created by rotating the straight sided vessel for the exposure of the photograph.


3. Cylinder seal: Ht. 3.6 cm. 2,220 - 2,159 BCE, Mesopotamia (Photo from pg. 216 of J. Aruz and R. Wallenfels (eds.) 2003  Art of the First Cities).

This Akkadian example of a seal impression shows a hero wrestling with a water buffalo (left) and a bull-man struggling with a lion (right). The figures are separated by a tree on a mountain.  The hero faces the viewer and dominates the scene. Akkadian seals tend to be arranged into clusters of figures that display physical tension in scenes of active combat.


4.  Votive statues from Tell Asmar: Ht (tallest figure) 72 cm. 2,700 BCE, Tell Asmar, Mesopotamia (Photo from pg. 61 of D. Collon's 1995 Ancient Near Eastern Art).

In this collection, found in the Abu Temple, there are eight bearded standing male figures, one clean-shaven standing male, one kneeling male, and two standing females.  All of the figures display large wide open eyes, many of which are inlaid.  Additionally, some of the figure's eyebrows are also inlaid.  Males wear fringed skirts and belts and females wear robes with a cloak draped over the left shoulder.  All of the figures hold their hands before them, many are clasping a cup.  The figures are thought to represent worshippers.


5.  Detail from "Great Lyre" from Ur: Ht 33 cm. 2550 - 2400 BCE, royal tomb at Ur (Photo from pg. 106 of J. Aruz and R. Wallenfels (eds.) 2003  Art of the First Cities).

The front panel of the sound box from the so-called Great Lyre was recovered among grave goods in the royal tomb at Ur.  The panel is made of shell and bitumen and is divided into four registers.  The top panel is of a male embracing two human headed bulls, the three lower panels show scenes from a funerary banquet in which animals play the roles normally assumed by humans.


6. Warka vase, Uruk: 3000 BCE, Uruk in Southern Iraq (Photo from pg. 61 of M. Roaf's Cultural Atlans of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East).

This vase is covered with scenes of offerings for the goddess Inanna.  She and the King are shown in the top register. (h, aprox.1,20 mts)


Uruk(Warka)Warka ziggurat El Zigurat

Cylinder seal impression; scene representing mythological beings, bulls and lions in conflict (British Museum No. 89538)


Mesopotamia - the cradle of civilization The land between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, it is said, hosted the legendary Garden of Eden - if it existed anywhere. To emphasize this the ancient village of Al-Qurna singled out a tree ("Adam's tree") with a sign - in Arabic and English. On this holy spot where the Tigris meets the Euphrates this holy tree of our father Adam grew symbolizing the Garden of Eden. Abraham prayed here 2,000 years B.C. Throughout Iraq loom ziggurat temples dating from 3,000 B.C. which recall the story of the Tower of Babel. One such ziggurat is Aqar-Quf (a suburb of present day Baghdad) marking the capital of the Cassites. In the south lie the ruins of Sumer where were found tens of thousands of stone tablets from the incredible Sumerian culture which flourished 5,000 years ago. On some of these tablets, which were used for teaching children, are found fascinating descriptions of everyday life, including the first organized and detailed set of instructions on when to plant and when to harvest. Also in the south lie the ruins of Ur from which at God's prodding Abraham set out for the promised land. Here the Akkadians introduced chariots to warfare. Nearby on the west bank of the Shatt-el-Arab lies Basra which later became the home port of Sindbad the Sailor. The Marsh Arabs (Ma'dan) are found at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates in the south. In the north of Iraq the gates of Ninevah the Asirian capital with their imaginative stone winged-bulls mark the place where the prophet Jonah is said to have preached penance to the wicked inhabitants, all of whom repented, much to Jonah's chagrin. Later neighboring Mosul became the crossroads of the great caravan routes. Kirkuk is the oil center of the north and boasts of the tomb of the Old Testament prophet Daniel. The city of Mosul has given us the cloth that bears its name "muslin" as well as building materials, alabaster and gypsum cement with its remarkable strength and rapid-drying properties.


