Excavations at Tell Billa

Originally Published in 1933

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WITH only a small force at Tell Billa, progress has been slow, but two finds are of no little importance. One is a crescent earring of gold similar to those found last year and now on display at the Museum. The other is a group of four bronze objects: two wine cups, a large and a small vase. These were heavily corroded and so fragile that they were handled with difficulty. Chemical treatment was, however, undertaken by Mrs. Immanuel Ben-Dor, who has done notable work of that nature in the Berlin Museum. The results were both unexpected and amazing: one of the wine cups was found to bear a votive inscription which has been sufficiently deciphered to reveal that the ancient name of Tell Billa was Shib-ba-ni-ba, thus corroborating the prediction of Dr. E. A. Speiser (and also one by Dr. Emil Forrer) that Tell Billa was the site of that city of Shibaniba which was mentioned by Sennacherib in his account of the rebuilding of Nineveh.

We are indebted to Dr. C. H. Gordon and Dr. A. C. Peipkorn of the Expedition staff for the decipherment of the inscription just found. It should, however, be particularly noted that the poor condition of the inscription and a hurried reading of it, so that it might be included in the first report from the field, necessitate that the transcription and translation he regarded as tentative and subject to modification. The reading of the word, Shib-ba-ni-(ba), in two places seems, however, to be quite certain.

Cite This Article

"Excavations at Tell Billa." Museum Bulletin IV, no. 2 (February, 1933): 36-37. Accessed July 25, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/bulletin/1054/

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