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The Temple of Ištar at Old Babylonian Alalakh

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image of Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

The temple of Ištar is well attested in the Old Babylonian (level VII) texts from Alalakh. However, it is not evident from these attestations whether the temple was an autonomous institution or part of the palace administration. This article demonstrates first that an excavated temple dating to the level VII occupation is the same temple of Ištar known from the texts; and second that the excavated temple contained an archive documenting a store of the palace's silver. These conclusions affirm that the temple of Ištar lay within the purview of the palace administration. The article ends by suggesting that the palace may have encompassed the temple not just administratively but also architecturally.


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