Mapas con los territorios gobernados  por las diferentes Dinastías
 Mapa de Mesopotamia Mapa de los dominios de la Dinastía acadia (2334 - 2180 a.C)
Mapa de la  I Dinastía de Babilonia (2000 -323 a.C) Mapa de Asiria (1350 - 612 a.C)


Ishtar Gate

Ishtar Gate of Babylon (now in Berlin)

In the middle of Iraq lie the ruins of Nebuchadnezzar's Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Babel) close to the place where Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego sang their hymn of praise in the midst of the fiery furnace. Here Daniel read the mysterious Aramaic handwriting on the wall "mene tekel peres" (counted, weighed, divided) in the Aramaic or Chaldean language for Nebuchadnezzar and under the later rule of Darius, the biblical Daniel sat unharmed in the lions' den. The Old Testament "Daniel" story, probably written between 167-164 B.C., was borrowed from Babel and Persian literature and adapted for Jewish readership.

Judaism had been a presence in Mesopotamia since the Babylonian captivity from 586 to 538 B.C. Nearby, Xenophon and his 10,000 fought against the Persians and in 1700 B.C. Hammurabi composed his famous collection of laws. After conquering the world, Alexander the Great, at the age of 32 died an untimely death at Babel in 323 B.C. The Sassanid settlement of Selucia-Ctesiphon (Ma-da-in) boasted of a giant arch (the only remnant of the palace still standing) which was believed to have been the widest span of pure brickwork in the world. The Arch of Ctesiphon (Taq-ki-sra near Baghdad) testifies to the skill of its third century builders.


On this panel from the gates of Balwat, Jehu, the king of Israel, is shown bowing to Shalmaneser 111 (859- 824 BC) who forced

Tyre, Sidon and Israel to pay tribute to him


Early Mesopotamian science
In "History Begins at Sumer", Samuel Kramer tells of the third millennium B.C Sumerian astronomers living along the Tigris River who noticed that there were roughly 360 days in the year. The missing five days were declared occasional holidays. This number 360 was very convenient since it was divisible by many smaller numbers, so they divided each day into 360 gesh, which were later changed by the Babylonians to 24 hours with two levels of subdivisions.


Present day use of minute and second is traced to the Latin translations of the Babylonian designations for these subdivisions: small bits (minuta -> minutes) and secondary small bits (secunda minuta -> seconds).


Around 2400 B.C. the Sumerians developed an ingenious sexagesimal system to represent all integers from 1 to 59 using 59 different patterns of wedges (cunei . . . cuneiform) which were usually imprinted in soft clay and later hardened. Integers from 60 to 3600 were then represented by a different symbol for 60 which was combined with the other 59 patterns. Like our decimal system it was positional so that the successive symbols were assumed to be multiplied by decreasing powers of 60. For instance, the number 365 in the decimal system would, in the sexagesimal system, be written 6 5 (= 6 times 60 + 5 times 1), just as 65 in our decimal system of base ten means 6 times 10 plus 5 times 1.

An adventuresome, determined and curious reader with a calculator can verify that the Babylonian number 4 23 36 (equals {4 times 60 times 60} + {23 times 60} + {36 times 1}) represents 15,816 in our decimal system. In their grasp of the workings of arithmetic the Babylonians were far superior to the Greeks of later centuries. The latter used letters for numbers (so 888 would be wph) and they would have trouble multiplying a simple problem like 12 times 28 which would be ib times kh. The multiplication rules for letters were beyond the reach of an ordinary person.

Kramer uses as his main source the content of tens of thousands of Sumerian tablets, uncovered in this century from 1902 on, which date back to 2,400 B.C. and reveal a rich literature long before Greek civilization. These remarkable tablets gave us the first Farmer's Almanac filled with astronomical and mathematical data, proving that Sumerian schoolboys were learning the Pythagorean theorem 1,800 years before Pythagoras (circa 585-500 B.C.) was born. In this mainstream of our own cultural background, the Mesopotamian civilization, a fortuitous event in the evolution of arithmetic symbols occurred through the adoption of Sumerian "cuneiform" symbols by the Akkadians to represent their semitic language as it became more popular in Mesopotamia.


