Ur-Nammu

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Ur-Nammu
King of Ur
Successor Shulgi
Consort Daughter of Utu-hengal
Issue Shulgi
Religion Sumerian religion

Ur-Nammu (or Ur-Namma, Ur-Engur, Ur-Gur, Sumerian: 𒌨𒀭𒇉, ca. 2047-2030 BC short chronology) founded the Sumerian Third Dynasty of Ur, in southern Mesopotamia, following several centuries of Akkadian and Gutian rule. His main achievement was state-building, and Ur-Nammu is chiefly remembered today for his legal code, the Code of Ur-Nammu, the oldest known surviving example in the world.

Reign

Mud-brick stamped with the name of king Ur-Nammu. Using a marker pen, Nippur was written in Arabic at one of the corners; therefore, this brick might well have been found in Nippur. Neo-Sumerian Period. Erbil Civilization Museum, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Year-names are known for 17 of Ur-Nammu's 18 years, but their order is uncertain. One year-name of his reign records the devastation of Gutium, while two years seem to commemorate his legal reforms: "Year in which Ur-Nammu the king put in order the ways (of the people in the country) from below to above", and "Year Ur-Nammu made justice in the land".[1]

Among his military exploits were the conquest of Lagash and the defeat of his former masters at Uruk. He was eventually recognized as a significant regional ruler (of Ur, Eridu, and Uruk) at a coronation in Nippur, and is believed to have constructed buildings at Nippur, Larsa, Kish, Adab, and Umma. He was known for restoring the roads and general order after the Gutian period.[2]

A brick stamped with the name of Ur-Nammu of Ur

Ur Nammu was also responsible for ordering the construction of a number of stepped temples, called ziggurats, including the Great Ziggurat of Ur.[3]

He was succeeded by his son Shulgi, after an 18-year reign. His death on the battle-field against the Gutians (after he had been abandoned by his army) was commemorated in a long Sumerian poetic composition.[2]

Stele

In 1925, a shattered nine-foot tall limestone pillar was discovered in Mesopotamia. Under the remote supervision of Leonard Woolley, it was reconstructed by the Penn Museum. In 1985, Jeanny Canby determined that it had been pieced back incorrectly. She removed the plaster filler of the stele, and added the rearranged pieces she found in the museum's storeroom, and discovered the figure of a courtesan embracing a deity. "It's an amazingly intimate scene for a royal monument," she said.[4]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Year-names for Ur-Nammu
  2. ^ a b Hamblin, William J. Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC. New York: Routledge, 2006.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-08. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  4. ^ Sullivan, Patricia (November 28, 2007). "Archaeologist Jeanny 'Jes' Canby". The Washington Post. 

External links

  • Site drawings of the temple built by Ur-Nammu at Ur to the moon god Nanna.
  • Nabonidus dedication to the Ziggurat
  • The Code of Ur-Nammu at Britannica
  • Foundation Figurine of King Ur-Nammu at the Oriental Institute of Chicago
  • The "Ur-Nammu" Stela. Penn Museum. 2006. ISBN 978-1-931707-89-3. 
  • The face of Ur-Namma. A realistic statue of Ur-Namma shows us how he may have looked.
  • A brief description of the reign of Ur-Namma.
  • I am Ur-Namma. The life and death of Ur-Namma, as told in Babylonian literature.
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