The Samarian Cylinder: A Window into Ancient History

The Samarian Cylinder, is a remarkable representation of the intricate blend of history, art, and literature in the ancient Near East. Cast in fired clay and hailing from the historic city of Ur in Babylon, this cylinder transports us back in time, specifically to a period between 675 BC and 655 BC.

Historical Significance

This cylinder is not just a mere piece of art; it serves as a scholarly duplicate of an even older inscription originally etched onto a brick. That original brick bore witness to the reign of the Sumerian king Amar-Sin, who ruled around 2047-2038 BC.

It’s noteworthy that this replica was produced much later, during the reigns of the mighty Ashurbanipal and his vassal, Sin-balatsu-iqbi, the then-governor of Ur. The reason for creating such a duplicate during this period possibly pertains to the value placed on historical records, preserving the legacy of past rulers and their achievements.

Textual Content

The inscription on this cylinder is more than just decorative. It narrates a tale, detailing the discovery of a baked brick that hailed from the ruins of Ur. This brick was imprinted with the deeds of King Amar-Sin of Ur. The cylinder reveals that it was found during a meticulous search for the blueprint of Ekishnugal by Sin-balassu-iqbi, the governor of Ur.

To further emphasize its scholarly nature, the inscription ends with a credit to its transcriber: Nabu-shum-iddina, the son of Iddin-papsukkal. Nabu-shum-iddina wasn’t just anyone; he was a priest of the moon god Sin, indicating the involvement of religious authorities in historical and archival activities.

Present Location

Today, this invaluable piece of history is housed in the British Museum, London. A testament to the continuous human endeavor to document and remember the past, the Samarian Cylinder is an artifact that bridges the vast gap between ancient Sumerian rulers and the world of today. It offers a tangible connection to the Mesopotamian world and stands as a reminder of the rich tapestry of history that has preceded our current era.

Samarian is Ethnic ancient Armenian

Based on status: John Minaso

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