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CARRHAE (Haran) Turkey.

About 40 km S of Edessa at the junction of important trade routes, this site is the Haran of the Bible and the Man letters. It was famous in antiquity for planet worship and a provincial capital in the Assyrian empire. The Macedonians, and later the Romans, had a garrison there. Crassus was defeated nearby in 53 B.C. (Plut. Dio Cass.). Its temples were visited by Caracalla and Julian. The Muslims took it in 639; it declined after the Mongols sacked it in 1260.

Excavation of the Great Mosque effectively proved the identification of the site with modern Haran. Three stelae of Nabonidus were uncovered (a fourth, now at Ankara, had been found earlier at Eski Haran) and a fragment with the name Haran. The irregular direction of the NE wall of the mosque marks the presence of a pre-Muslim pagan (“Sabian”?) chapel. A ruined Christian basilica (in the SE corner of the derelict city wall) and the present citadel were built also on the site of “Sabian” temples.

Objects from Haran are housed in the museum at Urfa; they include a statue in Iranian dress. About 24 km N-NW of Haran is Sultantepe.


S. Lloyd & W. Brice, “Haran,” AnatSt 1 (1951) 77MPI; D. S. Rice, “Studies in Medieval Harran,” ibid. 2 (1952) 36; C. J. Gadd, “The Harran Inscriptions of Nabonidus,” ibid. 8 (1958) 35; J. B. Segal in E. Bacon, Vanished Civilizations (1963) 201.


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