The ancient temple-complex, perhaps of Huzirina,[1] now represented by the tell of Sultantepe, is a Late Assyrian archeological site at the edge of the Neo-Assyrian empire, now in Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey. Sultantepe is about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Urfa on the road to Harran. The modern village of Sultantepe Köyü lies at the base of the tell.

The tell of Sultantepe seen from a distance, with the modern village Sultantepe Köyü at its base.
Sultantepe is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
LocationSultantepe Köyü, Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey
Coordinates37°03′01″N 38°54′22″E / 37.05028°N 38.90611°ECoordinates: 37°03′01″N 38°54′22″E / 37.05028°N 38.90611°E
Length100 m (330 ft)
Width50 m (160 ft)
Area0.5 ha (1.2 acres)
PeriodsLate Assyrian


Excavations have revealed an Assyrian city, with eighth to seventh century levels that were rebuilt after ca 648 BCE,[2] containing a hoard of cuneiform tablets, including versions of the Epic of Gilgamesh and school texts including exercise tablets of literary compositions full of misspellings. The complete library of some 600 unfired clay tablets was found outside a priestly family house. Contracts also found at the site consistently record Aramaean names, J. J. Finkelstein has remarked[3] The writings end suddenly simultaneously with the fall of nearby Harran in 610 BCE, two years after the fall of Nineveh. The tablets from Sultantepe now form the Assyrian library in the Archaeological Museum at Ankara. The site remained unoccupied during the subsequent Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid periods, to be re-occupied by Hellenistic and Roman times. [4] The modern village lies in an arc round the base of the mound on the north and east.


Sultantepe is a steep-sided mound over 50 m. high, with a flat top measuring 100 by 50 m.. Erosion on one side had exposed giant basalt column-bases, apparently belonging to a monumental gateway, which established the Assyrian level, at which, on another face of the mound, massive wall-ends projected, standing on the same level, some 7 m. below the top surface of the mound.[5] The temple was eventually identified as dedicated to Sin by a well-carved stele bearing his symbol of a crescent moon with its horns upwards on a pedestal in relief.[6]

A brief preliminary campaign at Sultantepe in May–June 1951 was followed by a series of soundings made in 1952 by Seton Lloyd of the British Institute or Archaeology at Ankara with Nuri Gökçe, of the Archaeological Museum, Ankara. Further work at the site was precluded by the seven-meter layer of Hellenistic and Roman era debris covering the remainder of the site.[7]

The Sultantepe Tablets

A series of publications of The Sultantepe Tablets have been edited and published in Anatolian Studies (British Institute at Ankara) from 1953 onwards by O. R. Gurney and others. The texts range widely. Some of the highlights are:

  • A series of tablets record the eponyms, or limmu officials, whose names were used by the Assyrians for dating their years, and so provide support for the standard Assyrian chronology during the period 911—648 BCE in the "Eponym Canon"
  • Forty lines of the Creation Epic, Enuma Elish, which were missing from the texts recovered in Assyria proper
  • A long section of the Epic of Gilgamesh apparently copied by a schoolboy from dictation, full of errors. There is also a fragmentary abraded and bent unfired tablet of the feverish dream of Enkidu.[8]
  • Sections of the composition called The Righteous Sufferer or by its incipit Ludlul bēl nēmeqi, with strong parallels in the Book of Job. The Sultantepe library furnished for the first time text of Tablet I, narrating the Righteous Sufferer's tribulations at the hands of men,[9]
  • The narû text (complete in 175 lines), a literary genre composed as if it were a transcription from an engraved royal stele, introducing the king by his titles, followed by a first-person narrative of his reign, concluding with imprecations against defacing the inscription and blessings for preserving it; in this case the narû text is the "Legend of Naram-Sin", associated to the famous Akkadian king's name but in no degree historical; the Sultantepe text completes and revises the interpretation of long-known fragmentary texts from Assurbanipal's library at Nineveh and Hittite archives at Hattusa and includes the fragment[10] previously known as "The Legend of the King of Cuthah".[11]
  • The complete text of a new Akkadian literary text, an example of a new genre, The Poor Man of Nippur (complete in 160 lines), a tale which originated no doubt at Nippur and in the mid-second millennium BCE, represented in a seventh-century recension that was published in Anatolian Studies 6 (145ff) and 7 (135f).[12]

Other texts of importance include rituals, incantations, omen readings, contracts[13] and vocabulary lists.