Later Mesopotamian cultures

Christian presence since the first century
Iraq's Christian community dates back to Apostolic times. In The Nestorians and Their Muslim Neighbors (p. 24), John Joseph relates the traditions claiming that the Apostles Jude Thaddeus, Bartholomew and Simon first planted the Christian faith in the north of Iraq. Also he notes the belief that St. Thomas stopped in Mesopotamia on his way to India. In the third century the Nestorian and Jacobite Christians became the most important advisors to the rulers of Mesopotamia. Their influence and ability to spread Christianity lasted for centuries.

The dominant rite now is that of the Chaldean Catholics. Others represented to a lesser degree are: Jacobites, Syrian Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic (Melkite), Nestorians and Latin Catholic. The totality of Christians constitutes a small minority of less than 5% of Iraqis. The multiplicity of rites, however, in this small minority has led to friction, jealousies, and disputes which have prevented the Christian presence from being an effective Christian witness. After Vatican II, however, there has been a marked growth of the ecumenical spirit.

Three major seminaries were founded in Iraq during this century. One is at Dora just south of Baghdad and two are in Mosul, St. Peter's for the Chaldeans conducted by Chaldean priests and St. John's Syrian Seminary conducted by French Dominicans who also run a high school in Mosul. The Chaldean Sisters are the Daughters of the Immaculate Conception who had a number of schools for girls. In the first part of this century native Dominican Sisters ran 10 schools with 2,500 students. Chaldean Antonian monks in the monastery of St. Hormiz near Alqosh and the Carmelite Fathers do parochial work.

In the early days of the Society of Jesus while St. Ignatius was still alive, Jesuits passed through Baghdad on their way to the China mission. Recorded in the Monumenta Historica Societatis Jesu are the travels of Jesuits Gaspar Barzée and Raymond Pereira sometime between 1549 and 1567 and later Nicolas Trigault between 1612 and 1614. During the 17th century several dozen Jesuits made such a journey including one of the greatest Jesuit missionaries, Alexander de Rhodes, who labored in Indochina and who eventually was buried in Ispahan, Iran. Jesuit Brothers Bernard Sales and George Berthe died in Baghdad in 1661 and 1664. During this century the time had come for the Jesuits to return to Baghdad.

Islamic civilization
In the seventh century came the Muslim Conquest and the Baghdad Caliphs had more to offer than Sindbad, Scheherazade with her 1,001 stories, Aladdin and his wonderful lamp, Ali Baba and the forty thieves. The city of Baghdad became a center of Muslim power, the capital of the Abbasid Empire for five centuries (750-1258 A.D.), and the center of a flourishing Arab culture. In 1232 A.D. the Caliph Al-Mustansir founded, in the middle of Baghdad, Al Mustanseria, one of the earliest universities. However, later in the 13th century Baghdad was plundered by the Mongols and stagnated for centuries.

Baghdad then endured four centuries of Ottoman domination and mismanagement which ended with the British occupation following World War I. After this long ordeal Baghdad grew steadily into a modern city, especially after World War II. Among the significant events which shaped modern Iraq were the discovery of oil, the establishment of the Hashemlte Monarchy, the overthrow of this same Hashemlte monarchy and the establishment of the Republic in 1958.

The majority of Iraqis are Arabs. There is a large minority of Kurds and a lesser percentage of Turks, Iranians, Chaldeans, Asirians and Armenians. According to the 1965 census about 95 percent of the eight million (in 1990 eighteen million) inhabitants were Muslims. The Muslims of Iraq are divided into Sunnites and Shiites, with the latter forming the majority. Southwest of Baghdad lies Najaf and the city of Karbala which is the shrine of the imam El-Hussein ibn Ali and an important pilgrimage site for Shiites.

About the middle of the ninth century Bait Al-Hikma, the "House of Wisdom" was founded in Baghdad which combined the functions of a library, academy, and translation bureau. A very conspicuous creative work of the Arabs lies in mathematics and astronomy. Arab astronomers have left quite a discernible impact on Mapas of the heavens and given us such words as azimuth, nadir, and zenith. Our mathematical vocabulary includes such borrowed terms as algebra, algorithm (from al-Khwarizmi), cipher, surd, and sine.
The "House of Wisdom" turned toward the ancient Babylonians in order to return to primary sources instead of relying on Greek translations. It continued for several centuries and eventually took in boarding students from Europe and all over the known world. Bait Al-Hikma flourished long before Paris, Salamanca, Bologna, Prague, or Oxford.


