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Mesopotamia / Cities /


Ancient city of Sumer, southern Mesopotamia, between Nippur and Lagash, midway between Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Its location corresponds to modern Bismaya, southern Iraq.
Adab was early on one of the central cities of Sumer, but archaeological finds suggest it was somehow outmaneuvered by other cities, and became among the first of the early dynastic cities to be abandoned. Except names of kings, there is no historical information about Adab.
Ruins of ancient Adab are quite extensive, with mounds covering an area of 1.5 by 3 km. The city was divided by a canal, with a holy island, home to a ziggurat temple. Among the most notable finds from Adab was a complete marble statue.

4th millennium: Adab is settled, housing a royal court.
Around 2500: Adab appears to rise to the forefront of Sumerian cities, with King Lugalanemundu. Under his rule, Sumer is extended to cover the area from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea, bordering the Taurus mountains in the north, and the Zagros mountains in the east.
Late 3rd millennium: Adab is abandoned, for which the reasons are not known.

Modern times
1903: Excavations begin at Adab.

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By Tore Kjeilen