  1. ^ Huzirina is indirectly attested in cuneiform tablets at the site, and in the annals of Tukulti-Ninurta II, but O. R. Gurney pointed out that Huzirina in the royal annals was situated not more than a day's march west of Nisibis, whereas Sultantepe is some 130 miles farther west (Gurney, in Anatolian Studies 2 p. 30f).
  2. ^ Based on eponymous datings by limmu officials after the "Canon" that ends in 648 BCE. (Lloyd and Gokçe 1953:42).
  3. ^ J. J. Finkelstein, "Assyrian Contracts from Sultantepe" Anatolian Studies 7 (1957:137-145) p. 138, notes that Tell Halaf records also consistently bear Aramaean names at this period.
  4. ^ Seton Lloyd, Sultantepe. Part II. Post-Assyrian Pottery and Small Objects Found by the Anglo Turkish Joint Expedition in 1952, Anatolian Studies, vol. 4, pp. 101-110, 1954
  5. ^ The description of Sultantepe as it was in 1952 is Seton Lloyd's, in Anatolian Studies 24 (1974):197-220) p. 203.
  6. ^ Illustrated in Seton Lloyd and Nurı Gokçe, "Sultantepe: Anglo-Turkish Joint Excavations, 1952" Anatolian Studies 3 (1953:27-47) p. 40 fig. 6.
  7. ^ Seton Lloyd and Nuri Gokçe, Sultantepe: Anglo-Turkish Joint Excavations, 1952, Anatolian Studies, 3, 1953:27-47; Lloyd, in Anatolian Studies, 24 (1974):197-220 p. 203.
  8. ^ O. R. Gurney, "Two Fragments of the Epic of Gilgamesh from Sultantepe" Journal of Cuneiform Studies 8.3 (1954: 87-95).
  9. ^ W. G. Lambert and O. R. Gurney, '"The Sultantepe Tablets (Continued). III. The Poem of the Righteous Sufferer" Anatolian Studies 4 (1954:65-99).
  10. ^ In the fragment Naram-Sin's name does not occur.
  11. ^ O. R. Gurney, "The Sultantepe Tablets (Continued). IV. The Cuthaean Legend of Naram-Sin' Anatolian Studies 5 (1955:93-113).
  12. ^ O. R. Gurney, "The Tale of the Poor Man of Nippur and Its Folktale Parallels' Anatolian Studies 22, Special Number in Honour of the Seventieth Birthday of Professor Seton Lloyd (1972:149-158).
  13. ^ Finkelstein 1957:137-145.


  • O. R. Gurney, The Sultantepe Tablets, Anatolian Studies, vol. 3, pp. 15–25, 1953
  • O. R. Gurney, The Sultantepe Tablets (Continued): VII. The Myth of Nergal and Ereshkigal, Anatolian Studies, vol. 10, pp. 105–131, 1960
  • W. G. Lambert, The Sultantepe Tablets: VIII. Shalmaneser in Ararat (Continued), Anatolian Studies, vol. 11, pp. 143–158, 1961
  • Erica Reiner and M. Civil, Another Volume of Sultantepe Tablets, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 177–211, 1967

See also

Abnu šikinšu

Abnu šikinšu, inscribed NA4 GAR-šú, “the stone whose appearance is…,” is one of the most prominent Mesopotamian examples of a lapidary, or “stone identification handbook.” It provides a list of the names of minerals and highlights their therapeutic or magical use. It is currently extant in six fragments: from Sultantepe, ancient Huzirina, Assur, Kuyunjik, ancient Nineveh and a late Babylonian exemplar from Sippar Differences in the surviving copies indicate that more than one version was in circulation in ancient times although its listing in the Exorcists Manual indicates its centrality in the training curriculum of the aspiring ašipu, or exorcist.

Acıbadem, Üsküdar

Acıbadem is a neighbourhood of Üsküdar, İstanbul. Acıbadem is bordered on the west by Altunizade (a neighbourhood of Kadıköy), on the east by Ünalan, on the north by Küçükçamlıca, on the south by Hasanpaşa (a neighbourhood of Kadıköy).


Ariassus or Ariassos (Ancient Greek: Άριασσός) was a town in Pisidia, Asia Minor built on a steep hillside about 50 kilometres inland from Attaleia (modern Antalya).

Beylerbeyi Palace

The Beylerbeyi Palace (Turkish: Beylerbeyi Sarayı), Beylerbeyi meaning "Lord of Lords", is located in the Beylerbeyi neighbourhood of Üsküdar district in Istanbul, Turkey at the Asian side of the Bosphorus. An Imperial Ottoman summer residence built in the 1860s, it is now situated immediately north of the 1973 Bosphorus Bridge.


