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The Tell Taban is located in Syria, along the Habur River, 14 km south of the modern town of Hassake. About 500 tablets or fragments of tablets were found there by a team of archaeologists from Tokyo's Kokushikan University, from 1997 to 1999. Excavations resumed in 2005 and are still ongoing.

Most of the tablets found on the Tell Taban are dated from the end of the second millennium BC, while the town of Tabetu was part of the Assyrian kingdom. But some refer to earlier periods. It was their analysis that led to the understanding that after the destruction of Mari, Terqa maintained a political unit called the "Hana country" encompassing much of the Habur valley. And a few centuries later, the country of Mari seems always mentioned, especially in the tablets of Nuzi and Ugarit. Is it because the name of the country has remained in memory, or are there errors in the dating of the tablets of Nuzi and Ugarit?


In the archives found at Mari, Tabatum appears only in about ten tablets. In the letter II 80, mention is made of a boat from Tabatum: it is doubtless that a boat regularly has descended the Habur valley, in particular to deliver the crops. But the Habur was never navigable upstream of Qattunan. It is possible that the boat had used canals whose traces are still visible in the valley, mentioned in tablet XIV 15, together with an irrigation manager called Iddin-Dagan, the manager of Tabatum. As a result, well-documented barley cultivation appears to have been the main resource of the city, which, on the other hand, lacked oxen and labor.

Tabatum clearly appears to be part of the district of Qattunan. Courier II 57 shows that to go from Nagar to Mari, one had to pass through the towns of Tabatum and Qattunan, both located along the Habur.

After the destruction of Mari, and before its integration into the Assyrian kingdom, the town of Tabetu must have been part of the kingdom of Mitanni. This period is the least documented by the tablets.


For an explanation on the colors of text, click here.

For French language, click here.

My notes of veracity :

The Tell Taban was, in Akkadian, Tabatum or Tabetu: 5/5

Tag(s) : #Region: Mesopotamia, #Kingdom:Mari

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