Entre les fleuves II. D’Aššur à Mari et au-delà
The contributions gathered in this volume are the result of the German-French research project HIGEOMES – “The historical geography of Upper Mesopotamia in the 2nd millennium BC: Interdisciplinary research” (ANR/DFG). The first part, “From Aššur to Mari,” covers the Sinjar, Khabur and Taurus regions, that is, the north of Upper Mesopotamia. The focus lies on spatial phenomena of political structures in the first half of the 2nd millennium BC, based on written sources or archaeological findings (contributions by D. Charpin, M. Guichard, A. Jacquet, C. Nicolle, J.-M. Durand & N. Ziegler). The second part, “Beyond Upper Mesopotamia,” considers regions at the borders or even outside of Upper Mesopotamia proper. The city of Akkade remains a point of reference, also in the second millennium. With regard to the ongoing discussion about the localization of the city of Akkade it seemed to make sense to bring the state of research concerning the written sources of the third to the first millennia up to date (contributions by W. Sommerfeld, N. Ziegler, S. Paulus, W. Pethe, L. Marti and R. Pirngruber ). The two texts from Tell Sakka are here edited for the first time and analysed as to their importance for a reconstruction of Suppiluliuma I’s military campaigns (contributions by F. Abdallah & J.-M. Durand, B. Alexandrov). The third part, “Toponymy and concept of space,” consists of essays by I. Arkhipov, E. Cancik-Kirschbaum and N. Ziegler. They treat questions of newly attributed place-names and of the linguistic grasp of large areas and of central structures in Old Babylonian and Middle Assyrian times (libbi mātim / libbi māti resp. libbi āli).
Since early Antiquity, people have replaced traditional toponyms with more prestigious names that reflected the ideology of the time. Old Babylonian Upper Mesopotamia provides two new examples of this usage. The city of Hanzat was renamed into Šubat-Šamaš, “the dwelling of Šamaš”, during Samsi-Addu’s reign. The city of Tupham was for some time called Ṣubat-Eštar, “the possession of Eštar.”
The text TS 2 unearthed at Tell Sakka, some 12 km north of Damascus, and published by J.-M. Durand and F. Abdallah in the present volume, is of significant import for the reconstruction of historical geography and political history of the Late Bronze age Syria. It records a legal transaction taking place in the city of Ugulzat. The character of the transaction, a real estate transfer, makes probable the identification of the find place, Tell Sakka, as ancient Ugulzat. Apart from the newly found Tell Sakka text, Ugulzat is mentioned in various sources dating to the Middle and Late Bronze age period. The city plays a prominent role in Hittite religious and historical records, including the description of the famous One Year War fought by the king Suppiluliuma I against the Mitannian supremacy in Syria (CTH 51.I). Another important attestation of Ugulzat comes from recently published texts from Qaṭna. This evidence, however, didn’t allow a precise localisation of the toponym. The identification of Ugulzat with modern Tell Sakka brings about important additions to the current historical reconstruction. It confirms a vast territorial sway of Nuhašše lands which was already surmised by Assyriologists. It also lends support to the traditional view on Suppiluliuma’s Syrian campaign of the One Year War which presumes the Hittite advance up to the Damascus region, supposedly designated as Abina in the text of CTH 51.I. The installation of Takip-šarri on the throne of Ugulzat (CTH 51.I.A: 39–40) may be regarded as one of its episodes.