Brief descriptions and pictures of some major Mesopotamian centers

Sumer (4000 - 2000 BC) southern region of ancient Mesopotamia, and later southern part of Babylon, now south central Iraq. An agricultural civilization flourished here during the 3rd and 4th millennia BC. The Sumerians built canals. established an irrigation system, and were skilled In the use of metals (silver, gold, copper) to make pottery. jewelry. and weapons. They invented the cuneiform system of writing. Various kings founded dynasties at Kish, Erech. and Ur. King Sargon of Agade brought the region under the Semites (c. 2600 BC). who blended their culture with the Sumerians The final Sumerian civilization at Ur fell to Elam, and when Semitic Babyloma under Hammurabi (c 2000 BC) controlled the land the Sumerian nation vanished.

Ur (3000 - 250 BC) ancient Babylonian city and birthplace of Abraham. Settled in the 4th millennium BC it prospered during its First Dynasty (3000-2600 BC), and during its Third Dynasty, it became the richest City In Mesopotamia. A century later it was destroyed by the Elamites only to be rebuilt and destroyed again by the Babylonians. After Babylonia came under the control of Persia the city was abandoned (3rd cent. BC).


Pictures of the art and architecture of ancient Mesopotamia found in the books listed below
 Templo Pintado de  Uruk Two Sumerian tablets: (c 2000 BC)
The first prescrition and the Great Physician
The golden head of a bull on the front of a lyre found at Ur (c. 2685 BC) The ram and the schrub from the Royal Cemetery at Ur
Ur at peace: one side ot the Standard of Ur
found in the Royal Cemetery at Ur
Ur at war: the other side of the Standard of Ur
(c. 2685 BC)
Model of the zigurat at Ur with the ascents partly restored The zigurat at Ur (c. 2250 BC)
Drawing of the zigurat at Ur: the moon-god Nanna The zigurat at Ur which was restored by successive rulers
The White Temple at Uruk(Warka) Model of the Temple Blanco de Warka (Uruk)

A List of Ziggurats (Temple Towers)

The ziggurat of:

1. Abu Habbah
2. Akar Kuf
3. Ashur: The ruins of this ziggurat were ca. 150 feet high in the late 19th century.
Nimrud 4. Bel
5. Babil
6. Bir
7. Borsippa
8. Etemenaki
9. Nabu
10. Nimrud (Calah)
11. Nippur
12. Ur

The Discoveries
The extent and importance of the ruins of Kalat Sharkat were first pointed out in modern times by C.J. Rich, Consul General of Baghdad. They lie about 40 miles from the mouth of the Great Zab, 50 miles from Nimrud, and 75 miles from Mossul. Layard visited them in 1840 and found there the headless statue of Shalmaneser II (BM#849). H. Rassam under the direction of H.C. Rawlinson discovered there three terra-cotta cylinders of Tiglath-Pileser I (BM#91.033-91.035). These mention the rebuilding of the temple of Anu and Ramman by Shamshi-Ramman. When the cylinder inscriptions were read it was generally accepted that the ruins of Kalat Sharkat contained the remains of the city of Ashur, the oldest capital of Assyria.

