Sippar was an ancient Near Eastern Sumerian and Babylonian city on the east bank of the Euphrates river. Its tell is located at the site of modern Tell Abu Habbah near Yusufiyah in Iraq's Baghdad Governorate, some 60 km north of Babylon and 30 km southwest of Baghdad; the city's ancient name, could refer to its sister city, Sippar-Amnanum. Despite the fact that thousands of cuneiform clay tablets have been recovered at the site little is known about the history of Sippar; as was the case in Mesopotamia, it was part of a pair of cities, separated by a river. Sippar was on the east side of the Euphrates, while its sister city, Sippar-Amnanum, was on the west. While pottery finds indicate that the site of Sippar was in use as early as the Uruk period, substantial occupation occurred only in the Early Dynastic period of the 3rd millennium BC, the Old Babylonian period of the 2nd millennium BC, the Neo-Babylonian time of the 1st millennium BC. Lesser levels of use continued into the time of the Achaemenid and Parthian Empires.

Sippar was the home of his temple E-babbara. During early Babylonian dynasties, Sippar was the production center of wool; the Code of Hammurabi stele was erected at Sippar. Shamash was the god of justice, he is depicted handing authority to the king in the image at the top of the stele. A related motif occurs on some cylinder seals of the Old Babylonian period. By the end of the 19th century BC, Sippar was producing some of the finest Old Babylonian cylinder seals. Sippar has been suggested as the location of the Biblical Sepharvaim in the Old Testament, which alludes to the two parts of the city in its dual form. In the Sumerian king list a king of Sippar, En-men-dur-ana, is listed as one of the early pre-dynastic rulers of the region but has not yet turned up in the epigraphic records. In his 29th year of reign Sumu-la-El of Babylon reported building the city wall of Sippar; some years Hammurabi of Babylon reported laying the foundations of the city wall of Sippar in his 23rd year and worked on the wall again in his 43rd year.

His successor in Babylon, Samsu-iluna worked on Sippar's wall in his 1st year. The city walls, being made of mud bricks, required much attention. Records of Nebuchadnezzar II and Nabonidos record. Xisuthros, the "Chaldean Noah" in Sumerian mythology, is said by Berossus to have buried the records of the antediluvian world here—possibly because the name of Sippar was supposed to be connected with sipru, "a writing", and according to Abydenus, Nebuchadnezzar II excavated a great reservoir in the neighbourhood. Pliny mentions, it is assumed that this name refers to Sippar, but this is not universally accepted. Tell Abu Habba, measuring over 1 square kilometer was first excavated by Hormuzd Rassam between 1880 and 1881 for the British Museum in a dig that lasted 18 months. Tens of thousands of tablets were recovered including the Tablet of Shamash in the Temple of Shamash/Utu. Most of the tablets were Neo-Babylonian; the temple had been mentioned as early as the 18th year of Samsu-iluna of Babylon, who reported restoring "Ebabbar, the temple of Szamasz in Sippar", along with the city's ziggurat.

The tablets, which ended up in the British Museum, are being studied to this day. As was the case in the early days of archaeology, excavation records were not made find spots; this makes it difficult to tell. Other tablets from Sippar were bought on the open market during that time and ended up at places like the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania. Since the site is close to Baghdad, it was a popular target for illegal excavations. In 1894, Sippar was worked by Jean-Vincent Scheil; the tablets recovered Old Babylonian, went to the Istanbul Museum. In modern times, the site was worked by a Belgian team from 1972 to 1973. Iraqi archaeologists from the College of Arts at the University of Baghdad, led by Walid al-Jadir with Farouk al-Rawi, have excavated at Tell Abu Habbah from 1977 through the present in 24 seasons. After 2000, they were joined by the German Archaeological Institute. According to Professor Andrew George, a cuneiform tablet containing a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh came from Sippar.

