Prof. Dr. Claus Wilcke


Constance Dittrich, M.A.


other Phase of Research:

2004–2008 (B4.III)

Project Group D: Integration and Absorption, Project D1

Difference and Integration of Amorites

A Study of Social Difference and Integration of Sedentary and Migratory Parts of the Populace


Between the 24st century until about the year 1600 BC, cuneiform texts wittness the presence of Amorite nomads. At the time of the 3rd dynasty of Ur (21st century), the number of documents which put them on display within the cities and the agrarian zone of the cultural land rises; the newcomers start to assimilate. Cultural differences become manifest in the onomasticon of the Amorite language and the external designation Mar-tu, but also by the tribal constitution and customs of non-sedentary peoples. From the 20th century on, Amorite dynasties get hold of the power in the cities of Babylonia and the external designation dwindles, wheras the distinct Amorite onomasticon persists.

The study centres on social differentiation, both in historical respect and according to places. It asks for the form and degrees of the integration of Amorites, their share of the population and the professions and offices that had been accessible to them. Legal and economic documents of the period Ur III and the Old Babylonian time provide the sources; literary text wills be consulted when relevant. The project aims at a clear and detailed understanding of the process of the "Amoritization" of Babylonia and the meaning of their external and self designation as "Amorites".


Prof. Dr. Claus Wilcke

Ancient Near Eastern Law – A History of its Beginnings. The Early Dynastic and Sargonic Periods. München (Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Kl. 2003/2) (im Druck).

Der Kodex Urnammu (CU). Versuch einer Rekonstruktion. In: Tz. Abusch (ed.): Riches Hidden in Secret Places. Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Memory of Thorkild Jacobsen. Winona Lake 2002, 291–333.

Gestaltetes Altertum in antiker Gegenwart. Königslisten und Historiographie des älteren Mesopotamien. In: D. Kuhn/H. Stahl (eds.): Die Gegenwart des Altertums. Formen und Funktionen des Altertumsbezugs in den Hochkulturen der Alten Welt. Heidelberg 2001, 93–116.

Wer las und schrieb in Babylonien und Assyrien. Überlegungen zur Literalität im Alten Zweistromland. München 2000 (Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Kl. 2000/6).

Kollationen zu den sumerischen literarischen Texten aus Nippur in der Hilprecht-Sammlung Jena. Berlin 1976 (Abhandlungen der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Kl. 65/4).

Das Lugalbandaepos. Wiesbaden 1969.