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A Bit of Assyrian Imperial Culture

The Fragment of an Inscribed Pottery Bowl from Gird-e Rūstam (Iraqi Kurdistan)

  • Karen Radner EMAIL logo


A key find from the 2018 excavations at the settlement mound of Gird-e Rūstam (Gird-i Rostam) in the easternmost part of the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq, directly on the border with Iran, is an inscribed pottery sherd that can be assigned to the Neo-Assyrian period, more specifically the late 8th or 7th century BC. Albeit small, the sherd certainly belongs to a “carinated bowl”, which is a typical wine-drinking vessel of that time, and preserves a few signs of a cuneiform inscription in Akkadian language and Neo-Assyrian script. It is suggested that the reconstructed text contains mention of the local toponym Birtu-ša-Adad-remanni “Fortress of Adad-remanni”. This place is located in the border region between the Assyrian Empire and the kingdom of Mannea, which raises the possibility that Gird-e Rūstam could be identified with Birtu-ša-Adad-remanni.


The 2018 excavations at Gird-e Rūstam were funded by Rust Family Foundation as well as LMU Munich and NYU, in particular through the LMU-NYU Academic Partnership programme. My thanks go to my co-director Dan Potts and to eagle-eyed Hero Ahmed Salih of the Sulaymaniyah Directorate of Antiquities and Heritage who spotted the cuneiform inscription in the course of processing the pottery. This short paper is offered in gratitude to Julian Reade on the occasion of his 80th birthday.


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Published Online: 2021-06-12
Published in Print: 2021-06-08

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