The Tikunani Prism is a clay artifact with an Akkadian cuneiform inscription listing the names of 438 Habiru soldiers of King Tunip-Teššup of Tikunani (a small North Mesopotamian kingdom).This king was a contemporary of King Hattusili I of the Hittites (around 1550 BC).
The discovery of this text generated much excitement, for it provided much-needed fresh evidence about the nature of the Habiru (or Hapiru) and their possible connection to the Biblical Hebrews. However, the majority of Tunip-Tessup's Habiru soldiers recorded in the text had Hurrian names that could not be explained in any Canaanite language (the family which Hebrew belongs to) or any other Semitic language. The rest of the names are Semitic, except for one Kassite name.
The Prism is 8½ inches tall, with a square base roughly 2 by 2 inches.It is held in a private collection of antiquities in England, and its provenance is unknown.
Canaan was a Semitic-speaking civilization and region of the Southern Levant in the Ancient Near East during the late 2nd millennium BC. Canaan had significant geopolitical importance in the Late Bronze Age Amarna Period as the area where the spheres of interest of the Egyptian, Hittite, Mitanni and Assyrian Empires converged or overlapped. Much of present-day knowledge about Canaan stems from archaeological excavation in this area at sites such as Tel Hazor, Tel Megiddo, En Esur, and Gezer.
The Hurrians were a people of the Bronze Age Near East. They spoke a Hurrian language and lived in Anatolia, Syria and Northern Mesopotamia. The largest and most influential Hurrian nation was the kingdom of Mitanni. The population of the Hittite Empire in Anatolia included a large population of Hurrians, and there is significant Hurrian influence in Hittite mythology. By the Early Iron Age, the Hurrians had been assimilated with other peoples. The state of Urartu later covered some of the same area.
The terms Hebrews and Hebrew people are mostly considered synonymous with the Semitic-speaking Israelites, especially in the pre-monarchic period when they were still nomadic. However, in some instances it may also be used in a wider sense, referring to the Phoenicians, or to other ancient groups, such as the group known as Shasu of Yhw on the eve of the Bronze Age collapse, which appears 34 times within 32 verses of the Hebrew Bible. It is sometimes regarded as an ethnonym and sometimes not.
Mitanni, c. 1550–1260 BC, earlier called Ḫabigalbat in old Babylonian texts, c. 1600 BC; Hanigalbat or Hani-Rabbat in Assyrian records, or Naharin in Egyptian texts, was a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia. Since no histories or royal annals/chronicles have yet been found in its excavated sites, knowledge about Mitanni is sparse compared to the other powers in the area, and dependent on what its neighbours commented in their texts.
Ugaritic is an extinct Northwest Semitic language, classified by some as a dialect of the Amorite language and so the only known Amorite dialect preserved in writing. It is known through the Ugaritic texts discovered by French archaeologists in 1929 at Ugarit, including several major literary texts, notably the Baal cycle. It has been used by scholars of the Hebrew Bible to clarify Biblical Hebrew texts and has revealed ways in which the cultures of ancient Israel and Judah found parallels in the neighboring cultures.
The Jebusites were, according to the books of Joshua and Samuel from the Tanakh, a Canaanite tribe that inhabited Jerusalem, then called Jebus prior to the conquest initiated by Joshua and completed by King David, although a majority of scholars agree that the Book of Joshua holds little historical value for early Israel and most likely reflects a much later period. The Books of Kings as well as 1 Chronicles state that Jerusalem was known as Jebus prior to this event. The identification of Jebus with Jerusalem is sometimes disputed by scholars. According to some biblical chronologies, the city was conquered by King David in 1003 BCE.
Habiru is a term used in 2nd-millennium BCE texts throughout the Fertile Crescent for people variously described as rebels, outlaws, raiders, mercenaries, bowmen, servants, slaves, and laborers.
