Ur-Nammu (or Ur-Namma, Ur-Engur, Ur-Gur, Sumerian: ๐’Œจ๐’€ญ๐’‡‰, ruled c. 2112 BC โ€“ 2094 BC middle chronology, or possibly c. 2048โ€“2030 BC short chronology) founded the Sumerian Third Dynasty of Ur, in southern Mesopotamia, following several centuries of Akkadian and Gutian rule. His main achievement was state-building, and Ur-Nammu is chiefly remembered today for his legal code, the Code of Ur-Nammu, the oldest known surviving example in the world. He held the titles of "King of Ur, and King of Sumer and Akkad".

King Ur-Nammu.jpg
Enthroned King Ur-Nammu, founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur, on a cylinder seal. Inscription of the upper segment: "Ur-Nammu, the Great man, King of Ur".[1] The name of King Ur-Nammu (๐’Œจ๐’€ญ๐’‡‰) appears vertically in the upper right corner.[2]
King of the Neo-Sumerian Empire
Reignc. 2112 ย BCย โ€“ 2094 ย BC

(Middle Chronology)

c.2048 ย BCย โ€“ 2030 ย BC

(Short Chronology)
ConsortDaughter of Utu-hengal
Dynasty3rd Dynasty of Ur
ReligionSumerian religion
Ur-Nammu built the great Ziggurat of Ur.
Ur-Nammu dedication tablet for the Temple of Inanna in Uruk.[3] Inscription "For his lady Inanna, Ur-Nammu the mighty man, King of Ur and King of Sumer and Akkad":

๐’€ญ๐’ˆน Dinanna.... "For Inanna-"
๐’Ž๐’‚๐’€ญ๐’ˆพ Nin-e-an-na.... "Ninanna,"
๐’Ž๐’€€๐’‰Œ NIN-a-ni.... "his Lady"
๐’Œจ๐’€ญ๐’‡‰ UR-NAMMU.... "Ur-Nammu"
๐’‘๐’†—๐’‚ต NITAH KALAG ga.... "the mighty man"
๐’ˆ—๐’‹€๐’€Š๐’† ๐’ˆ  LUGAL URIM KI ma.... "King of Ur"
๐’ˆ—๐’† ๐’‚—๐’„€๐’† ๐’Œต๐’†ค LUGAL ki en gi ki URI ke.... "King of Sumer and Akkad"


According to the Sumerian King List, Ur-Nammu reigned for 18 years.[4] Year-names are known for 17 of these years, but their order is uncertain. One year-name of his reign records the devastation of Gutium , while two years seem to commemorate his legal reforms ("Year in which Ur-Nammu the king put in order the ways (of the people in the country) from below to above", "Year Ur-Nammu made justice in the land").[5]

Among his military exploits were the conquest of Lagash and the defeat of his former masters at Uruk. He was eventually recognized as a significant regional ruler (of Ur, Eridu, and Uruk) at a coronation in Nippur, and is believed to have constructed buildings at Nippur, Larsa, Kish, Adab, and Umma. He was known for restoring the roads and general order after the Gutian period.[6] It is now known that the reign of Puzur-Inshushinak in Elam overlapped with that of Ur-Nammu.[7] Ur-Nammu, who styled himself "King of Sumer and Akkad" is probably the one who, in his reign, reconquered the territories of central and northern Mesopotamia that had been occupied by Puzur-Inshushinak, possibly at the expense of the Gutians, and conquered Susa.[8]

Ur-Nammu was also responsible for ordering the construction of a number of ziggurats, including the Great Ziggurat of Ur.[9]

He was killed in a battle against the Gutians after he had been abandoned by his army.[6] He was deified, and succeeded by his son Shulgi.[4] His death in battle was commemorated in a long Sumerian elegiac composition, "The Death of Ur-Nammu".[6][10][11]

Year names of Ur-NammuEdit

Several of the year names of Ur-Nammu are known, documenting the major events of his reign. The main year names are:

  • "Ur-Namma (is) King"
  • "Ur-Namma declared an amnesty (misharum) in the land"
  • "The wall of Ur was built"
  • "The king received kingship from Nippur"
  • "The temple of Nanna was built"
  • "The 'A-Nintu' canal was dug"
  • "The land of Guti was destroyed"
  • "The god Lugal-bagara was brought into his temple"[12]


See alsoEdit

  • Nammu: the god ur nammu is named after.


  1. ^ ๐’Œจ๐’€ญ๐’‡‰ URDNAMMU / ๐’‘๐’†—๐’‚ต NITAH KALAG ga / ๐’ˆ—๐’‹€๐’€Š๐’† ๐’ˆ  LUGAL URIM KI ma.
  2. ^ "Hash-hamer Cylinder seal of Ur-Nammu". British Museum.
  3. ^ Enderwitz, Susanne; Sauer, Rebecca (2015). Communication and Materiality: Written and Unwritten Communication in Pre-Modern Societies. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. p.ย 28. ISBNย 978-3-11-041300-7.
  4. ^ a b Thorkild Jacobsen, The Sumerian King List (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939),pp.ย 122f
  5. ^ Year-names for Ur-Nammu
  6. ^ a b c Hamblin, William J., Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC (New York: Routledge, 2006).
  7. ^ Wilcke; See Encyclopedia Iranica articles AWAN, ELAM
  8. ^ Steinkeller, Piotr. Puzur-Inห‡suห‡sinak at Susa: A Pivotal Episode of Early Elamite History Reconsidered. pp.ย 298โ€“299.
  9. ^ "The ziggurat (and temple?) of Ur-Nammu". Archived from the original on 2007-07-08. Retrieved 2007-07-08.
  10. ^ Shipp, R. Mark (2002). Of Dead Kings and Dirges: Myth and Meaning in Isaiah 14:4b-21. BRILL. pp.ย 61โ€“63. ISBNย 978-90-04-12715-9.
  11. ^ Kramer, Samuel Noah (1967). "The Death of Ur-Nammu and His Descent to the Netherworld". Journal of Cuneiform Studies. 21: 104โ€“122. doi:10.2307/1359365. ISSNย 0022-0256. JSTORย 1359365.
  12. ^ "Year names of Ur-Nammu". CDLI:wiki. Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative, Cambridge University. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  13. ^ "Hash-hamer Cylinder seal of Ur-Nammu". British Museum.

External linksEdit

Regnal titles
Precededย by
(Fifth dynasty of Uruk)
King of Ur, Sumer and Akkad
ca. 21st century BCE
Succeededย by