Tell Agrab

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Tell Agrab is located east of ancient Eshnunna
Stamp seal with Striding Figure Holding Batons, Drill Technique, Tell Agrab. Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago

Coordinates: 33°20′19.6″N 44°52′27.6″E / 33.338778°N 44.874333°E / 33.338778; 44.874333 Tell Agrab (or Aqrab) is a tell or settlement mound 12.6 miles (20.3 km) southeast of Eshnunna in the Diyala region.


Tell Agrab was occupied during the Jemdet Nasr and Early Dynastic periods through the Akkadian and Larsa periods. It was during the Early Dynastic period that monumental building occurred, including the Shara Temple. There is no evidence that it was occupied after the end of the third millennium.


The site of Tell Agrab is encompased by a 500 by 600 metres (1,600 by 2,000 ft) rectangle with a height of around 12 metres (39 ft). Though it had been subject to illegal digging earlier, the site was officially excavated in 1936 and 1937 by a team from the Oriental Institute of Chicago which was also working at Eshnunna, Khafajah and Tell Ishchali during that time. [1] The dig was led by Seton Lloyd. The primary excavation effort was on the large Early Dynastic temple, which was dedicated to Shara according to a bowl inscription. Only the western end of the Shara Temple was studied, the rest being badly eroded. The temple was about 60 metres (200 ft) square and was surrounded by a wall 6 metres (20 ft) meters wide with large supporting buttresses. The presence of sling stones and a sappers tunnel indicated an attack in the Early Dynastic era. Aside from a number of treasure caches and cylinder seals[2] found, the most notable find was a copper chariot pulled by four onagers, one of the earliest examples known. [3]


  1. ^ [1] Pre-Sargonid Temples in the Diyala Region. Pinhas Delougaz and Seton Lloyd with chapters by Henri Frankfort and Thorkild Jacobsen, Oriental Institute Publication 58, 1942
  2. ^ [2] Henri Frankfort with a chapter by Thorkild Jacobsen, Stratified Cylinder Seals from the Diyala Region, Oriental Institute Publication 72, 1955
  3. ^ M. A. Littauer and J. H. Crouwel, Wheeled Vehicle and Ridden Animals in the Ancient Near East, Brill Academic Pub, 1997, ISBN 90-04-05953-9

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