Tikunani was a small Hurrian city-state in Mesopotamia around the middle of the second millennium BC. The name refers to both the kingdom and its capital city. Tigunānum is the older form of the name, appearing in texts excavated from Mari around the 18th century BC.
Nuzi was an ancient Mesopotamian city southwest of the city of Arrapha, located near the Tigris river. The site consists of one medium-sized multiperiod tell and two small single period mounds.
Cyrus Herzl Gordon was an American scholar of Near Eastern cultures and ancient languages.
The Gezer calendar is a small limestone tablet with an early Canaanite inscription discovered in 1908 by Irish archaeologist R. A. Stewart Macalister in the ancient city of Gezer, 20 miles west of Jerusalem. It is commonly dated to the 10th century BCE, although the excavation was unstratified and its identification during the excavations was not in a "secure archaeological context", presenting uncertainty around the dating.
Ephraim Avigdor Speiser was a Polish-born American Assyriologist. He discovered the ancient site of Tepe Gawra in 1927 and supervised its excavation between 1931 and 1938.
Tunip was a city-state in western Syria in 1350–1335 BC, the period of the Amarna letters. The name "Syria" did not yet exist, though this was already the time of ancient Assyria. The regions were: Amurru, Nuhašše, the Amqu, Nii, etc.
Encyclopaedia Biblica: A Critical Dictionary of the Literary, Political and Religion History, the Archeology, Geography and Natural History of the Bible (1899), edited by Thomas Kelly Cheyne and J. Sutherland Black, is a critical encyclopedia of the Bible. In theology and biblical studies, it is often referenced as Enc. Bib., or as Cheyne and Black.
Tish-atal was endan of Urkesh during the Third Dynasty of Ur. He was one of the earliest known Hurrian rulers, but the archaeological record is fragmentary for this period, and no precise date can be ascribed to his reign.
Keith Norman Schoville is an American, born on March 3, 1928, at soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, United States.He is a Christian. He was the son of Harley Leonard and Viva Ruth (Banta) Schoville. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he specializes in ancient languages. Keith Norman Schoville got his Bachelor in Art at milligan college, Johnson City, Tennessee, in 1956 and also is Masters in Art at the University of Wisconsin, in 1966 and his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, in 1969.
The Nuzi texts are ancient documents found during an excavation of Nuzi, an ancient Mesopotamian city southwest of Kirkuk in modern Kirkuk Governorate of Iraq, located near the Tigris river. The site consists of one medium-sized multiperiod tell and two small single period mounds. The texts are mainly legal and business documents. They have previously been viewed as evidence for the age and veracity of certain parts of the Old Testament, especially of the Patriarchal age, but that attribution is now doubted by most scholars.
The Early Assyrian period was the earliest stage of Assyrian history, preceding the Old Assyrian period and covering the history of the city of Assur, and its people and culture, prior to the foundation of Assyria as an independent city-state under Puzur-Ashur I c. 2025 BC. Very little material and textual evidence survives from this period. The earliest archaeological evidence at Assur dates to the Early Dynastic Period, c. 2600 BC, but the city may have been founded even earlier since the area had been inhabited for thousands of years prior and other nearby cities, such as Nineveh, are significantly older.
Shuwala (Šuwala) was a Hurrian goddess who was regarded as the tutelary deity of Mardaman, a Hurrian city in the north of modern Iraq. She was also worshiped in other Hurrian centers, such as Nuzi and Alalakh, as well as in Ur in Mesopotamia, Hattusa in the Hittite Empire and in the Syrian cities Emar and Ugarit.
Milku was a god associated with the underworld who was worshiped in the kingdoms of Ugarit and Amurru in the late Bronze Age. It is possible that he originated further south, as Ugaritic texts indicate he was worshiped in cities located in the northern part of the Transjordan region. He was also incorporated into the Hurrian pantheon under the name Milkunni. There is also evidence that he was worshiped in Hittite religion. It is possible that a closely related deity is also known from Mesopotamia.