The Info List - Eshnunna

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Coordinates: 33°29′3″N 44°43′42″E / 33.48417°N 44.72833°E / 33.48417; 44.72833



c. 3000 BC–c. 1700 BC

The extent of Eshnunna's influence c. 1764 BC

Capital Eshnunna

Government Monarchy


 •  c. 2000 BC Urguedinna (first)

 •  c. 1700 BC Silli-Sin (last)

Historical era Bronze Age

 •  Established c. 3000 BC

 •  Disestablished c. 1700 BC

Preceded by Succeeded by


First Babylonian Dynasty

Today part of  Iraq

(modern Tell Asmar in Diyala Province, Iraq) was an ancient Sumerian (and later Akkadian) city and city-state in central Mesopotamia. Although situated in the Diyala Valley north-east of Sumer
proper, the city nonetheless belonged securely within the Sumerian cultural milieu. The tutelary deity of the city was Tishpak (Tišpak).


1 History 2 Archaeology

2.1 Laws of Eshnunna 2.2 Square Temple of Abu 2.3 Rulers of Eshnunna

3 Notes 4 References 5 See also 6 External links


Sumerian male worshiper, Alabaster with shell eyes. One of the twelve statues in the Tell Asmar Hoard

Occupied from the Jemdet Nasr period, about 3000 BC, Eshnunna
was a major city during the Early Dynastic period of Mesopotamia. Beginning with the rise of the Akkadian
Empire, Eshnunna
oscillated between periods of independence and domination by empires such as the Third Dynasty of Ur and Isin. Because of its promise of control over lucrative trade routes, Eshnunna
could function somewhat as a gateway between Mesopotamian and Elamite
culture. The trade routes gave it access to many exotic, sought-after goods such as horses from the north, copper, tin, and other metals and precious stones. In a grave in Eshnunna, a pendant made of copal from Zanzibar
was found.[1] After rising to prominence as an independent state in the early second millennium, during the time of Shamshi-Adad, Eshnunna
was then occupied by Elam, after which it was conquered by Hammurabi
of Babylon in the 38th year of his reign, and thus absorbed within the Old Babylonian Empire (sometimes called the First Babylonian Dynasty). Thereafter, the city appears but rarely in cuneiform textual sources, reflecting its probable decline and eventual disappearance. Archaeology[edit] The remains of the ancient city are now preserved in the tell, or archaeological settlement mound, of Tell Asmar, some 38 km in a straight line northeast of Baghdad
and 30 km in a straight line southeast of Baqubah, excavated in six seasons between 1930 and 1936 by an Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
team led by Henri Frankfort
Henri Frankfort
with Thorkild Jacobsen and Seton Lloyd.[2][3][4][5][6][7] The expedition's field secretary was Mary Chubb.[8] Despite the length of time since the excavations at Tell Asmar, the work of examining and publishing the remaining finds from that dig continues to this day. These finds include roughly 1,500 cuneiform tablets.[9] In the late 1990s, Iraqi archaeologists worked at Tell Asmar. The results from that excavation have not yet been published.[10] Laws of Eshnunna[edit] Main article: Laws of Eshnunna The Laws of Eshnunna consist of two tablets, found at Shaduppum
(Tell Harmal) and a fragment found at Tell Haddad, the ancient Mê-Turan.[11] They were written sometime around the reign of king Dadusha of Eshnunna
and appear to not be official copies. When the actual laws were composed is unknown. They are similar to the Code of Hammurabi.[12] Square Temple of Abu[edit] During the Early Dynastic period, the Abu Temple at Tell Asmar (Eshnunna) went through a number of phases. This included the Early Dynastic Archaic Shrine, Square Temple, and Single-Shrine phases of construction. They, along with sculpture found there, helped form the basis for the three part archaeological separation of the Early Dynastic period into ED I, ED II, and ED III for the ancient Near East.[13] A cache of 12 gypsum temple sculptures, in a geometric style, were found in the Square Temple; these are known as the Tell Asmar Hoard. They are some of the best known examples of ancient Near East sculpture. The group, now split up, show gods, priests and donor worshippers at different sizes, but all in the same highly simplified style. All have greatly enlarged inlaid eyes, but the tallest figure, the main cult image depicting the local god, has enormous eyes that give it a "fierce power".[14][15] Rulers of Eshnunna[edit]

