Mari (city)

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Relief Map: Syria
Mari (city)
A statue from Mari

As a Mesopotamian city-state, Mari (now Tell Hariri , Syria ) was an important cultural center in the Middle East , whose beginnings go back a long way. However, there is no information about the founding of Mari. Even in pre-Sargonic times , Mari was a place on par with the larger cities of Babylonia .


According to the Sumerian king list , Mari became the seventh city to rule Sumer and Mesopotamia after the flood. Sargon of Akkad put an end to this rule. At the time of the Amurites in 1776 BC Zimri-Lim ruled , who waged numerous wars. His life is known through letters and an epic. Hammurapi ended his rule, who ruled the city in 1759 BC. (According to the middle chronology) destroyed.


Over 20,000 clay tablets in Akkadian language have been excavated since 1933. In research, therefore, one often speaks of clay tablet archives or Mari archives . In addition, figures of prayer and statues made of plaster of paris , bronze and lapis lazuli , such as that of the singer Ur-Nanše , came to light. Mari is the place where the Ur treasure was found , 4500 year old figures made of gold , lapis lazuli, bronze and ivory . The huge palace of Mari was also discovered. The library contained royal edicts, bills, instructions for building canals, dams, sluices, and other irrigation systems, as well as economic texts and diplomatic correspondence. In the texts, names such as Peleg , Serug , Nahor , Terach and Haran appeared, which are known from the Bible as relatives of Abraham and names of cities in northern Mesopotamia ( Gen 11: 17–32  LUT ).

The temple of Ištar belongs to the archaeological findings . The prophecy , which made use of, for example, liver observation and astrology , was also of great importance . Mari owed its wealth primarily to the tariffs on traffic between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean . Tin , copper with resin products , wood , olive oil and wine were sought-after commodities.

Damage in the civil war

During the civil war in Syria from 2011, the archaeological sites in Mari were extensively destroyed and looted. Fighters from the Islamic State terrorist group looted the palace and drove tunnels into the ground in search of valuables. The cover that researchers put on the excavation sites for protection in 2010 was blown up. Mari was considered the most looted site in the country in spring 2018.

List of the rulers of Mari in the šakkanakku period

Governor (šakkanakku) of Mari in the 3rd millennium BC Chr.
Governor Reign Remarks
Ididis ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Su-Dagan ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Išme-Dagan ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Nûr-Mêr ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Ištub-Ilum around 2150 BC Chr.
Išgum-Addu ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Apil-kīn ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Iddin-ilum ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Ili-Ištar ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Turam-dagan ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Puzur-Ištar ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Hitlal-Erra around 2000 BC Chr.
Hanun-Dagan ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Ibbit-Lim around 1950 BC Chr.

List of the kings of Mari

Kings from Mari until 1695 BC Chr.
Kings Reign Remarks
Iblul-il ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Itur-Samagan ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Lamgi-Mari ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Ištup-ilum ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Idi-ilum ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Tura-Dagan ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Puzur-Ištar ? -? v. Chr. Government data are missing
Milaga ? –1773 BC Chr. Government data are missing
Jaggid-Lim 1772-1752 BC Chr. 21 years
Yesdun-Lim 1751-1735 BC Chr. 17 years
Sumu-Adad 1734-1733 BC Chr. 2 years
Jasmah-Adad 1732-1714 BC Chr. 19 years, son of Šamši-Adad I.
Zimri-Lim 1713-1695 BC Chr. 19 years old, father of Kirûm


  • The results of the excavations are published in Mission Archéologique Française à Tell Hariri / Mari. Beirut 2010ff. (Vol. 1–4 as Publications de la mission archéologique de Mari , Paris 1956–1968; Vol. 5–6 as Mission archéologique de Mari , Beirut 1999–2003).
  • The cuneiform texts are published in the Archives royales de Mari series (ARM), Paris 1946ff. released. Jean-Marie Durand presented a separate edition and translation of the letters in Les documents épistolaires du palais de Mari , 3 vol. Paris 1998–2002.
  • André Parrot : Mari. Archaeological excavation expedition from Mari. Reich, Munich 1953.
  • Hildegard Winkler: Investigations into the structure and building history of the palace in Mari. Dissertation, Frankfurt (Main) 1974.
  • Abraham Malamat : Mari and the Bible. Brill, Leiden / Boston / Cologne 1998. ISBN 90-04-10863-7 .
  • Wolfgang Heimpel: Letters to the King of Mari: A New Translation, with Historical Introduction, Notes, and Commentary (= Mesopotamian Civilizations 12). Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake 2003, ISBN 1-57506-080-9 .
  • Dietz-Otto Edzard : History of Mesopotamia. From the Sumerians to Alexander the Great. Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-51664-5 .
  • Jean-Claude Margueron: Mari. Métropole de l'Euphrate au IIIe et au début du IIe millénaire av. J.-C. Picard, Paris 2004, ISBN 2-7084-0723-6 ; ISBN 2-86538-293-1 .
  • Brit Kärger: Life in the Amurritschen world. Nomads and settled people in the empire of Mari in the 19th and 18th centuries BC (= Philippika 68). Wiesbaden 2014, ISBN 978-3-447-10130-1 .
  • Jean-Claude Margueron: Mari. Capital of Northern Mesopotamia in the Third Millennium. The archeology of Tell Hariri on the Euphrates. Oxbow Books, Oxford & Philadelphia 2014, ISBN 978-1-78297-731-5

Web links

Commons : Mari  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dietz Otto Edzard: History of Mesopotamia . P. 116.
  2. Florence Evin: "En Syrie, le plus ancien palais de l'humanité détruit par l'organization Etat islamique L'édifice, situé dans l'antique Mari, devait être classé au Patrimoine mondial." Le Monde from March 29, 2018
  3. data according to the middle chronology.
  4. Data according to the short chronology, which deviates 64 years from the mean chronology.