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Akkad (; or Agade,
cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is nam ...

cuneiform
, ''A-ga-deki''3 in
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...

Akkadian
, also URI KI in
Sumerian
Sumerian
during the
Ur III The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century BC (middle chronology The middle chronology is one chronology of the Near Eastern Bronze and Early Iron Age, which fixes the reign of Hammurabi to 179 ...

Ur III
period) was the name of a Mesopotamian city and its surrounding area. Akkad was the capital of the
Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of ...
, which was the dominant political force in
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
during a period of about 150 years in the last third of the 3rd millennium BC. Its location is unknown, although there are a number of candidate sites, mostly situated east of the
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at ...

Tigris
, roughly between the modern cities of
Samarra Samarra ( ar, سَامَرَّاء, ') is a city in Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق '), is a c ...

Samarra
and
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of and one of the in the , and compared to its large population it has a small area at just 673 square kilometers (260 sq mi). Located along the , near the ruins of the city of and the anc ...

Baghdad
."Akkade may thus be one of the many large tells on the confluence of the Adheim River with the Tigris" (Sallaberger, and Westenholz 1999
p. 32


Textual sources

Before the decipherment of
cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is nam ...

cuneiform
in the 19th century, the city was known only from a single reference in where it is written ('' 'Akkad''), rendered in the
KJV The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an English translation English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may also refer to: Peoples, culture, and lang ...
as ''Accad''. The name appears in a list of the cities of
Nimrod Nimrod (; ; arc, ܢܡܪܘܕ; ar, نُمْرُود, Numrūd) is a Hebrew Bible, biblical figure mentioned in the Book of Genesis and Books of Chronicles. The son of Cush (Bible), Cush and therefore a great-grandson of Noah, Nimrod was describe ...

Nimrod
in Sumer (
Shinar Shinar (; , ) is the southern region of in the . Etymology Hebrew שנער ''Šinʿar'' is equivalent to the Egyptian ''Sngr'' and Hittite ''Šanḫar(a)'', all referring to southern Mesopotamia. Some Assyriologists considered ''Šinʿar'' a ...
). Sallaberger and Westenholz (1999) cite 160 known mentions of the city in the extant cuneiform corpus, in sources ranging in date from the Old Akkadian period itself down to the
Neo-Babylonian period
Neo-Babylonian period
. The name is spelled logographically as URIKI, or phonetically as ''a-ga-dè''KI, variously transcribed into English as ''Akkad'', ''Akkade'' or ''Agade''. The
etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identi ...
of the name is unclear, but it is not of
Akkadian (Semitic)
Akkadian (Semitic)
origin. Various suggestions have proposed
Sumerian
Sumerian
,
Hurrian The Hurrians (; Cuneiform script, cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age Ancient Near East, Near East. They spoke a Hurro-Urartian language cal ...
or
Lullubi Lullubi, Lulubi ( akk, 𒇻𒇻𒉈: ''Lu-lu-bi'', akk, 𒇻𒇻𒉈𒆠: ''Lu-lu-biki'' "Country of the Lullubi"), more commonly known as Lullu, were a group of tribes during the 3rd millennium BC, from a region known as ''Lulubum'', now the Shar ...

Lullubi
an etymologies. The non-Akkadian origin of the city's name suggests that the site may have already been occupied in pre-Sargonic times, as also suggested by the mention of the city in one pre-Sargonic year-name. The inscription on the
Bassetki Statue The Bassetki Statue is a monument from the AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cam ...

Bassetki Statue
records that the inhabitants of Akkad built a temple for Naram-Sin after he had crushed a revolt against his rule. The main goddess of Akkad was
Ishtar-Astarte
Ishtar-Astarte
(
Inanna Inanna is an List of Mesopotamian deities, ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power. She was originally worshiped in Sumer under the name "Inanna", and was later worshipped by the Akkadia ...
), who was called ''‘Aštar-annunîtum'' or "Warlike Ishtar". Her husband Ilaba was also revered in Akkad. Ishtar and Ilaba were later worshipped at
Sippar Sippar (: , Zimbir) was an ian and later n city on the east bank of the river. Its ' is located at the site of modern Tell Abu Habbah near in 's , some north of and southwest of . The city's ancient name, Sippar, could also refer to its sis ...
in the
Old Babylonian period Old or OLD may refer to: Places *Old, Baranya Old () is a village in Baranya (county), Baranya county, Hungary. Populated places in Baranya County {{Baranya-geo-stub ..., Hungary *Old, Northamptonshire Old (previously Wold and befor ...
, possibly because Akkad itself had been destroyed by that time. The city was certainly in ruins by the mid-first millennium BC.


