Map of the World from Sippar, Mesopotamia

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Illustration

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published on 04 February 2014

This tablet contains both a cuneiform inscription and a unique map of the Mesopotamian world. Babylon is shown in the center (the rectangle in the top half of the circle), and Assyria, Elam and other places are also named. The central area is ringed by a circular waterway labelled 'Salt-Sea'. The outer rim of the sea is surrounded by what were probably originally eight regions, each indicated by a triangle, labelled 'Region' or 'Island', and marked with the distance in between. The cuneiform text describes these regions, and it seems that strange and mythical beasts as well as great heroes lived there, although the text is far from complete. Babylonian, about 700-500 BCE, probably from Sippar, Mesopotamia, Iraq.


About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP (Glasg)
A consultant neurologist and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia.

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