3rd Dynasty of Ur
Other spelling: Third Dynasty of Ur
Also called: Neo-Sumerian Empire; Ur III Empire
At its largest, Ur controlled the cities of Uruk, Isin, Eridu, Larsa, Nippur, Adab, Umma, Kish and Eshnunna.
This dynasty grew from the general weakness of Mesopotamia at the time. The barbaric Gutians had neglected good administration and ruined the lands they controlled, whereas the regions of Ur and Uruk had largely been left alone. Ur's strength was not stronger than that the first 20 or so years, the Gutians remained a threat.
The Ur kings saw to the building of new and advanced irrigation systems, the economy was strongly centralized and controlled, securing better organization of the agriculture, and great production of textiles, using wool and linen. Trade was also controlled. The state took upon itself welfare for the needy, providing them food rations.
The Code of Ur-Nammu is one of the earliest law codes known, predating the Code of Hammurabi. The law defines justice to be the responsibility of the king, and it explicitly includes the weak and unfortunate. It defines how disputes are to be handled by officials, how the decisions could be appealed.
In literature, Akkadian language had great influence on Ur, and while Sumerian language was that used by the elite and in administration, Akkadian was the language of popular use.
The fabulous ziggurat of Ur, the finest remaining religious structure of Mesopotamia, was begun by Ur-Nammu and completed by his son, Shulgi. Amar-Sin launched building projects to complete the unfinished ziggurat at Eridu, but did not complete, as Eridu was becoming depopulated with the silting of the Persian Gulf.
The earliest Ur kings claimed to be of the same family as the kings of Uruk.
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