Die neuassyrische und spatbabylonische Glyptik aus Tall Seh Hamad. Vol. 1: Text und Konkordanzen; Vol. 2: Katalog und Tafeln. By ANJA FOGERT. Berichte der Ausgrabung Tall Seh Hamad / Dur-Katlimmu, vol. 16. Wiesbaden: HARRASSOWITZ VERLAG, 2015. Pp. lxxviii + 318, ix + 497, illus. [euro]198.
The volume under review, a revision of the author's 2013 Freie Universitat Berlin doctoral dissertation written under the supervision of Professor Hartmut Kuhne, is a catalogue raisonne of 539 seals and distinct seal impressions recovered in Tell Sheikh Hamad Lower Town II. The series in which it is published presents site-specific excavation results, special studies of individual groups of objects, and interdisciplinary research pertaining to Tall Seh Hamad.
The site, located on the left bank of the lower Khabur some seventy kilometers north-northeast of Deir ez-Zor, was the location of an Assyrian military and administrative center called Dur-Katlimmu in Akkadian and Magdalu in Aramaic. Excavated by the Freie Universitat under the direction of Professor Kuhne between 1978 and 2008, the site consists of a Citadel, first settled in the Late Uruk period, and immediately to the east the Lower Town ("Unterstadt") I, dating from the Middle Bronze Age; Assyrian occupation of the Citadel likely began during the reign of Shalmaneser I (ca. 1273-ca. 1244 BCE). The Lower Town was greatly enlarged to the northeast (Lower Town II) during the early eighth century, probably during the reign of Adad-nerari III (810-783).
The excavation of Lower Town II was subdivided into two main areas of operation, the Northeast-Corner ("Nordostecke"), including Building F/W and the City Wall, and Middle Lower Town ("Mittlere Unterstadt") II, including the Neo-Assyrian Residences ("Neuassyrische Residenzen"), a complex of four houses, and the Red House ("Rotes Haus"), a large official building. Together these loci evidence an uninterrupted stratigraphic sequence consisting of three major phases dated from the last third of the ninth to the sixth century. Absolute dates are provided by eighty dated cuneiform archival tablets and seventeen dated dockets, the largest concentration of which were found in the Red House--nearly a third of the more than two hundred tablets and fragments in total record the private business transactions of Sulmu-sarri, son of Marduk-sarru-usur sa qurbuti, a close royal Assyrian official during the reign of Ashurbanipal (668-ca. 627). All but three of the full corpus of documents found are datable to the seventh century and most of these to the post-canonical period after 649 through the earliest years of the Late Babylonian period at the end of the seventh century, as evidenced by four locally written tablets composed in Assyrian dated years 2 and 5 Nebuchadrezzar II. Of the three...