In Sippar was the site where the Babylonian Map of the World was found. Cities of the Ancient Near East Tell Short chronology timeline Rivkah Harris, Ancient Sippar: a demographic study of an old-Babylonian city, 1894-1595 B. C. Nederlands Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut, 1975 F. N. H. al-Rawi, Tablets from the Sippar Library I. The "Weidner Chronicle": A Suppositious Royal Letter concerning a Vision, vol. 52, pp. 1–15, 1990 F. N. H. al-Rawi and A. R. George, Tablets from the Sippar Library II. Tablet II of the Babylonian Creation Epic, vol. 52, pp. 149–158, 1990 F. N. H. al-Rawi and A. R. George, Tablets from the Sippar Library III. Two Royal Counterfeits, vol. 56, pp. 135–149, 1994 Luc Dekier, Old Babylonian real estate documents from Sippar in the British Museum, University of Ghent, 1994 F. N. H. al-Rawi and A. R. George, Tablets from the Sippar Library IV. Lugale, vol. 57, pp. 199–224, 1995 John MacGinnis, Letter orders from Sippar and the administration of the Ebabbara in the late-Bab

Richmond Hill United Church

Richmond Hill United Church, at 10201 Yonge Street, is a designated heritage building in the Town of Richmond Hill, Ontario. The main body of the building dates back to 1880, with additions built in 1932 and in 1957; the United Church boasts a history of over 200 years, where it began as a simple log schoolhouse that acted as a place of worship for the local Methodists. A frame building was constructed in 1847 as a replacement but this structure did not survive: in 1879 it burned down to the ground. Five months in 1880, work began on what was to be the last building; the church was designed by a Toronto architect. Construction was carried out for a year until the church was completed in 1881. In its time, the church cost $17,000 to be built, a significant figure, the property was purchased for $950 as a deed. During those times the church was large enough to accommodate everyone who lived in the area together; the Methodist Church, it was renamed the United Church in 1925 when the Methodists, the Congregationalists, the Presbyterians entered into a union.

The United Church was built in the High Victorian Gothic Revival style. This is embodied through sharp edges and arches, stained glass windows, the two flanking steeples, its front entrance is within a projecting exterior Gothic arch with side buttresses. A secondary entrance into the church is available on the south side of the main tower, which has a datestone inscribed with “A. D. 1880” at its base. The southwest corner of the church features the prominent three-tier steeple that seems to be the defining element of the structure; this steeple is the tallest among all historic church steeples in the town of Richmond Hill. The church is, always was and foremost a place of worship. In its early days there is a possibility that, aside from general church related uses, it could have served as a Sunday school. With time and with the extensions the functions expanded in range; the church began to gain recognition not only as a religious venue but as an important community marker. This church has a strong social justice orientation, became an affirming ministry in June 2013.

The church has tenants that use parts of its space, which include a dance school, a drama group, ESL training, a math enrichment program. The building is used as a place for committee meetings and as a gathering space for community groups concerning cultural, social, or other issues. Stamp, Robert M. Early Days in Richmond Hill: A History of the Community to 1930. 1991. EBook. Official website


Gilgit is the capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan, a territory in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The city is located in a broad valley near the confluence of the Gilgit Hunza River. Gilgit is a major tourist destination in Pakistan, serves as a hub for trekking and mountaineering expeditions in the Karakoram Range. Gilgit was once a Buddhist centre, it serves as a frontier station for local tribal areas. Its economy is agricultural, with wheat and barley as the main crops; the city's ancient name was Sargin to be known as Gilit, it is still referred to as Gilit or Sargin-Gilit by local people. In Brushaski, it is named Geelt and in Wakhi and Khowar it is called Gilt. Brogpas trace their settlement from Gilgit into the fertile villages of Ladakh through a rich corpus of hymns and folklore that have been passed down through generations; the Dards and Shinas appear in many of the old Pauranic lists of people who lived in the region, with the former mentioned in Ptolemy's accounts of the region. Gilgit was an important city on the Silk Road, along which Buddhism was spread from South Asia to the rest of Asia.