Harmal (c. 1800 BC) Tel Harmal: temple, palace and school


The Temple of Warka

The location of Warka is perhaps known better by the name of Erech or Uruk. History books tell us that a school of epic writers arose in Uruk, whose poems are thought to incorporate the early traditions of the city and its rulers. The steps leading up to the white temple of Warka. But as so much of the currently accepted chronology of the Middle East is suspect, so too, the chronology and with it history of Mesopotamia. To get an idea on how this was expressed, for instance, by Professor Heinsohn of the University of Bremen, click on the local link right here. The ancient history of these civilizations was put together by scholars most of whom believed in the humanistic scenario of millions of years thus always trying to extent chronology into the distant past in order to connect it to some Neanderthal like people group. Professor Heinsohn's insights are so valuable, even though himself not necessarily a Bible based scholar, in that he realizes the overextension of the chronologies underlying the account of ancient history. In our opinion, the ancient history of no civilization goes much beyond 2200 B.C. for before that occurred the World Wide Flood of Noah.
Scholars deduced that a Pagan ziggurat includes commonly at least two temples, one at the bottom and one at the top. The `high' temple was the residence of the main deity, who at times in ceremonies or literature was described as coming down to the `lower temple'. In earliest Hebrew beliefs, there is only one sanctuary and one, even though for our understanding, complex God - for the true God is a Spirit and we ought not to assume we fully can understand all about the Almighty Creator God, Lord of the Universe. But the Pagan ziggurat temple was interpreted on the basis of its architecture and so it was that some scholars pointed out that the ancient texts indicate that the main god dwelled also in the bottom temple. This way a back and forth of theoretic interpretations were developed, each trying to describe the `deity' worshipped, to be all inclusive to what the texts and archaeological evidence seemed to tell. But God does not dwell in anything but that which He revealed to be consecrated in such a way that no sin is near it. For nothing that defiles a person can remain in us to meet the Lord. And so a priest must compare his life to the Law of God to discover where he failed. Does he worship or honor things other then the God in Heaven? Does he honor his father and mother? Does he keep the Sabbath holy and watches the edges of the Sabbath hours? Does he live honestly and free of hate of fellow man? Does he deal honestly with what God has given him? Such questions we must ask us and examine ourselves if we are true to God. But the priests of Pagan temples had no such soul searching guidelines. They worshipped whom, they knew not what.

Source Finder

010) For a good quality B/W image of Urnammu see `The Horizon Book of Lost Worlds', NY 1962, p. 151; Also see `A Brief History of the Third Dynasty of Ur' in Biblical Archaeology, Vol. 50, Sept 1987, p. 141-143.
For images of the `Mighty Cahokia', see Archaeology, May/Jun 1996, p. 30ff.
020) For an image of the mound hiding the long lost Mayan city of Bonacca see `Ancient American', #13, p. 35-38.
030) For the story of the discovery and exploration of Susa see Henri-Paul Eydoux, `In Seacrh of Susiana', In Search of Lost Worlds, N.Y., 1971, p. 62-65.; Tells how Loftus and later, Marcel Dieulafoy and Jacques de Morgan explored there. They found the famous `frieze of archers', the two ton bronze statue of Queen Napir-Asu (Louvre) and the eight foot tall black basalt Code of Hammurabi.
040) Also remember the great earthquake of Ecuador on Thursday, August 5, 1949 which sometime after a heavy rain at 9 AM destroyed 53 cities including the city of Ba�os located in the high country. The tourist hotels and entertainment areas were filled with people. The usual stage plays had taken place during which also a jester made silly sexual remarks about Adam and Eve when suddenly the quake's tremendous shock wave hit and all the walls and roofs came crashing down. The news item was told, according to which at the edge of the town of Ba�os, the hut of an old lady and she herself survived the general destruction. A relief worker, Se�ora Elvira - `Mother to the poor', was very much impressed to read a banner over her bed in Spanish, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." This very violent quake, opened up deep fissures and forced large amounts of turbulent water to the surface which was sulfurous in some places and it killed many people besides the fires which broke out.

Also check out our updated pictures and info on the history surrounding Babylon!

Chan Chan, Peru Machu Picchu, Peru

Partia (2500 a.C - 226 d.C), ancient country in W. Asia: originally a province in the Asirian and Persian empires. It was the Macedonian empire of Alexander the Great. and the Syrian empire Led by Arsaces, its first king, it freed itself from the rule of the Seleucids (c 2500 BC) and refined the height of its power under Mithridates (first century BC) The empire was overthrown c AD226 by Ardashir, the first Sassanid ruler of Persia


            Guerrero parto


De origen escita, este pueblo pertenecía desde tiempos inmemoriales a la confederación de tribus que se agrupaban con el nombre común de Dahae, establecidas en el área comprendida entre el curso actual del río Oxus y la fachada oriental del Mar Caspio. Identificados como los Parnii, las primeras noticias que existen de ellos los presentan como una tribu que, posiblemente a mitad del siglo IV a.C., a causa de algún tipo de querella con sus vecinos fue expulsada de la confederación Dahae y obligada a moverse en busca de tierras en donde establecerse. Encontraron su aposento en los desiertos, o tierras menos provechosas, que se extendían posiblemente muy al sur de sus primitivos asentamientos.