Cestrus was a city in the Roman province of Isauria, in Asia Minor. Its placing within Isauria is given by Hierocles, Georgius Cyprius, and Parthey's (Notitiae episcopatuum). While recognizing what the ancient sources said, Lequien supposed that the town, whose site has not been identified, took its name from the River Cestros and was thus in Pamphylia. Following Lequien's hypothesis, the 19th-century annual publication Gerarchia cattolica identified the town with "Ak-Sou", which Sophrone Pétridès called an odd mistake, since this is the name of the River Cestros, not of a city.

Erra (god)

Erra (sometimes called Irra) is an Akkadian plague god known from an 'epos' of the eighth century BCE. Erra is the god of mayhem and pestilence who is responsible for periods of political confusion. In the epic that is given the modern title Erra, the writer Kabti-ilani-Marduk, a descendant, he says, of Dabibi, presents himself in a colophon following the text as simply the transcriber of a visionary dream in which Erra himself revealed the text.

The poem opens with an invocation. The god Erra is sleeping fitfully with his consort (identified with Mamītum and not with the mother goddess Mami) but is roused by his advisor Išum and the Seven (Sibitti or Sebetti), who are the sons of heaven and earth—"champions without peer" is the repeated formula—and are each assigned a destructive destiny by Anu. Machinist and Sasson (1983) call them "personified weapons". The Sibitti call on Erra to lead the destruction of mankind. Išum tries to mollify Erra's wakened violence, to no avail. Foreign peoples invade Babylonia, but are struck down by plague. Even Marduk, the patron of Babylon, relinquishes his throne to Erra for a time. Tablets II and III are occupied with a debate between Erra and Išum. Erra goes to battle in Babylon, Sippar, Uruk, Dūr-Kurigalzu and Dēr. The world is turned upside down: righteous and unrighteous are killed alike. Erra orders Išum to complete the work by defeating Babylon's enemies. Then the god withdraws to his own seat in Emeslam with the terrifying Seven, and mankind is saved. A propitiatory prayer ends the work.

The poem must have been central to Babylonian culture: at least thirty-six copies have been recovered from five first-millennium sites—Assur, Babylon, Nineveh, Sultantepe and Ur—more, even, as the assyriologist and historian of religions Luigi Giovanni Cagni points out, than have been recovered of the Epic of Gilgamesh.The text appears to some readers to be a mythologisation of historic turmoil in Mesopotamia, though scholars disagree as to the historic events that inspired the poem: the poet exclaims (tablet IV:3) "You changed out of your divinity and made yourself like a man."

The Erra text soon assumed magical functions Parts of the text were inscribed on amulets employed for exorcism and as a prophylactic against the plague. The Seven are known from a range of Akkadian incantation texts: their demonic names vary, but their number, seven, is invariable.

The five tablets containing the Erra epos were first published in 1956, with an improved text, based on additional finds, appearing in 1969. Perhaps 70% of the poem has been recovered.Walter Burkert noted the consonance of the purely mythic seven led by Erra with the Seven Against Thebes, widely assumed by Hellenists to have had a historical basis.

Fethi Paşa Korusu

Fethi Paşa Korusu (Fethi Pasha Grove) is a large park in Istanbul, Turkey, on the hillside coming right down to the Bosphorus shore in the area called Paşalimanı. It is located between Kuzguncuk and Sultantepe neighborhoods in district Üsküdar on the

Asian side of Istanbul. It is named after Ottoman governor, ambassador and minister Fethi Ahmet Pasha. After long years of neglect, it has been recently renovated and opened to public for recreation. It has a scenic view of Bosphorus Bridge and the European side of Istanbul.

Kandilli, Üsküdar

Kandilli is a neighbourhood of Üsküdar, Istanbul, Turkey.

It lies on the Asian bank of Bosphorus and is home to some of Istanbul's in-city forests. The Kandilli Anatolian High School for Girls (Turkish: Kandilli Anadolu Kız Lisesi) was one of the first girl's high schools in Ottoman Turkey. The Kandilli Observatory, a facility of Boğaziçi University, is dedicated mostly to earthquake science. Within its campus, the Kandilli Earthquake Museum is located.


Kutha, Cuthah, or Cutha (Sumerian: Gudua, modern Tell Ibrahim) is an archaeological site in Babil Governorate, Iraq. Archaeological investigations have revealed remains of the Neo-Babylonian period and Kutha appears frequently in historical sources.


