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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Fig. 3—Akker-kuf

Ac´cad, one of the five cities in 'the land of Shinar,' or Babylonia, which are said to have been built by Nimrod, or rather, to have been 'the beginning of his kingdom' (Genesis 10:10). It seems that several of the ancient translators found in their Hebrew MSS. Achar instead of Achad, and it is probable that this was really the name of the city. Its situation has been much disputed, but in all probability it may be identified with a remarkable pile of ancient buildings called Akker-kúf, in the district of Siticene, where there was a river named Argades. These buildings are called by the Turks Akker-i-Nimrúd and Akker-i-Babil.

Akker-kúf is about nine miles west of the Tigris, at the spot where that river makes its nearest approach to the Euphrates. The heap of ruins to which the name of Nimrod's Hill—Tel-i-Nimrúd, is more especially appropriated, consists of a mound surmounted by a mass of brickwork, which looks like either a tower or an irregular pyramid, according to the point from which it is viewed. It is about 400 feet in circumference at the bottom, and rises to the height of 125 feet above the sloping elevation on which it stands. The mound, which seems to form the foundation of the pile, is a mass of rubbish accumulated by the decay of the super structure. In the ruin itself, the layers of sun-dried bricks, of which it is composed, can be traced very distinctly. They are cemented together by lime or bitumen, and are divided into courses varying from 12 to 20 feet in height, and are separated by layers of reeds, as is usual in the more ancient remains of this primitive region. Travelers have been perplexed to make out the use of this remarkable monument, and various strange conjectures have been hazarded. The embankments of canals and reservoirs, and the remnants of brickwork and pottery occupying the place all around, evince that the Tel stood in an important city; and, as its construction announces it to be a Babylonian relic, the greater probability is that it was one of those pyramidal structures erected upon high places, which were consecrated to the heavenly bodies, and served at once as the temples and the observatories of those remote times. Such buildings were common to all Babylonian towns; and those which remain appear to have been constructed more or less on the model of that in the metropolitan city of Babylon.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Accad'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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