ANCIENT AKKADIAN-ASSYRIAN CALENDAR - ($40 US)
1800 BC replica
Stone-cast disc, brown-ochre hydrostone, 120 mm (4.75 inches), 10 mm thickness (approx half inch) with parchment description.
Reproduction of an Akkadian calendar tablet discovered in 1910 by Walter Andrae, who led the 1908 German expedition on the ancient site of Ashur. Originally a colony of Babylonia, the city of Ashur on the Tigris became the first capitol of Assyria, to which it gave it's name. To date, approximately 25,000 tablets have been excavated from this site.
Calendar tablets like this and others discovered at Mari in Syria, make it clear that the Semitic Akkadians possessed a highly developed calendar by 1800 BC, with allocations based on a 29 and 30 day lunar month. In the city of Ashur, the years bore the name of the official elected for the year, who was known as the Limmu. Along with the regent's name seal, the Assyrian months are inscribed upon the tablet in Akkadian Cuneiform and named as, Sipim, Qarratim, Kanwarta, Telnatim, Kuzali, Allanatim, Bel-Tiekallim, Sa Sarratim, Marmak Assur Sa Kinatim, Mahhurili, Ab Sarrani and Hubur.
In the 18th century BC, the Babylonian Empire standardized the year by adopting the ancient Sumerian calendar of the sacred city of Nippur. The priests there used a calendar which integrated the lunar year of 354 days and brought it in line with the solar-agricultural year by use of an "intercalated" cycle of months.
The power and prestige of Babylon assured the success of the new calendar, which began in the Spring on Nissanu 1.
The new Babylonian month names supplanted the old Assyrian and by the time Assyria rose to power the Babylonian luni-solar calendar was in common use.
Deeply rooted in ritual and tradition the Assyrian New Year falls on April 1st of every year. Arguably one of the most important events of the Assyrian year, it is still called 'Khab-Nissan' and celebrated among Assyrians worldwide. According to this calendar, it is currently the year 6758 "since civilization began" after the Flood.
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