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King of Uruk
Reign c. 2055  BC – 2048  BC
Predecessor Tirigan
Successor ur_namuu
Dynasty 5th Dynasty of Uruk

Utu-hengal (also written Utu-heg̃al, Utu-heĝal, and sometimes transcribed as Utu-hegal, Utu-hejal) was one of the first native kings of Sumer after centuries of Akkadian and Gutian rule.

Life and reign

Part of a stone monument inscribed with the name of Utu-hegal, king of Uruk. Circa 2125 BCE. From Ur, Iraq. The British Museum, London

There are several theories regarding his background. The most common is that he was a governor of Uruk who revolted against the Gutian kings in c. 2050 BC. He led the cities of Sumer against the last Gutian king Tirigan. After a battle at an unknown location, Utu-Hengal was victorious and forced Tirigan to flee back towards Gutium.[1] He stopped at the city of Dubrum (location unknown) and the people there treated him kindly. However, once the people of Dubrum heard that Utu-Hengal was marching towards the city they took Tirigan and his family prisoner. He was brought before Utu-Hengal, and agreed to leave Sumer and retreat back to Gutium.[2] After defeating the Gutians, Utu-hengal established himself as the king of Sumer. In the seventh year of the kingship he tragically died in an accident when inspecting a dam, and was succeeded by his son-in-law, the governor of Ur, Ur-Nammu, as the king of Sumer. He was thus the only king of the fifth dynasty of Uruk. In fact Sumerian people have always treated Utu-hengal's kingship and the Ur III dynasty together as a single continuous dynasty, with Utu-hengal as the founder. Utu-hengal has been praised as one of the greatest historical figures and heros of Sumerian people.


Utu-hengal had a daughter who married Ur-Nammu and gave birth to his successor, Shulgi, and was therefore related by marriage to the third dynasty of Ur. He was an ancestor of Amar-Sin.


  1. ^ Samuel Noah Kramer (2010-09-17). The Sumerians: Their History, Culture, and Character. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0 226 45238 7.
  2. ^ Samuel Noah Kramer (2010-09-17). The Sumerians: Their History, Culture, and Character. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0 226 45238 7.
  • "Middle East & Africa to 1875". Sanderson Beck. 1998–2004. Retrieved 2006-11-19.
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