Artifacts > Sumerian King List

Sumerian King List

Sumerian King List - Sumerian King List Tablet

Sumerian King List Tablet


Out of the many incredible artefacts that have been recovered from sites in Iraq where flourishing Sumerian cities once stood, few have been more intriguing that the Sumerian King List, an ancient manuscript originally recorded in the Sumerian language, listing kings of Sumer (ancient southern Iraq) from Sumerian and neighbouring dynasties, their supposed reign lengths, and the locations of "official" kingship. What makes this artefact so unique is the fact that the list blends apparently mythical pre-dynastic rulers with historical rulers who are known to have existed.

The first fragment of this rare and unique text, a 4,000-year-old cuneiform tablet, was found in the early 1900s by German-American scholar Hermann Hilprecht at the site of ancient Nippur and published in 1906. Since Hilprecht’s discovery, at least 18 other exemplars of the king’s list have been found, most of them dating from the second half of the Isin dynasty (c. 2017-1794 BC.). No two of these documents are identical. However, there is enough common material in all versions of the list to make it clear that they are derived from a single, "ideal" account of Sumerian history.

Sumerian king listAmong all the examples of the Sumerian King List, the Weld-Blundell prism in the Ashmolean Museum cuneiform collection in Oxford represents the most extensive version as well as the most complete copy of the King List. The 8-inch-high prism contains four sides with two columns on each side. It is believed that it originally had a wooden spindle going through its centre so that it could be rotated and read on all four sides. It lists rulers from the antediluvian (“before the flood”) dynasties to the fourteenth ruler of the Isin dynasty (ca. 1763–1753 BC).

The list is of immense value because it reflects very old traditions while at the same time providing an important chronological framework relating to the different periods of kingship in Sumeria, and even demonstrates remarkable parallels to accounts in Genesis. Sumer (sometimes called Sumeria), is the site of the earliest known civilization, located in the southernmost part of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, in the area that later became Babylonia and is now southern Iraq from around Baghdad to the Persian Gulf.

By the 3rd millennium BC, Sumer was the site of at least twelve separate city states: Kish, Erech, Ur,Sippar, Akshak, Larak, Nippur, Adab, Umma, Lagash, Bad-tibira, and Larsa. Each of these states comprised a walled city and its surrounding villages and land, and each worshiped its own deity, whose temple was the central structure of the city. Political power originally belonged to the citizens, but, as rivalry between the various city-states increased, each adopted the institution of kingship.

The Sumerian King List, records that eight kings reigned before a great flood. After the Flood, various city-states and their dynasties of kings temporarily gained power over the others.

Sumerian King List

KingReign (Short Chronology)Reign (Long Chronology)Dynasty
AlulimAnte-Diluvian King
DumuzidAnte-Diluvian King
En-men-dur-anaAnte-Diluvian King
ZiusudraAnte-Diluvian King
Etana1st Dynasty of Kish
Enmebaragesi1st Dynasty of Kish
Enmerkar1st Dynasty of Uruk
Lugalbanda1st Dynasty of Uruk
Dumuzid1st Dynasty of Uruk
Gilgamesh1st Dynasty of Uruk
Meskalamdug1st Dynasty of Ur
Mesannepada1st Dynasty of Ur
Puabi1st Dynasty of Ur
Enshakushanna2nd Dynasty of Uruk
Ur-Nanshe1st Dynasty of Lagash
Eannatum1st Dynasty of Lagash
En-anna-tum I1st Dynasty of Lagash
Entemena1st Dynasty of Lagash
Urukagina1st Dynasty of Lagash
Lugal-Anne-MunduDynasty of Adab
Kubaba3rd Dynasty of Kish
Lugal-zage-si2294-2270 BC3rd Dynasty of Uruk
Sargon the GreatDynasty of Akkad
TashlultumDynasty of Akkad
EnheduannaDynasty of Akkad
RimushDynasty of Akkad
ManishtusuDynasty of Akkad
Naram-SinDynasty of Akkad
Shar-Kali-SharriDynasty of Akkad
DuduDynasty of Akkad
Shu-turulDynasty of Akkad
Puzer-Mama2233-2218 BC2nd Dynasty of Lagash
Gudea2144-2124 BC2nd Dynasty of Lagash
Utu-hegal2116–2110 BC5th Dynasty of Uruk
Ur-Nammu2047-2030 BC3rd Dynasty of Ur
Shulgi2029-1982 BC3rd Dynasty of Ur
Amar-Sin1981–1973 BC3rd Dynasty of Ur
Shu-Sin1972-1964 BC3rd Dynasty of Ur
Ibbi-Sin1963-1940 BC3rd Dynasty of Ur
Sabalico Logo
Sabali Mail Logo
Domain Search Logo
Test Speed Logo
Website On Logo
Code Editor Logo
ASCII Table Logo
HTML Symbols Logo
Emoji Symbols Logo
Encode File Logo
Generator Password Logo
QR Code Generator Logo
Barcode Generator Logo
Online Sign Logo
Dictionary Online Logo
Counter Word Logo
Text Convert Logo
Lorem Ipsum Generator Logo
Sprite Sheet Logo
Resize Image Logo
Image Compress Logo
Image Color Logo
Image Crop Logo
Combine Images Logo
Color Picker Logo
Color Convert Logo
CSS Gradient Logo
To-Do List Logo
Calendar Free Logo
Generator Meme Logo
Word Spinner Logo
Phone Country Logo
Sabalytics Logo
Senty Logo
World Map Logo
SEO Guide Logo
Keyword Tool Logo
What is my IP Logo
My Device Logo
My Browser Logo
My Location Logo
Time Zone Logo
Day Map Logo
My Weather Logo
My Galaxy Logo
The Moon Logo
Periodic Table Logo
rStatistics Logo
Unit Convert Logo
Data Convert Logo
Coordinate Converter Logo
Temperature Convert Logo
2020 Election Logo
Currency Convert Logo
Free Calculator Logo
Finance Calculator Logo
Loan Calculator Logo
Calculator Mortgage Logo
Stock Calculator Logo
Bond Calculator Logo
Tax Calculator Logo
Tip Calculator Logo
Gas Mileage Logo
History of Humanity - History Archive Logo
History of Humanity - History Mysteries Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Egypt History Logo
History of Humanity - Persian Empire Logo
History of Humanity - Greek History Logo
History of Humanity - Alexander the Great Logo
History of Humanity - Roman History Logo
History of Humanity - Punic Wars Logo
History of Humanity - Golden Age of Piracy Logo
History of Humanity - Revolutionary War Logo
History of Humanity - Mafia History Logo