2013 年 55 巻 2 号 p. 1-16
The Egibi family is the most eminent “private entrepreneur” of the Neo-Babylonian period. Despite the fact that many studies have been published on this family, nobody has ever studied their urban real-estate properties systematically. In this paper I study a deed (Dar. 379) which divides the properties among the members of the Egibi family and then locate and determine the use of each property that appears in the document as much as possible, by examining the pertinent contracts of land sale involving Egibi family members.The Egibi family owned many houses in Babylon and in other nearby cities. These houses in each city adjoined one another. It is likely that heads of the family acquired neighboring plots and added them to their own property. Their houses functioned as residences of family members, business offices, workshops, loan collateral, etc. However, they do not seem to have made profit by selling these houses.According to one document, the “main house (bītu rabû) of the Egibi was situated in TE.EKI area in the city of Babylon, at least in nabû-aḫḫē-iddin times. In another document, we find that the residence or office of the crown prince (bīt-mār-šarri) was located in the neighborhood of the Egibi’s main house. It is therefore probable that the bīt-mār-šarri was located in the TE.EKI area. In fact, heads of the Egibi family appear in some documents as agents of the crown princes Neriglissar, Belshazzar and Cambyses. The location of the Egibi’s houses close to the bīt-mdr-Eam' was undoubtedly convenient for their partnership relation.Through this study there emerges an interesting picture of the process by which a newcomer to the urban elite through acquiring pieces of urban property was able to develop large residences in the neighborhoods of the administrative centers of big cities during the “long sixth century” of prosperity in Babylonia.