Calendars in the Old Babylonian Period

During the Old Babylonian period, each kingdom had its own calendar. The current Nippur calendar during the Ur III period was in use in Isin and later in Larsa and Babylon.

The same calendar was in use in the kingdom of Upper-Mesopotamia under the rule of Šamšī-Adad (Šamšī-Adad calendar), thus in the following cities: Mari (Tell Hariri), Ašnakkum (Chagar Bazar), Qaṭṭara (Tell Rimah), Šubat-Enlil (Tell Leilan), Tuttul (Tell Bi’a), etc. But Mari had also a local calendar, and the two calendars could be used at the same time.

More than half of the months names in use at Ešnunna correspond to those of Šamšī-Adad calendar.

Nippur/Isin calendar Babylon calendar Ešnunna calendar Sippar calendar Mari calendar Šamšī-Adad calendar Period in the year
i bara2-zag-ga nisānum niggallum sibūtum urāhum viii* niggallum March-Apr.
ii gu4-si-sa2 ayyarum elūlum gusisi malkānum ix* maqrānum Apr.-May
iii sig4-ga simānum magrattum qāti-eretim /elūnum lahhum x* Dumuzi May-June
iv šu-numun-na dūzum abum Dumuzi abum xi* abum June-July
v ne-ne-gar abum zibnum isin-abi hibirtum xii* tīrum July-Aug.
vi kin-dinanna ulūlum niqmum tīrum digi-kur i* niqmum Aug.-Sept.
vii du6-ku3 tašrītum kinūnum elūlum kinūnum ii* kinūnum Sept.-Oct.
viii apin-du8-a arahsamnum tamhīrum kinūnum Dagan iii* tamhīrum Oct.-Nov.
ix gan-gan-na kislīmum nabrûm tamhīrum liliātum iv* nabrûm Nov.-Dec.
x ab-ba-e3 ebētum Mammītum Mammītum or nabrium Bēlet-biri v* Mammītum Dec.-Jan.
xi ziz2-a-an šabattum kiskissum isin-Adad kiskissum vi* mana Jan.-Feb.
xii še-kin-ku5 niggallum kinkum ayyarum ebūrum vii* ayyarum Feb.-March


Bibliography

  • Charpin, D & Ziegler, N., 2003: Mari et le Proche-Orient à l’époque amorrite. Essai d’histoire politique, Florilegium marianum 5, Paris (esp. p. 155-156).
  • Cohen, M., 1993: The Cultic Calendars of the Ancient Near East, Bethesda.
  • Godderis, A., 2000: The local calendar of Sippar, NABU 2000/63.
  • Greengus S., 1987: The Akkadian Calendar at Sippar, JAOS 107, p. 209-229.
  • Greengus S., 2001: New Evidence on the Old Babylonian Calendar and Real Estate Documents from Sippar, JAOS121, p. 257-267.
  • Jacquet, A., 2008: Tell Hariri / Mari: textes VI. La vie religieuse. IX. Calendrier et culte a Mari, in Supplément au Dictionnaire de la Bible 14, Paris, p. 405-424.
  • Lacambre, D., 2002: Niggallum, lecture akkadienne du mois še-kin-ku5 dans le calendrier dit “de Samsî-Addu”, Florilegium marianum 6, p. 505-511.
  • Lacambre, D. & Millet Albà, A., 2008: 8. Ménologie et chronologie, in Ö. Tunca & A. el-M. Baghdo (ed.), Chagar Bazar (Syrie) III. Les trouvailles épigraphiques et sigillographiques du chantier I (2000-2002), Louvain, p. 155-165.
  • Whiting, R. M., 1987: Four Seal Impressions from Tell Asmar, AfO34, p. 30-35, esp. p. 32, n. 16.

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