Tras la caída del imperio persa en poder de Alejandro,  pasaron a ser vasallos de los macedonios. El primer gobernador macedonio bajo el que se vieron obligados a militar fue Soleo Estaganor , sátrapa de Margiana, más delante, y ya tras la desmembración del imperio  de Alejandro, pasaron servir a Éumenes, tras su derrota a Antígono y finalmente a Seleuco Nicátor, continuaron formando parte del Imperio Seleucida hasta el año 250 a.C.

 Por aquellos tiempos el Imperio había entrado en un periodo de discordias civiles que facilitaron e impulsaron que, probablemente en primer lugar, el sátrapa de Bactria proclamase su independencia, luego, y a imitación de este, casi todos los pueblos del oriente seleucida se sumaron a la secesión.

                                                                   Arsáces I

                                                                           Arsaces I

Los partos, bajo Arsáces I, proclamaron así su independencia, mas adelante, aprovechando la aplastante derrota del ejército seleucida y de su rey, Seleuco II Calínico, a manos de los galatas (año 239 a.C.), Arsáces decidió atravesar la frontera y entrar en la satrapía de la Parthyene (Parthia), de donde expulso a su gobernador Andrágoras  asentandose entonces en aquellas regiones

Mitrídates (171-138/9 a.C.) fue el impulsor de su gran expansión.( www.satrapa1.archez.com/.../ partos1/parthia1.htm )


                                                        Imperio Parto o arsácida (170 a. C.-226 d. C.)  



A Parthian Horse-archer





Babilonia (2000 a.C. - 323 a.C), an ancient city of Mesopotamia located on the Euphrates River about 55mi (89km) south of present day Baghdad. Settled since prehistoric times. it was made the capital of Babylonia by Hammurabi (1792 ­ 1750 BC) in the 18th century BC. The city was completely destroyed in 689 BC by the Asirians under Sennacherib. After restoration it flourished and became noted for its hanging gardens, one of the seven wonders of the world. In 275 BC the city was abandoned when the Seleucid dynasty built a new capital at Seleucia.

Left: East Parthian Cataphract; Middle: Parthian Horse-Archer; Right: Parthian Cataphract from Hatra


Parthian Cataphracts (Fully Armoured Parthian Cavalry)


Parthian & Sasanian Cataphracts
1. Top: Sasanian Standard-Bearer
2. Middle: Parthian Cataphract, CE 3rd C.
3. Bottom: Early Sasanian Cataphract, CE 3rd C.



Para designar tanto esta lengua como la escritura que la soportaba, se viene usando el término pahlevi, que deriva directamente de pahlavik, que a su vez proviene del adjetivo parthava, "de los partos".

Parthian Script

he Parthian script developed from the Aramaic alphabet around the 2nd century BCE and was used during the Parthian and Sassanid periods of the Persian Empire. The latest known inscription dates from 292 CE.

Notable Features
  • Written from right to left in horizontal lines.
  • Only some vowels are indicated and the letters used to represent them have multiple pronunciations.
  • The letters marked in red were used to write loan words from Aramaic.





La escritura pahlevi se presenta bajo diversas formas (figura superior): pahlevi arsácida (pahlavik propiamente dicho), pahlevi sasánida (parsik), escritura de manuscrito y alfabeto avéstico (o zend).

Imperio Sasánida (224-651)

La figura inferior muestra un ejemplo de inscripción pahlevi con su traducción.( Cfr.www.proel.org/ alfabetos/pahlevi.html)

En la Buena Religión se revela que Ormuz estaba en alto en omnisciencia y bondad por tiempo ilimitado en la luz; esa luz es el trono y lugar de Ormuz... Ahrimán estaba en las tinieblas en conocimiento en retroceso y en deseo de destruir en lo profundo.