Kuzguncuk is a neighborhood in the Üsküdar district on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey. The neighborhood is centered on a valley opening to the Bosphorus and is somewhat isolated from the main part of the city, being surrounded by nature preserves, cemeteries, and a military installation. It is a quiet neighborhood with streets lined with antique wooden houses.

Kuzguncuk is bordered on the north by Beylerbeyi, on the east by Burhaniye, on the south by İcadiye and Sultantepe, and on the west by the Bosphorus. On the other side of the Bosphorus is Beşiktaş. The Otoyol 1 O-1 highway separates the neighborhood from Burhaniye.

List of ancient settlements in Turkey

Below is the list of ancient settlements in Turkey. There are innumerable ruins of ancient settlements spread all over the country. While some ruins date back to Neolithic times, most of them were settlements of Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Ionians, Urartians, and so on.

Munir Ertegun

Mehmet Munir Ertegun (Turkish spelling: Münir Ertegün; 1883 – 11 November 1944) was a Turkish legal counsel in international law to the "Sublime Porte" (imperial government) of the late Ottoman Empire and a diplomat of the Republic of Turkey during its early years. Ertegun married Emine Hayrünnisa Rüstem in 1917 and the couple had three children, two of whom were Nesuhi and Ahmet Ertegun, the brothers who founded Atlantic Records and became iconic figures in the American music industry.


Qurdi-Nergal was a priest of the god Zababa of the cities of Erbil, Harran and Huzirina. He had a home and library at Huzirina, modern Tel Sultantepe, in Southern Turkey. He is famous for owning an extensive library where incantations, medical texts, prayers, epics, and wisdom literature were found. He began his career in about 701 BC as a junior apprentice scribe but eventually became chief temple administrator of the god Zababa. British excavators discovered 400 scholarly tablets and fragments in 1951, outside what they assume is his house, that were written or owned by Qurdi-Nergal and his descendants. They were protected by wine jars and were lying in a pile against the house's outside wall. The most recent date on the tablets was 619 BC, which was just a few years before the Assyrian empire collapsed and the nearby city of Harran was destroyed (610 BC).Some scholars believe that the Huzirina tablets are the remains of a scribal school run by Qurdi-Nergal and his descendants. According to the tablets found, other scribes such as Nabu-ah-iddin, his pupil Nabu-rehtu-usur, Sum-tabni-usur, Mutaqqin-Assur, Nabu-sumu-iskun, and at least another 15 junior apprentice scribe wrote or copied texts along with Qurdi-Nergal. The tablets were produced by copying or dictation. This scribal school may have been funded by provincial officials and gives insights into the culture of the time. Most likely young teens worked as scribes hoping to eventually work in the royal court and had aspirations to work their way up in the ranks of imperial governance. The archaeological finds were probably quickly buried before the Medes and Babylonians destroyed Harran and its surrounding cities.

Qurdi-Nergal had at least one son, Mushallim-Baba, and one great-grandson Ninurta, who lived in 619 BC.


Salacak is a neighborhood in the Üsküdar municipality of Istanbul, Turkey. It is located on the Asian shore of the Bosporus, to the south of the historic center of Üsküdar.

The word salacak means "bench for washing a corpse," but the name is reported to come from sala meaning "village" (language unspecified) with the Turkish suffix -cık, "small."The neighborhood's best-known landmark is the Maiden's Tower (Kız Kulesi), just offshore from Salacak in the Bosporus.


Selamsız is a quarter in Üsküdar district on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey. It corresponds more or less to the current officially recognized neighborhoods of Selamiali and Muratreis. These neighborhoods are bounded on the north by Sultantepe, on the north and northeast by İcadiye, on the east by Altunizade, on the south by Valide-i Atik, and on the west by Mimarsinan.

The name selamsız means "without a selam" or "not giving a greeting; rude." The name comes from Sheikh Selami Ali, who gave his name to a mosque, a dervish lodge, a public bath, and a public fountain in the quarter. Selami Ali was called Selamsız because he was known for not looking at or greeting people when he was in public.

Stratonicea (Lydia)

Stratonicea – (Greek: Στρατoνικεια, or Στρατονίκεια) also transliterated as Stratoniceia and Stratonikeia, earlier Indi, and later for a time Hadrianapolis – was an ancient city in the valley of the Caicus river, between Germe and Acrasus, in Lydia, Anatolia; its site is currently near the village of Siledik, in the district of Kırkağaç, Manisa Province, in the Aegean Region of Turkey.

Sultantepe, Üsküdar

Sultantepe is a neighborhood in the municipality of Üsküdar on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey. The name Sultantepe means "sultan hill."

