Adab (city)

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Relief Map: Iraq

Adab (near today's Bismaja , also Tell Bismaya , south of Kut in Iraq ) was a Sumerian city.

History and meaning

Adab was also a major city in central Babylonia . It was north-east of Šuruppak . Adab is one of the cities from which the first written sources come. A war coalition seems to have existed with the cities of Uruk , Nippur , Lagaš , Šuruppak and Umma . One of the opponents was apparently the ancient and legendary Sumerian city of Kiš . It can be assumed that these coalitions could also change and that they existed not only for war purposes, but also for the construction of large temples and infrastructural projects (such as canals). Adab was part of a trading system in the big cities. For example, Adab is named as Lagasch's trading partner in an inscription by the local Ensi Lugal-anda .

Especially at the beginning of the early dynastic period of Sumer, the city was of great importance; regional lists of kings have also been passed down from the city. However, only one ruler from the city appears in the Sumerian King List , Lugalannemundu . He was apparently an upstart, but he was also the first Sumerian ruler to possibly have brought large parts of Sumer under his rule. He is said to have been the first to bring a certain early state order among the city-states and is said to have repulsed the Elamites , who had previously controlled Sumer, which was weakened by wars, and even made them liable to pay tribute. After his death, however, Adab lost his importance again and could never regain it.

Akkadian time

At the time of the Lugal-Zagesi of Umma , town princes (Ensi) are known from Lagasch. After that Adab was under the rule of the Akkadians . Sargon installed a devoted deputy in Adab, as in other cities. If Sargon was able to exercise his rule without great resistance, his son and successor Rimuš was already facing uprisings by the Sumerians. Such an uprising is also known from Adab. But it was only the Guteans who ended the rule of the Akkadians and in turn established a rule over Sumer and Akkad . After that, the city belonged to the area over which Gudea von Lagaš exercised a loose sovereignty.

Ur-III period

Even in the last phase of Sumerian history ( Ur-III period ) Adab was unable to regain his independence. However Adab was the place where the kings of the third dynasty consolidated its rule of Ur strongly by here in Peronden of Utu-hengal the Prince of Gutians, Tirigan captured. That Adab was still of a certain importance after that, proves that one of the rulers - Šu-Sin - of this dynasty had a temple built here for his cult.

Like so many other Sumerian cities, Adab lost almost all of its former importance after the fall of the last Sumerian dynasty of Ur . When in the time of Šamšu-iluna (son of Hammurapi , second half of the 18th century BC) the settlement of southern Babylonia apparently declined, evidence of settlement is missing for Adab.

Research history

Excavations in Adab took place in 1903/04 under the direction of EJ Banks. A palace and various residential buildings were discovered. Two inscriptions found are of particular significance, one each from the Mesalim and one from the Ur-Nammu .

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