Isin Larsa period

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The old Orient
The city gate of Nimrud
Timeline based on calibrated C 14 data
Epipalaeolithic 12000-9500 BC Chr.
Pre-ceramic Neolithic 9500-6400 BC Chr.
PPNA 9500-8800 BC Chr.
PPNB 8800-7000 BC Chr.
PPNC 7000-6400 BC Chr.
Ceramic Neolithic 6400-5800 BC Chr.
Umm Dabaghiyah culture 6000-5800 BC Chr.
Hassuna culture 5800-5260 BC Chr.
Samarra culture 5500-5000 BC Chr.
Transition to the Chalcolithic 5800-4500 BC Chr.
Halaf culture 5500-5000 BC Chr.
Chalcolithic 4500-3600 BC Chr.
Obed time 5000-4000 BC Chr.
Uruk time 4000-3100 / 3000 BC Chr.
Early Bronze Age 3000-2000 BC Chr.
Jemdet Nasr time 3000-2800 BC Chr.
Early dynasty 2900 / 2800-2340 BC Chr.
Battery life 2340-2200 BC Chr.
New Sumerian / Ur-III period 2340-2000 BC Chr.
Middle Bronze Age 2000-1550 BC Chr.
Isin Larsa Period / Ancient Assyrian Period 2000–1800 BC Chr.
Old Babylonian time 1800–1595 BC Chr.
Late Bronze Age 1550-1150 BC Chr.
Checkout time 1580-1200 BC Chr.
Central Assyrian Period 1400-1000 BC Chr.
Iron age 1150-600 BC Chr.
Isin II time 1160-1026 BC Chr.
Neo-Assyrian time 1000-600 BC Chr.
Neo-Babylonian Period 1025-627 BC Chr.
Late Babylonian Period 626-539 BC Chr.
Achaemenid period 539-330 BC Chr.
Years according to the middle chronology (rounded)

The Isin-Larsa period is a period in ancient oriental history that dates back to the fall of the empire of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur around 2000 BC. Until the beginning of the old Babylonian period around 1800 BC. BC extends. In ancient oriental studies in particular , the Isin-Larsa period is attributed to the ancient Babylonian period as a lower epoch for philological reasons. The term is mainly used for the southern part of Mesopotamia; the largely corresponding section of northern Mesopotamian history is called the ancient Assyrian period .

Epoch breakdown

The Isin-Larsa period is divided into two sub-epochs according to the historical power relations:

  • Isin period (approx. 2017–1924 BC)
  • Isin Larsa period in the narrower sense (approx. 1924–1792 BC)

historical development

After the fall of the Empire of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur, the formerly independent city-states regained independence. Cities like Isin , Larsa , Ešnunna , Sippar , Kiš and Der fought for supremacy under the now Amurrian dynasties . Under Išbi-Erra , Isin was initially able to assert himself and occupy a dominant position for about a century. In the late 20th century BC The dynasty residing in Larsa gained power over the ancient cities of Ur and Nippur and thus formed a second power center next to Isin.

Cultural development

During the Isin period there were still clear references to the culture of the previous epoch. Inscriptions and literature were written in Sumerian , the Sumerian calendar and dating using year names were continued. The rulers were portrayed as gods.

Nevertheless, significant social changes began with the Isin-Larsa period. While the 3rd millennium was characterized by a palace and temple economy, large areas of the economy were privatized in the early 2nd millennium, which is reflected in the discovery of numerous private legal and economic documents. Legal collections of this time, such as the Codex Hammurapi, reveal a division of society into three classes ( awīlum , muškenum , wardum ).


Archaeological finds from this period come mainly from the sites of Ur, Ešnunna and a number of archaeological sites along the Diyala . Isin and Larsa themselves have received limited research.


Residential houses, usually courtyard houses , followed a uniform pattern in the Isin-Larsa period. Several rooms were arranged around a central and regular courtyard paved with bricks. Opposite the entrance was a room with particularly thick walls, which was often followed by a wet room. Behind this was usually a second hall, which was equipped with an altar . The houses were multi-story, so that mostly a stairwell has been preserved, in which there was often a drainage shaft.

Outstanding buildings from this era are the Šu-ilija-Palace and the Šu-Sîn-Temple in Ešnunna, the city wall with the gate lions of Tell Harmal , the Nergal-Temple of Tell Haddad , the E-Babbar in Larsa, and also the Gula-Temple of Isin and the Kitītum temple in Išǧali as well as the cult buildings of Hafaǧi .


Grave forms of this era are largely inconsistent. In addition to brick tombs, there are also sarcophagi in individual graves, capsule graves for children and simple burials.


Typical types of finds from this time are statuettes . The pictorial program here mainly includes triumphant scenes that can be seen on cylinder seals and on terracotta panels. The Dāduša stele also corresponds to this program. The best-known terracotta tile of this time is the so-called Burney relief .


  1. in the Levant
  2. a b c d in southern Mesopotamia
  3. a b c in northern Mesopotamia
  4. according to medium chronology