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Ancient Near-East Blog

List of Rulers of Mesopotamia

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (5)

Southern Mesopotamia

Early Dynastic Period 12

Gilgamesh of Uruk (legendary)

2700 B.C.

Mesanepada of Ur

2450 B.C.

Eannatum of Lagash

2400 B.C.

Enannatum of Lagash

2430 B.C.

Uruinimgina of Lagash

2350 B.C.

Lugalzagesi of Uruk

2350 B.C.

Dynasty of Akkad (Agade)


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Mesopotamian Deities

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Mesopotamian civilization existed for well over 3,000 years, from the formation of the first cities at the end of the fourth millennium B.C. to the early years of the Roman empire. During this period, religion was a major factor influencing behavior, political decision making, and material culture.


Unlike some later monotheistic religions, in Mesopotamian mythology there existed n...

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Flood Stories

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Stories about a great flood are found in the folklore of many cultures. The earliest written sources are inscribed in Sumerian on clay tablets and date to the late third millennium B.C. Mesopotamian versions of the flood story may have had their beginnings in the annual spring flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Alternatively, some scholars believe that a change i...

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Epic of Creation (Mesopotamia)

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Stories describing creation are prominent in many cultures of the world. In Mesopotamia, the surviving evidence from the third millennium to the end of the first millennium B.C. indicates that although many of the gods were associated with natural forces, no single myth addressed issues of initial creation. It was simply assumed that the gods existed before the world was formed. Unfortunately, v...

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Posted on May 20, 2016 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The myth known today as The Epic of Gilgamesh was considered in ancient times to be one of the great masterpieces of cuneiform literature. Copies of parts of the story have been found in Israel, Syria, and Turkey and references to the hero are attested in Greek and Roman literature.


The tale revolves around a legendary hero named Gilgamesh (Bilgames in...

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Uruk: The First City

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

For thousands of years, southern Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq) was home to hunters, fishers, and farmers, exploiting fertile soil, rivers, and abundant animals. By around 3200 B.C., the largest settlement in southern Mesopotamia, if not the world, was Uruk: a true city dominated by monumental mud-brick buildings decorated with mosaics of painted clay cones embedded in the walls, and extraordinary works of art. Large-scale sculptu...

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The Origins of Writing

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The alluvial plains of southern Mesopotamia in the later half of the fourth millennium B.C. witnessed a immense expansion in the number of populated sites. Scholars still debate the reasons for this population increase, which seems to be too large to be explained simply by normal growth. One site, the city of Uruk, surpassed all others as an urban center surrounded by a group of secondary settlements. It covered appr...

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Early Dynastic Sculpture, 2900???2350 B.C.

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)

During the so-called Early Dynastic period (ca. 2900–2350 B.C.), life in the cities of Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq) was focused on the gods, who were believed to dwell in specially constructed temples. However, judging from the few excavated examples, these buildings appear not to have been congregational in nature. Access to the small central shrines was probably limited, most likely to the priests who served the go...

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Art of the First Cities in the Third Millennium B.C.

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The roots of our own urban civilization lie in the remarkable developments that took place in the third millennium B.C. This was a time of astonishing creativity as city-states and empires emerged in a vast area stretching from the Mediterranean to the Indus Valley. Although remote in time and place, this urban revolution, first represented by the formation of cities in southern Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq), must be looked...

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Mesopotamia, 8000-2000 B.C.

Posted on May 19, 2016 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)


A universally accepted chronology for the entire ancient Near East remains to be established. On the basis of the Royal Canon of Ptolemy, a second century A.D. astronomer, regnal dates can be determined with certainty in Babylonia only as far back as 747 B.C. (the accession of King Nabonassar). Through the use of excavated royal annals and chronicles, together with lists of annually appointed limmu-off...

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