Category Archives: Period Overview


The city of Babylon gave its name to two important periods in Mesopotamian history. The First Dynasty of Babylon, from around 1894 until 1595 B.C.E., was founded by Sumu-abum. Eventually it encompassed the regions of Larsa, Isin, Eshnunna, and Assyria. … Continue reading

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The Development of Writing

Late Uruk and Jemdet Nasr periods (3300-2900 B.C.E.) The earliest writing in the history of mankind was developed at the end of the fourth millennium B.C.E. in what is now southern Iraq. At this time, Mesopotamia was dominated by the … Continue reading

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Proto-Elamite Period

Other systems of writing emerged at the same time as the writing of the Sumerians, but were short-lived. Most notable is the writing system called Proto-Elamite, which surfaced during the Jemdat-Nasr period in the area called Susa in southwestern Iran. … Continue reading

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Early Dynastic I Period

Early Dynastic I refers to the period immediately following the end of the Late Uruk or Jemdet-Nasr Period (c. 2900).  The method of dividing the overall Early Dynastic Period into three or four parts is a somewhat archaic way of … Continue reading

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Lagash Periods (Lagash I and II)

The Lagash I period is also the Early Dynastic IIIb period.  The Lagash I dynasty ended with the reign of Uruinimgina (reigned 2351-2342 B.C.E.), who was defeated by Lugalzagesi of Uruk, who then controlled all of Mesopotamia (he also won … Continue reading

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Gudea (c. 2141-2122 B.C.E., Lagash II)

Photograph of a diorite statue British Museum, London Gudea was a Sumerian ruler of the city-state of Lagash.  He is best-known for building the temple at Girsu, where a number of statues depicting him were excavated. The statue shown here … Continue reading

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Akkadian Dynasty (c. 2340-2154 B.C.E.)

Sargon of Akkad (c. 2340-2285 B.C.E.) defeated Lugalzagesi of Uruk in battle, thereby unifying Sumer and Akkad. Sargon then established his capital in his own city-state of Akkad. All Akkadian kings faced a continual threat from the Guti, who were … Continue reading

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