Sites & cities that bear the name of Larsa


Today in : Iraq
First trace of activity : ca. 29th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 2nd century B.C.E
Recorded names : ๐’Œ“๐’€•๐’† , UD.UNUGKI, LarsamKI, Tell as-Senkereh, Sankarah, Sinkara

Description : Larsa (Sumerian logogram: UD.UNUGKI, read Larsamki) 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. The historical "Larsa" was already in existence as early as the reign of Eannatum of Lagash, who annexed it to his empire. The city became a political force during the Isin-Larsa period. After the Third Dynasty of Ur collapsed c. 2000 BC, Ishbi-Erra, an official of Ibbi-Sin, the last king of the Ur III Dynasty, relocated to Isin and set up a government which purported to be the successor to the Ur III dynasty. From there, Ishbi-Erra recaptured Ur as well as the cities of Uruk and Lagash, which Larsa was subject to. Subsequent Isin rulers appointed governors to rule over Larsa; one such governor was an Amorite named Gungunum. He eventually broke with Isin and established an independent dynasty in Larsa. To legitimize his rule and deliver a blow to Isin, Gungunum captured the city of Ur. As the region of Larsa was the main center of trade via the Persian Gulf, Isin lost an enormously profitable trade route, as well as a city with much cultic significance. Gungunum's two successors, Abisare (c. 1841โ€“1830 BC) and Sumuel (c. 1830โ€“1801 BC), both took steps to cut Isin completely off from access to canals. Isin quickly lost political and economic force. Larsa grew powerful, but never accumulated a large territory. At its peak under king Rim-Sin I (c. 1758โ€“1699 BC), Larsa controlled only about 10-15 other city-states โ€” nowhere near the territory controlled by other dynasties in Mesopotamian history. Nevertheless, huge building projects and agricultural undertakings can be detected archaeologically. After the defeat of Rim-Sin I by Hammurabi of Babylon, Larsa became a minor site, though it has been suggested that it was the home of the First Sealand Dynasty of Babylon. Larsa is thought to be the source of a number of tablets involving Babylonian mathematics, including the Plimpton 322 tablet that contains patterns of Pythagorean triples.

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