geographical name \ni-ˈpr\

Definition of NIPPUR

ancient city of Sumer SSE of Babylon


   (Concise Encyclopedia)

Female figure, made of gypsum, with a gold mask that stood at a temple altar in Nippur, c. …—Courtesy of the Iraq Museum, Baghdad; photograph, David Lees

Ancient Mesopotamian city southeast of Babylon. Located in what is now southeastern Iraq, it was originally on the Euphrates River, whose course later changed. By 2500 BC it was the centre of worship of the Sumerian storm god Enlil (see Sumer). Parthian construction (see Parthia) later buried Enlil's sanctuary, and the city fell into decay in the 3rd century AD. It was abandoned in the 12th or 13th century. Excavations have revealed temples, a ziggurat, and thousands of clay tablets that are a primary source of information on ancient Sumerian civilization. Also uncovered were an Akkadian tomb (see Akkad) and a large temple devoted to the Mesopotamian goddess of healing.


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