The Old Babylonian Diyala: Research Since the 1930s and Prospects


Institut des Etudes Avancées de Paris, 25-26 juin 2018

The region around the river Diyala, which runs approximately 500 km, from the mountains between Iraq and Iran, down to the south of Baghdad where it joins the Tigris, was the home of dozens of cities, villages and communities during the long history of ancient Mesopotamia. In the first centuries of the second millennium BCE, the strategic position of the region turned it into a point of articulation, dispute and mediation of the Babylonian area in the south and the Assyrian area in the north. Added to the growing power of the city of Eshnunna, this led the region to play a significant role in the international politics of those times.

The lack of syntheses dealing with the valley of the Diyala and the kingdom of Eshnunna is astonishing when compared with the rich legacy of in-depth and comprehensive scholarly works on the history of Larsa, Mari, Babylon and Assyria during the first centuries of the second millennium.

The main goal of the conference is to produce an updated view of the history and archaeology of the region, specifically dealing with the following issues: buildings, cities, landscapes and their relation with politics; cultural and economic exchanges with other regions; administration of the institutions: temple, palace and domestic units; history of the research itself and issues concerning the preservation of the material heritage of the ancient Diyala.


Monday 25 June

9:00-9:15 Opening session
– Gretty Mirdal, for the Institut d’études avancées de Paris
– Ghislaine Glasson-Deschaumes, for the LabEx Pasts in the Present
– Carlos Gonçalves, for the organising committee

9:15-10:15 Opening talk – Dominique Charpin, Collège de France, Paris
Ešnunna: An historiographical case

10:15-10:30 Pause

10:30-11:15 – Ariane Thomas, Musée du Louvre, Paris
Diyala at the Louvre

11:15-12:00 – Basima J. Abed, College of Arts, Baghdad
Ešnunna under The Influence of Elam

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:30-14:15 – Philippe Quenet, Université de Strasbourg
Reconstructing the Oval Temple of Khafajeh: Insight into the Emergence of Multi-Stepped Terraces

14:15-15:00 – Elisa Rossberger, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
From Things to Practice. Reconstructing Spheres of Action from the Archaeological Inventories of the Old Babylonian Temples in Ishchali

15:00-15:30 Pause

15:30-16:15 – Ahmed Kh. Mohammed, Former Director of the National Museum of Iraq, Baghdad
A New Text from Tell Sulayma – Diyala Region

16:15-17:00 – Hervé Reculeau, University of Chicago
The Diyala Valley in the Early Old Babylonian Period: New Evidence from Tell Muqdadiya


Tuesday 26 June

9:30-10:15 – Laith Hussein, College of Arts, Baghdad
The Texts from Šaduppûm “Tall Ḥarmal”

10:15-10h30 Pause

10:30-11:15 – Francesca Nebiolo, Proche-Orient Caucase, EPHE, UMR 7192
Between past and future: The “Onomastica della Diyala” Project

11:15-12:00 – Carlos Gonçalves, Universidade de São Paulo, IEA de Paris 2016-2017
Homonyms, Aliases and Measurements in an Old Babylonian Community – the Archive of Nūr-Šamaš

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:30-14:15 – Cheikhmous Ali, Université de Strasbour, IEA de Paris 2016-2017, chercheur à la Fondation Gerda Henkel
La glyptique de la Diyala au IIIe millénaire av. n. ère : état de question

14:15-15:00 – Sophie Cluzan, Musée du Louvre, Paris
From Diyala to Ur, Passing by Mari, Kish and the Jezireh: Interregional connections in the first historical kingdoms

15:00-15:30 Pause

15:30-16:15 – Rients De Boer, Universiteit van Amsterdam
The Diyala Region as a Linchpin in Old Babylonian Trade Networks

16:15-17:00 – Cécile Michel, ArScAn, CNRS UMR 7041, Nanterre & Universität Hamburg
Conclusion and general discussion