Kuara (Sumer)
Kuara was an ancient Sumerian
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

 city located on the western bank of the mouth of the Euphrates River, about 30 km southeast of Ur
Ur was an important city-state in ancient Sumer located at the site of modern Tell el-Muqayyar in Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate...

. 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...

, Kuara was also the home of Dumuzid, the fisherman
Dumuzid, the Fisherman
Dumuzid "the Fisherman", originally from Kuara in Sumer, was the 3rd king in the 1st Dynasty of Uruk, and Gilgamesh's predecessor, according to the Sumerian king list...

, legendary third king 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...


The city's patron deity was Meslamtaea (Nergal
The name Nergal, Nirgal, or Nirgali refers to a deity in Babylon with the main seat of his cult at Cuthah represented by the mound of Tell-Ibrahim. Nergal is mentioned in the Hebrew bible as the deity of the city of Cuth : "And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal"...

). In Sumerian mythology, Kuara was also considered the birthplace of the god Marduk
Marduk was the Babylonian name of a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon, who, when Babylon became the political center of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi , started to...

 (Asarluhi), Enki
Enki is a god in Sumerian mythology, later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology. He was originally patron god of the city of Eridu, but later the influence of his cult spread throughout Mesopotamia and to the Canaanites, Hittites and Hurrians...

's son. The cults of Marduk and Ninehama were centered in Kuara.


Kuara was established ca. 2500 BC, during the Sumerian Early Dynastic II
History of Sumer
The history of Sumer, taken to include the prehistoric Ubaid and Uruk periods, spans the 5th to 3rd millennia BC, ending with the downfall of the Third Dynasty of Ur around 2004 BC, followed by a transition period of Amorite states before the rise of Babylonia in the 18th century BC. The first...

 period. It was a seaport to the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, and traded with the port of Dilmun
Dilmun or Telmun is a land mentioned by Mesopotamian civilizations as a trade partner, a source of the metal copper, and an entrepôt of the Mesopotamia-to-Indus Valley Civilization trade route...

In 709 BC, the Assyrian king Sargon II
Sargon II
Sargon II was an Assyrian king. Sargon II became co-regent with Shalmaneser V in 722 BC, and became the sole ruler of the kingdom of Assyria in 722 BC after the death of Shalmaneser V. It is not clear whether he was the son of Tiglath-Pileser III or a usurper unrelated to the royal family...

 was trying to capture Marduk-apal-iddina II
Marduk-apal-iddina II
Marduk-apla-iddina II was a Chaldean prince who usurped the Babylonian throne in 721 BC...

, who fled to Kuara, whereupon Sargon's army laid siege and destroyed the city.

Alluvial soil carried by the Euphrates continually extended the land farther into the Persian Gulf; thus the modern site is far from the sea, even though it was a sea port 4500 years ago.


The site of Tel el Lahm consists of two mounds, with some peripheral
ridges, near a dry canal bed.

The location was excavated for a few days in 1855 by J. E. Taylor. He found a few inscribed bricks, and a single cuneiform tablet.
While working at 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...

 for the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

 in 1918, R. Campbell Thompson excavated there briefly.

In more modern times, Fuad Safar conducted soundings at Kuara.

External links

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