La figura inferior muestra los distintos alfabetos pahlevi comparados con el sogdiano y escrituras arameas.

El alfabeto pahlevi arsácida, fue usado bajo la dinastía arsácida en el siglo II d. C., y es el que más se aproxima al prototipo arameo. El alfabeto pahlevi sasánida es más lejano al arameo y se usó bajo la dinastía sasánida que gobernó desde el 224 al 651 d. C.; hay inscripciones monumentales en el Kurdistán y Persépolis. La escritura de manuscrito está atestiguada por textos que provienen del Turquestán oriental y de algunos papiros hallados en Egipto, que pueden ser de principios del siglo VII d. C.


Asiria (1530 - 612 BC) reached its greatest extent in the 7th century BC. during Ashurbanipal's reign He subjected its people to merciless repression inflicted by his army in whose ruthlessness he gloried and ruled through an efficient administrative system supervised by the central government. Asirian rule collapsed and was followed by a brief resurgence of Babylonian rule


The top of the Hamurabi stele shows the king
worshipping before a seated god.
Detail of part of the inscription
on the stele of Hamurabi's code
Harmal (c. 1800 BC) Tel Harmal: temple, palace and school
Restos del zigurat de  Aqar Quf  en la ciudad casita de  Dur Kurigalzu: An alabaster relief of an Arab - Asirian battle
found near Ninevah (c. 660 BC)
Plano de Asur (1385 - 1045 BC) Asur: Doble templo de  Anu y Adad
Plano   of Khorsabad bajo Sargon II (721 - 705 BC) Khorsabad palace in the middle of the picture
The winged Bull of Khorsabad Relief on palace of King Ashurnasirpal II (883 - 859 BC) with the winged god at Nimrud
Relief of lion hunting found at Nimrud Lion killing a slave found at Nimrud
Model of the city of Babylon Ruins of Babylon today
Plan of the Hanging gardens of Babylon Wall of Hanging gardens of Babylon still standing
Ishtar gate of Babylon built by Nebuchadnezzar II
(604 - 562 BC) now in the Berlin Museum
Plan of the palace at Babylon centering at the Ishtar gate

Sassanids, or Sassanians, last native dynasty of Persian kings.founded by Ardashiric AD226. There were approximately 25 Sassanid rulers the most important after Ardashir being Shapur II (309-79): Khosrau I (531-79), who invaded Syria: and Khosrau 11 (590-628) whose conquest of Egypt marks the height of the dynasty's power. The line ended when Persia fell to the Arabs in 641 AD.

Baghdad (762 - AD), capital city of Iraq, on the Tigris River. Established in 762 as capital of Abbaside caliphate. It grew to be a cultural and financial center hub of caravan trade between India, Persia, and the West. Destroyed by the Mongols in 1258: in the early 20th century Iraq gained independence from Turks and Baghdad became the capital (1921), and now is the modern administrative. transportation. and educational center.

Model of two Parthian shrines at Hatra (141 - 224 AD)
Hatra was an ally of Rome which led to its destruction at the hands of the Sassanians in 226 AD
Part of the arch of Ctesiphon still stands: the greatest arch of the ancient world (30 meters high). It was built in the fourth century, the middle of the Sassanian period (224 - 637 AD)
Plan of the circular city of Baghdad (c. 766 AD) by Caliph Al-Mansoor: the innermost circle had a diameter of 2000 yards. The four gates led to Khorasan (NE), Basra (SE),
Kufa (SW) and Syria (NW)
Drawing of the city of Baghdad with the Tigris in the background: done from memory by a visitor in 1638
The Abbaside caliph's plan of Samarra (836 AD): the city was 34 km long with a great esplanade 7 km long Model of the Abbaside palace of Ukhaider (8th cent. AD)
It was located SW of Kerbala



Samuel M. Ronaya, Lecturer, Al-Hikma University, Baghdad




HISTORY BEGINS AT S UM E R, by Samuel Noah Kramer
Doubleday Anchor Books: Garden City, New York: 1959