Zabala (Sumer)
Zabala was a city of ancient Sumer
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

 in what is now the Dhi Qar governorate in Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. Zabala was at the crossing of the ancient Iturungal and
Ninagina canals. The cities deity was Inanna
Inanna, also spelled Inana is the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare....

 of Zabala.


The first mentions of Zabala are in seals from the Jemdet Nasr period
Jemdet Nasr period
The Jemdet Nasr period is an archaeological culture in southern Mesopotamia that is generally dated to 3100–2900 BCE. It is named after the type-site Jemdet Nasr, where the assemblage typical for this period was first recognized. Its geographical distribution is limited to south–central Iraq...

 including a list of early cites - Ur, Nippur, Larsa, Uruk, Kes, and Zabalam. The earliest historical record, a bowl inscription, indicates that Zabala was under the control of Lugalzagesi of Lagash
Lagash is located northwest of the junction of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and east of Uruk, about east of the modern town of Ash Shatrah. Lagash was one of the oldest cities of the Ancient Near East...

In the Sargonic Period, Shar-kali-sharri
Shar-Kali-Sharri was a king of the Akkadian Empire.According to the Sumerian king list, he was the son of Naram-sin and reigned for 25 years - around 2100 BC...

 and Naram-Sin
Naram-Sin , reigned ca. 2254–2218 BCE, short chronology, was the third successor and grandson of King Sargon of Akkad. Under Naram-Sin the Akkadian Empire reached its zenith...

reported building a temple to the goddess Inanna
Inanna, also spelled Inana is the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare....

 in Zabala
and Rimush
Rimush was the second king of the Akkadian Empire. He was the son of Sargon of Akkad and Queen Tashlultum. He was succeeded by his brother Manishtushu and was an uncle of Naram-Sin of Akkad....

 of Akkad
The Akkadian Empire was an empire centered in the city of Akkad and its surrounding region in Mesopotamia....

Zabala as attempting to rebel against the control of the Akkadian Empire. After the
fall of Akkad, Zabala came into the sphere of the city-state 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 reported
by the year names of several rulers including Itar-pisa and Ur-Ninurta.
The town was later subject to
Abisare ruled the ancient Near East city-state of Larsa from 1841 BC to 1830 BC. He was an Amorite. The annals of his 11 year-old reign record that he smote Isin in his 9th regnal year.-External links:*...

 of Larsa
Larsa was an important city of ancient Sumer, the center of the cult of the sun god Utu. It lies some 25 km southeast of Uruk in Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate, near the east bank of the Shatt-en-Nil canal at the site of the modern settlement Tell as-Senkereh or Sankarah.-History:According to...

, who's year name reported the building of the
"Favorite of Inanna of Zabalam" canal.
During the Ur III period, Zabala was controlled by the 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...

 governor in Umma
Umma was an ancient city in Sumer. Note that there is some scholarly debateabout the Sumerian and Akkadian names for this site.-History:...

which was the capital of Umma Province.
Cuneiform can refer to:*Cuneiform script, an ancient writing system originating in Mesopotamia in the 4th millennium BC*Cuneiform , three bones in the human foot*Cuneiform Records, a music record label...

 texts state that Hammurabi
Hammurabi Hammurabi Hammurabi (Akkadian from Amorite ʻAmmurāpi, "the kinsman is a healer", from ʻAmmu, "paternal kinsman", and Rāpi, "healer"; (died c...

 built Zabala's temple Ezi-Kalam-ma to the goddess Innana.
The temple of Inanna in Zabalam is the subject of hymn 26 in the temple hymns of Enheduanna
Enheduanna , also transliterated as Enheduana, En-hedu-ana or EnHeduAnna , was an Akkadian princess as well as High Priestess of the Moon god Nanna in the Sumerian city-state of Ur...



Beginning in the early 1900s, a great deal of illegal excavation occurred in Zabala. This
activity reached a new height in the 1990s, at which time the Iraqi State Organization of Antiquities and Heritage appears to have authorized an official excavation, the
first at the site. It is not
clear that the results were ever published. A further outbreak of archaeological looting
at Zabala broke out after the 2003 war in Iraq.

External links

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