Ruler Proposed reign Notes

Urguedinna ~2000 BC Governor under Shulgi
of the Ur III


Governor under Shulgi
of the Ur III


Governor under Shu-Sin
of the Ur III


Governor under Ibbi-Sin
of the Ur III


Governor under Ibbi-Sin
of the Ur III, Contemporary of Ishbi-Erra of Isin



Contemporary of Tan-Ruhuratir of Elam





Ipiq-Adad I

Contemporary of Abdi-Erah of Tutub
and Sumu-abum of Babylon




Ibal-pi-El I

Ipiq-Adad II ~1700 BC Reigned at least 36 years


Son of Ipiq-Adad II, Contemporary of Shamshi-Adad


Approximate position


Son of Ipiq-Adad II, Contemporary of Shamshi-Adad of Assyria

Ibal-pi-El II

Contemporary of Zimri-Lim
of Mari, Killed by Siwe-palar-huppak of Elam who captured Eshnunna



^ Carol Meyer et al., From Zanzibar
to Zagros: A Copal
Pendant from Eshnunna, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 289-298, 1991 ^ [1] Henri Frankfort, Thorkild Jacobsen, and Conrad Preusser, Tell Asmar and Khafaje: The First Season?s Work in Eshnunna
1930/31, Oriental Institute Publication 13, 1932 ^ [2] Henri Frankfort, Tell Asmar, Khafaje and Khorsabad: Second Preliminary Report of the Iraq
Expedition, Oriental Institute Publication 16, 1933 ^ [3] Henri Frankfort, Iraq
Excavations of the Oriental Institute 1932/33: Third Preliminary Report of the Iraq
Expedition, Oriental Institute Publication 17, 1934 ^ [4] Henri Frankfort
Henri Frankfort
with a chapter by Thorkild Jacobsen, Oriental Institute Discoveries in Iraq, 1933/34: Fourth Preliminary Report of the Iraq
Expedition, Oriental Institute Publication 19, 1935 ^ [5] Henri Frankfort, Progress of the Work of the Oriental Institute in Iraq, 1934/35: Fifth Preliminary Report of the Iraq
Expedition, Oriental Institute Publication 20, 1936 ^ [6] Henri Frankfort, Seton Lloyd, and Thorkild Jacobsen with a chapter by Günter Martiny, The Gimilsin Temple and the Palace of the Rulers at Tell Asmar, Oriental Institute Publication 43, 1940 ^ Chubb, Mary (7 November 1961). "Rebuilding The Tower Of Babel". The Times (55232).  ^ [7] Clay Sealings And Tablets From Tell Asmar ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2009-01-26.  TAARII efforts to rescue Iraqi Archaeological publications ^ In Al-Rawi, Sumer
38 (1982, pp 117-20); the excavations are surveyed in Iraq
43 (1981:177ff; Na'il Hanoon, in Sumer
40 pp 70ff Iraq
47 (1985) ^ The Laws of Eshnunna, Reuven Yaron, BRILL, 1988, ISBN 90-04-08534-3 ^ "The Square Temple at Tell Asmar and the Construction of Early Dynastic Mesopotamia
ca. 2900-2350 B.C.E,", Jean M Evans, American Journal of Archaeology, Boston, Oct 2007, Vol. 111, Iss. 4; pg. 599 ^ Frankfort, Henri, The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient, Pelican History of Art, 4th ed 1970, pp. 46-49, Penguin (now Yale History of Art), ISBN 0140561072; the group are now divided between the Metropolitan Museum, New York, Oriental Institute, Chicago, and the National Museum of Iraq
(with the god). ^ [8] Henri Frankfort, Sculpture of the Third Millennium B.C. from Tell Asmar and Khafajah, Oriental Institute Publication 44, 1939


City In the Sand (2nd Edition), Mary Chubb, Libri, 1999, ISBN 1-901965-02-3 [9] R. M. Whiting Jr., Old Babylonian Letters from Tell Asmar, Assyriological Studies 22, Oriental Institute, 1987 [10] I.J. Gelb, Sargonic Texts from the Diyala Region, Materials for the Assyrian Dictionary, vol. 1, Chicago, 1961 Maria deJong Ellis, Notes on the Chronology of the Later Eshnunna Dynasty, Journal of Cuneiform Studies, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 61–85, 1985 I. J. Gelb, A Tablet of Unusual Type from Tell Asmar, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 219–226, 1942

See also[edit]

Ancient Near East portal

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eshnunna.

Cities of the ancient Near East Khafajah Short chronology timeline

External links[edit]

The Diyala Project at the University of Chicago Tell Asmar Statue at the Oriental Institute of the Universit