The traditional Sultantepe neighborhood is centered on a public square at the top of a hill overlooking the historic center of Üsküdar. Because of governmental reorganization, the present official neighborhood now includes the traditional neighborhood on the hilltop and hillsides in addition to almost all of the former Hacı Hesna Hatun neighborhood, parts of the former Selmanağa neighborhood, and parts of the İcadiye and Kuzguncuk neighborhoods.During Byzantine times, there was a building with marble columns, possibly a church, on the hilltop.During Ottoman times, according to one source, the neighborhood was selected as a residence by a woman in Suleiman the Magnificent's court, Hacı Hesna Hatun (Lady Hesna the Hajji), the nursemaid of his daughter Mihrimah Sultan. As Mihrimah grew up and Hesna prepared for retirement, Hesna asked Mihrimah for a site from which she could watch the sultan and his palace. Mihrimah gave her the land that is now Sultantepe and had a residence built for her there. According to another source, Mihrimah had tuberculosis and her doctors sent her to Sultantepe for the healthier air. Hesna accompanied her and had a mosque built there.Sultantepe is mostly a residential neighborhood. Retail businesses are concentrated along Selmani Pak Avenue on the southern edge of the neighborhood and around the square on top of the hill.

Schools in the neighborhood include Sultantepe Elementary School, Halide Edip Adıvar High School, and Üsküdar Commerce High School. A school was founded in the Sultantepe house of Turkish novelist and educator Halide Edip Adıvar in 1925 and again in 1937; the house, however, collapsed in 1939. The present Sultantepe Elementary was built on its site.Mosques in the neighborhood include Hacı Hesna Hatun (first built 16th century, rebuilt 1900, repaired 1957), Bâkî Efendi (built 1644, repaired 1875), and Mirzâzâde (built 1730-1), around the top of the hill; Sheyh Mustafa Devati and Abdi Efendi, in the former Selmanağa neighborhood; and Abdurrahman Ağa (built 1766-7, rebuilt or repaired 1832-33, 1965, and 1995) in Paşalimanı.One of the most important historical sites of the neighborhood is the Özbekler Tekkesi (Uzbeks' Dervish Lodge), first built in the 1750s for pilgrims from Central Asia, possibly on the place where such pilgrims traditionally pitched their tents. The tekke was run by the Naqshbandi order and was rebuilt in 1844. It played a role in the Turkish War of Independence as a refuge and meeting place for members of the resistance, communications center, hospital, and weapons depot. To the northeast of the lodge is the tekke's cemetery, which holds the graves of the tekke's shaykhs and others associated with the tekke. Among those buried there are Münir Ertegün, Nesuhi Ertegun, and Ahmet Ertegun. At the entrance to the cemetery is the tomb of Ali Rıza Efendi, about whom nothing is known except that he died at age 15.The largest green space in the area is the Fethi Paşa Korusu (Fethi Pasha Grove), on the northeastern edge of the neighborhood.

Üsküdar University

Üsküdar University, founded by the Human Values and Mental Health Foundation, is the first thematic university of Turkey in the field of Behavioral Health and Sciences.


İcadiye is a neighborhood in the Üsküdar municipality on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey. It is centered on İcadiye Hill and is bordered on the north by Kuzguncuk, on the east by Altunizade, on the south by Selami Ali, and on the west by Sultantepe. It is mostly a residential neighborhood, with a few historic houses and buildings.

The name of the neighborhood is related to the word for invention (Turkish: icat). It received this name because new types of printing presses invented by Sarkis Kalfa of Kayseri were manufactured in shops there.Several water sources on İcadiye Hill were connected to the historic center of Üsküdar during the Ottoman era. The Mihrimah Sultan Water Line was built in 1547 to bring water to the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque. The Arslan Agha Water Line was built in 1646 to bring water to fountains in Sultantepe and to the Abdi Efendi and Mihrimah Sultan Mosques.The neighborhood has a historic bathhouse, the İcadiye Dağ Hamamı, built in 1854 by Sheikh ul-Islam Arif Hikmet Beyefendi.Because of its strategic location, in the past the neighborhood was the site of two fire towers, Arapzade Tower and Ayarcıbaşı Tower.Mosques in the neighborhood include the Hacı Mehmet Ali Öztürk Mosque (1990) and the Hacı Osmanoğlu Mosque.

Schools in the neighborhood include Nersesyan Yermonyan Armenian Private Kindergarten and Elementary School (as of the 2000-2001 school year, this school had no students), Fuat Baymur Elementary School, İcadiye Elementary School, and Üsküdar High School.

Black Sea
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