The Nippur Region: From the “Heartland of the Cities” to a Rural Imperial Landscape?

Recorded: July 4, 2023
Event: Achaemenid Workshop 2
Citation: Schneider, Bernhard. "The Nippur Region: From the “Heartland of the Cities” to a Rural Imperial Landscape?" Pourdavoud Institute: Achaemenid Workshop 2 (July 4, 2023).

by Bernhard Schneider (University of Warsaw)

The region around Nippur was literally clustered with urban settlements until about the end of the first half of the 2nd Millennium BC, followed by a supposed depopulation at the turn to the 1st century BC. This development was not reversed until about the Neo-Babylonian period. Already Robert McCormick Adams pointed out that only during the latter period a reversing process began which culminated in a revitalization of the irrigation system during the Achaemenid period. The exceptionally good textual record is based mainly on the chance find of the so-called Murašû archive (454-405 BC) which derives from a single room of a private house at Nippur. It provides us with a vast amount of information concerning different groups of foreign origins, settled in a rural environment in the hinterland of the city. Here, the still understudied archaeological evidence within the study area during the Achaemenid period will be re- analyzed. Furthermore, an outlook on the upcoming project RuBab will be given.

About the Speaker

Bernhard Schneider earned his PhD at the University of Innsbruck with a diachronic study of the main Sumerian sanctuary of Enlil at Nippur. He is currently holding a Post-Doc position in the project “MeMaRe: Mesopotamian Material Religion: Shifting Landscapes of Human-Divine Networks in Ancient Mesopotamia” at the UKSW Warsaw (NCN, OPUS 21). From 2024 onwards, he will be the PI of the project RuBab – Rural Southern Babylonian Sites During the Early “Age of Empire” (ca. 720-150 BC), based at the University of Wroclaw (MSCA Cofund with NCN, POLONEZ BIS 2).