It is considered as a Buddhism corridor from which many Chinese monks came to Kashmir to learn and preach Buddhism. Two famous Chinese Buddhist pilgrims and Xuanzang, traversed Gilgit according to their accounts. According to Chinese records, between the 600s and the 700s, the city was governed by a Buddhist dynasty referred to as Little Balur or Lesser Bolü, they are believed to be the Patola Sahi dynasty mentioned in a Brahmi inscription, are devout adherents of Vajrayana Buddhism. In mid-600s, Gilgit came under Chinese suzerainty after the fall of Western Turkic Khaganate due to Tang military campaigns in the region. In late 600s CE, the rising Tibetan Empire wrestled control of the region from the Chinese. However, faced with growing influence of the Umayyad Caliphate and the Abbasid Caliphate to the west, the Tibetans were forced to ally themselves with the Islamic caliphates; the region was contested by Chinese and Tibetan forces, their respective vassal states, until the mid-700s. Chinese record of the region last until late-700s at which time the Tang's western military campaign was weakened due to the An Lushan Rebellion.

The control of the region was left to the Tibetan Empire. They referred to the region as Bruzha, a toponym, consistent with the ethnonym "Burusho" used today. Tibetan control of the region lasted until late-800s CE; this corpus of manuscripts was discovered in 1931 in Gilgit, containing many Buddhist texts such as four sutras from the Buddhist canon, including the famous Lotus Sutra. The manuscripts were written on birch bark in the Buddhist form of Sanskrit in the Sharada script, they cover a wide range of themes such as iconometry, folk tales, philosophy and several related areas of life and general knowledge. The Gilgit manuscripts are included in the UNESCO Memory of the World register, they are among the oldest manuscripts in the world, the oldest manuscript collection surviving in Pakistan, having major significance in the areas of Buddhist studies and the evolution of Asian and Sanskrit literature. The manuscripts are believed to have been written in the 5th to 6th centuries AD, though some more manuscripts were discovered in the succeeding centuries, which were classified as Gilgit manuscripts.

As of 6 October 2014, one source claims that the part of the collection deposited at the Sri Pratap Singh Museum in Srinagar was irrecoverably destroyed during the 2014 India–Pakistan floods. Gilgit was ruled for centuries by the local Trakhàn Dynasty, which ended about 1810 with the death of Raja Abas, the last Trakhàn Raja; the rulers of Hunza and Nager claim origin with the Trakhàn dynasty. They claim descent from a heroic Kayani Prince of Persia, Azur Jamshid, who secretly married the daughter of the king Shri Badat, she conspired with him to overthrow her cannibal father. Sri Badat's faith is theorised as Hindu by Buddhist by others. However, considering the region's Buddhist heritage, with the most recent influence being Islam, the most preceding influence of the region is Buddhism. Prince Azur Jamshid succeeded in overthrowing King Badat, known as the Adam Khor demanding a child a day from his subjects, his demise is still celebrated to this day by locals in traditional annual celebrations.

In the beginning of the new year, where a Juniper procession walks along the river, in memory of chasing the cannibal king Sri Badat away. Azur Jamshid abdicated after 16 years of rule in favour of his wife Nur Bakht Khatùn until their son and heir Garg, grew of age and assumed the title of Raja and ruled, for 55 years; the dynasty flourished under the name of the Kayani dynasty until 1421 when Raja Torra Khan assumed rulership. He ruled as a memorable king until 1475, he distinguished his family line from his stepbrother Shah Rais Khan, as the now-known dynastic name of Trakhàn. The descendants of Shah Rais Khan were known as the Ra'issiya Dynasty; the area had been a flourishing tract but prosperity was destroyed by warfare over the next fifty years, by the great flood of 1841 in which the river Indus was blocked by a landslip below the Hatu Pir and the valley was turned into a lake. After the death of Abas, Sulaiman Shah, Raja of Yasin, conquered Gilgit. Azad Khan the cheater, Raja of Punial, killed Sulaiman Shah, taking Gilgit.