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Borsippa (Iraq)
Borsippa ( Map of Iraq )

Borsippa, Barsippa ( Sumerian Ba-ad-DUR-si-a-ab-ba = Badursiabba ( Horn of the Sea ), Akkadian 1) Barzipa , 2) Tintir II kum-KI ( Second Babylon ), 3) Kinnir, Kinunir ( Ort des Kampf ), today's Birs Nimrud ), after the mythical king Nimrod , is an ancient city in Babylonia .

Map of Babylon and Borsippa around 1900

The city, 20 kilometers southwest of Babylon , was located near a large land lake, known as the sea ( tamtu ), to the northwest and west of the city. To the south ran a small branch of the lake, which was dubbed the Horn . Borsippa was right on the Horn of the Sea . This name was merged under Hammurapi to the new name Barzipa . As a decorative epithet in religious texts, the city was then also called Second Babylon and a place of battle .

Traces of settlement in Borsippa can be found since the Ur-III period (around 2050–1950 BC). Borsippa was initially the cult center of the god Tutu , who was later replaced by Nabu as the city god. Borsippa, city ​​of the night sun , was considered a copy of Babylon, which was titled as a counterpart with city ​​of the day sun . The processions were celebrated in close coordination. Borsippa lost its independence with the conquest of Hammurapi and was later in the Marduk cult as the crown and city of the father of Nabu , who oversaw the city ​​of his son .

As a cult center, Borsippa had built a sanctuary for his god Nabu - called Ezida - and the step tower Euriminanki ("House of the Seven Commanders of Heaven and Earth"). Borsippa was connected to Babylon by a canal. It is known from texts that the city was enclosed by a wall that was named "Good is its surroundings", which is still partially visible today. The wall had numerous gates, each assigned to a god. Like Babylon, Borsippa had a processional street . Borsippa had its heyday during the reign of the neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II.

In ancient times, Borsippa was sacred to Artemis and Apollon . Borsippa was known for the production of linen. At that time there were numerous and noticeably large bats in Borsippa, which were caught and salted by the inhabitants.

The first excavations at the ziggurat were carried out in the middle of the 19th century by Henry Rawlinson . Systematic excavations were carried out in Borsippa only in 1879/80 under Hormuzd Rassam and 1901/02 under Robert Koldewey , until the Austrian excavations began in 1980, under the organizational direction of Helga Trenkwalder . The archaeological investigations during the years 1980 to 2000 were carried out by Wilfrid Allinger-Csollich , who concentrated on the exploration of the Ezida temple and the ziggurat. In 2001 and 2002 investigations were carried out in the urban area of ​​Borsippa by Kai Kaniuth . The work was repeatedly hampered by the Iraq wars, but was never interrupted for a long time. Nevertheless, a large number of cuneiform tablets have long been known from the city. The large and impressive ruins of the Ziggurat des Nabu were initially mistaken for the Tower of Babel . This mistake was already made in the late Hebrew-Talmudic period, not least because of incorrect measurements by Herodotus . In addition, the tower was much better preserved than the "sister tower" in Babylon. Today it is still 50 meters high, although it was used as a brick quarry for centuries. Serious damage was done in Borsippa as part of the third Iraq war.


  • Robert Koldewey : The temples of Babylon and Borsippa. After the excavations by the German Orient Society . Hinrichs, Leipzig 1911, ( Scientific publications of the German Orient Society WVDOG 15), ( Excavations of the German Orient Society in Babylon 1), (Also reprint: Zeller, Osnabrück 1972, ISBN 3-535-00578-7 ).
  • Wilfried Allinger-Csollich: Birs Nimrud I. The buildings of the Ziqqurat von Borsippa, a preliminary report . In: Baghdader Mitteilungen (BaM) 22, 1991, ISSN  0418-9698 , pp. 383-499.
  • Dietz-Otto Edzard and a .: Real Lexicon of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology Vol. 1 . de Gruyter, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-11-004451-X , pp. 427-428
  • Wilfried Allinger-Csollich: Birs Nimrud II. "Low Temple" - "High Temple". Comparative studies Borsippa-Babylon . In: Baghdader Mitteilungen (BaM) 29, 1998, ISSN  0418-9698 , pp. 95-330.

Web links

supporting documents

  1. see also Golden Horn of Constantinople
  2. Strabo, Geographika 16,1,7
  3. Strabo , Geographika 16,1,7

Coordinates: 32 ° 23 ′ 31 ″  N , 44 ° 20 ′ 30 ″  E