Hamazi or Khamazi was an ancient kingdom or city-state of some importance that reached its peak ca. 2500-2400 BC. Its exact location is unknown, but is thought to have been located in the western Zagros mountains
Zagros Mountains
The Zagros Mountains are the largest mountain range in Iran and Iraq. With a total length of 1,500 km , from northwestern Iran, and roughly correlating with Iran's western border, the Zagros range spans the whole length of the western and southwestern Iranian plateau and ends at the Strait of...

 roughly between Elam
Elam was an ancient civilization located in what is now southwest Iran. Elam was centered in the far west and the southwest of modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of Khuzestan and Ilam Province, as well as a small part of southern Iraq...

 and Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

, possibly near Nuzi
Nuzi was an ancient Mesopotamian city southwest of Kirkuk in modern Al Ta'amim Governorate of Iraq, located near the Tigris river...

 or modern Hamadan
-Culture:Hamadan is home to many poets and cultural celebrities. The city is also said to be among the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities.Handicrafts: Hamadan has always been well known for handicrafts like leather, ceramic, and beautiful carpets....


Hamazi first came to the attention of archaeologists with the discovery of a vase with an inscription in very archaic cuneiform commemorating the victory of Utug (or Uhub), an early king of Kish
Kish (Sumer)
Kish is modern Tell al-Uhaymir , and was an ancient city of Sumer. Kish is located some 12 km east of Babylon, and 80 km south of Baghdad ....

, over this place, causing fringe theorist Laurence Waddell in 1929 to speculate that it was to be identified with Carchemish
Carchemish or Kargamış was an important ancient city of the Mitanni, Hittite and Neo Assyrian Empires, now on the frontier between Turkey and Syria. It was the location of an important battle between the Babylonians and Egyptians, mentioned in the Bible...

 in Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. It is now generally considered to have been somewhere in the vicinity of the Diyala
Diyala River
The Diyala River after Darban-e Khan Dam:Kurdish: Sirwan, سيروان, , Persian: سیروان دیاله, is a river and tributary of the Tigris that runs mainly through Eastern Iraq but also Western Iran. It covers a total distance of ....


One of the earliest references to Hamazi is found in the epic Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta
Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta
Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta is a legendary Sumerian account, of preserved, early post-Sumerian copies, composed in the Neo-Sumerian period ....

, where Enmerkar prays to Enki about the confusion of languages in the various inhabited lands, at the time of the building of the ziggurat
Ziggurats were massive structures built in the ancient Mesopotamian valley and western Iranian plateau, having the form of a terraced step pyramid of successively receding stories or levels.Notable ziggurats include the Great Ziggurat of Ur near Nasiriyah, Iraq; the Ziggurat of Aqar Quf near...

s in Eridu
Eridu is an ancient Sumerian city in what is now Tell Abu Shahrain, Dhi Qar Governorate, Iraq. Eridu was considered the earliest city in southern Mesopotamia, and is one of the oldest cities in the world...

 and Uruk
Uruk was an ancient city of Sumer and later Babylonia, situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates river, on the ancient dry former channel of the Euphrates River, some 30 km east of modern As-Samawah, Al-Muthannā, Iraq.Uruk gave its name to the Uruk...

. Hamazi is the only land mentioned in this prayer with the epithet "many-tongued". A sequel, Enmerkar and En-suhgir-ana
Enmerkar and En-suhgir-ana
Enmerkar and En-suhgir-ana is text in Sumerian literature appearing as a sequel to Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, and is second in a series of four accounts describing the contests of Aratta against Enmerkar, lord of Unug and Kulaba, and his successor Lugalbanda, father of...

also mentions that the sorceror of Hamazi, Urgirinuna, went to Aratta after Hamazi "had been destroyed"; he is later sent by the Lord of Aratta on a failed mission attempting to bring Enmerkar into submission.

According to the Sumerian king list
Sumerian king list
The Sumerian King List is an ancient manuscript originally recorded in the Sumerian language, listing kings of Sumer from Sumerian and neighboring dynasties, their supposed reign lengths, and the locations of "official" kingship...

, king Hadanish of Hamazi held hegemony over Sumer
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

 after defeating Kish, but was in turn defeated by Enshakushanna
Enshakushanna was a king of Uruk in the later 3rd millennium BC who is named on the Sumerian king list, which states his reign to have been 60 years. He conquered Hamazi, Akkad, Kish, and Nippur, claiming hegemony over all of Sumer...

 of Uruk
Uruk was an ancient city of Sumer and later Babylonia, situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates river, on the ancient dry former channel of the Euphrates River, some 30 km east of modern As-Samawah, Al-Muthannā, Iraq.Uruk gave its name to the Uruk...


A clay tablet found in the archives at Ebla
Ebla Idlib Governorate, Syria) was an ancient city about southwest of Aleppo. It was an important city-state in two periods, first in the late third millennium BC, then again between 1800 and 1650 BC....

 in Syria bears a copy of a diplomatic message sent from king Irkab-Damu
Irkab-Damu was a king of the ancient city-state of Ebla.He sent the commander of his army Enna-Dagan to overthrow the powerful coalition formed by Iblul-Il, king of Mari. This was successful and Enna-Dagan took the title of Lugal - the title lugal, literally "great man", meant king in other parts...

 of Ebla to king Zizi of Hamazi, along with a large quantity of wood, hailing him as a brother, and requesting him to send mercenaries in exchange.

Hamazi was one of the provinces of Ur under the reign of Amar-Sin
Amar-Sin was the third ruler of the Ur III Dynasty. He succeeded his father Shulgi .Year-names are known for all 9 years of his reign...

 during the "Sumerian renaissance"; two governors or ensi
ENSI is a Sumerian title designating the ruler or prince of a city state...

s during this reign were named Lu-nanna son of Namhani, and Ur-Ishkur. In ca. 2010 BC, the province was occupied and plundered by Ishbi-Erra of Isin
Isin was an ancient city-state of lower Mesopotamia about 20 miles south of Nippur at the site of modern Ishan al-Bahriyat in Iraq's Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate.-History:...

as the Ur-III empire was collapsing.
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