Location

Many older proposals put Akkad on the
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). Or ...
, but more recent discussions conclude that a location on the
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at ...

Tigris
is more likely. The identification of Akkad with ''Sippar ša Annunîtum'' (modern Tell ed-Der), along a canal opposite ''Sippar ša Šamaš'' (Sippar, modern Tell Abu Habba) was rejected by Unger (1928) based on a Neo-Babylonian text (6th century BC) that lists ''Sippar ša Annunîtum'' and Akkad as separate places.
Harvey WeissHarvey Weiss is an archaeologist who teaches at Yale University. Biography Weiss received his B.A. from The City College, CUNY in 1966, and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976. Weiss has directed the Yale University Tell Le ...
(1975) proposed Ishan Mizyad, a large site northwest from Kish. Excavations have shown that the remains at Ishan Mizyad date to the
Ur III period The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century BC (middle chronology The middle chronology is one chronology of the Near Eastern Bronze and Early Iron Age, which fixes the reign of Hammurabi to 179 ...
and not to the Akkadian period. Discussion since the 1990s has focused on sites along or east of the Tigris. Wall-Romana (1990) suggested a location near the confluence of the
Diyala River The Diyala River, is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reach ...

Diyala River
with the Tigris, and more specifically Tell Muhammad in the south-eastern suburbs of
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of and one of the in the , and compared to its large population it has a small area at just 673 square kilometers (260 sq mi). Located along the , near the ruins of the city of and the anc ...

Baghdad
as the likeliest candidate for Akkad, although admitting that no remains datable to the Akkadian period had been found at the site. Sallaberger and Westenholz (1999) suggested a location close to the confluence of the ʿAdhaim river east of
Samarra Samarra ( ar, سَامَرَّاء, ') is a city in Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق '), is a c ...

Samarra
(at or near Dhuluiya). Similarly, Reade (2002) suggested a site in this vicinity, by Qādisiyyah, based on a fragment of an Old Akkadian statue (now in the
British Museum The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of Lond ...

British Museum
) found there. This had been suggested much earlier by Lane. Based on an
Old Babylonian period Old or OLD may refer to: Places *Old, Baranya Old () is a village in Baranya (county), Baranya county, Hungary. Populated places in Baranya County {{Baranya-geo-stub ..., Hungary *Old, Northamptonshire Old (previously Wold and befor ...
itinerary from
Mari Mari may refer to: Places *Mari, Paraíba, Brazil, a city *Mari, Cyprus, a village *Mari, Greece, a village, site of ancient town of Marius (Laconia), Marius *Mari, Iran (disambiguation), places in Iran *Mari, Punjab, a village and a union counci ...
, Akkad would be on the Tigris just downstream of the current city of
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of and one of the in the , and compared to its large population it has a small area at just 673 square kilometers (260 sq mi). Located along the , near the ruins of the city of and the anc ...

Baghdad
. Mari documents also indicate that Akkad is sited at a river crossing.
Andrew George, "Babylonian and Assyrian: a history of Akkadian", In: Postgate, J. N. (ed.), Languages of Iraq, Ancient and Modern, London: British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 2007, p. 35


See also

*
Cities of the Ancient Near East The earliest cities in history were in the ancient Near East, an area covering roughly that of the modern Middle East: its history began in the 4th millennium BC and ended, depending on the interpretation of the term, either with the conquest by ...
*
History of Mesopotamia The history of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن '; grc, Μεσοποταμία; Syriac language, Classical Syriac: ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ Ārām''-Nahrīn'' or ܒܝܬ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ ''Bēṯ Nahrīn'') is a ...


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * * {{Authority control Akkadian cities Akkadian Empire Lost ancient cities and towns Archaeological sites in Iraq Former populated places in Iraq Levant Nimrod