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Tell Agrab is located east of ancient Eshnunna

Tell Agrab (or Aqrab) (modern Y, Iraqmarker) was an ancient Near East city 15 miles east of Eshnunnamarker in the Diyala region.


Tell Agrab was occupied during the Jemdet Nasrmarker and Early Dynastic periods through the Akkadian and Larsamarker periods. It was during theEarly Dynastic period that monumental building occurred, includingthe Shara Temple. There is no evidence that it was occupied afterthe end of the third millennium.


The site of Tell Agrab is encompased by a 500 by 600 meter rectanglewith a height of around 12 meters.

Though it had been subject to illegal digging earlier, the site was officiallyexcavated in 1936 and 1937 by a team from the Oriental Institute of Chicagowhich was also working at Eshnunnamarker, Khafajahmarker and Tell Ishchalimarkerduring that time.

The dig was led by Seton Hallmarker.

The primary excavation effort was on the large Early Dynastic temple,which was dedicated to Shara according to a bowl inscription. Only thewestern end of the Shara Temple was studied, the rest being badly eroded. The temple was about 60 meterssquare and was surrounded by a wall 6 meters wide with large supportingbutresses. The presence of sling stones and a sappers tunnel indicatedan attack in the Early Dynastic era. Aside from a number of treasure caches andcylinder seals

found, the most notable find was a copper chariot pulledby four onagers, one of the earliest examples known.



  • John Bagnell Bury et al., The Cambridge Ancient History, Cambridge University Press, 1925, ISBN 0521077915
  • [755587] Jean M. Evans, The Square Temple at Tell Asmar and the Construction of Early Dynastic Mesopotamia ca. 2900-2350 B.C.E, American Journal of Archaeology, Boston, Vol. 111, Iss. 4; pg. 599, Oct 2007

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