or Seleucia on the Tigris (Tel Umar) Iraq.
The site covers 1.3 ha of mounds. The city was
founded by Seleucus (305-281 B.C.) at the location of
the BabyIonian town of Opis. Here, at the narrowest
point between the Euphrates and the Tigris a canal joined
the two, running just N of the site, now 3.2 km W of the
Tigris. Just across the river is Ctesiphon, and Baghdad
is 32 km to the N.
The Seleucid city was laid out in rectangular blocks
and is said by Strabo to have had 600,000 inhabitants.
Prior to the excavations visible areas included sections of
its stone wall, built on foundations of baked bricks from
Babylon, and its defensive ditches and canals. Excavation
concentrated on the three upper levels of the city and
particularly on Block B, an entire city block 150 by 72
m. Very little of Level IV, the Seleucid city, was uncovered, although coins and figurines of that period were
found. That level ceased to be occupied about the time
of a Parthian invasion in 143 B.C. Level III was a Greek
autonomous city under Parthian suzerainty and ended
about A.D. 116 with Trajan's invasion.
L. Waterman, Preliminary Report upon
the Excavations at Tel Umar, Iraq
(1931); id., Second
Preliminary Report upon the Excavations at Tel Umar,
(1933); R. H. McDowell, Coins from Seleucia on
(1935); id., Stamped and Inscribed Objects
from Seleucia on the Tigris
(1935); W. van Ingen, Figurines from Seleucia on the Tigris
(1939); P. Jouguet,
L'Impérialisme Macédonien et l'Hellénisation de l'Orient
(1937) 175, 429-31.
D. N. WILBER