Kish (Sumer)

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Coordinates: 32°33′N 44°39′E / 32.55°N 44.65°E / 32.55; 44.65

Kish (Sumerian: Kiš; traration: Kiŝki; cuneiform: 𒆧𒆠[1]; Akkadian: kiššatu[2]) is modern Tell al-Uhaymir, Babil Governorate, Iraq), and was an ancient city of Sumer. Kish is located some 12 km east of Babylon, and 80 km south of Baghdad (Iraq).

Contents

History

Kish was occupied beginning in the Jemdet Nasr period, gaining prominence as one of the pre-eminent powers in the region during the early dynastic period.

The Sumerian king list states that it was the first city to have kings following the deluge, beginning with Jushur. Jushur's successor is called Kullassina-bel, but this is actually a sentence in Akkadian meaning "All of them were lord". Thus, some scholars have suggested that this may have been intended to signify the absence of a central authority in Kish for a time. The names of the next nine kings of Kish preceding Etana are all Akkadian words for animals, eg. Zuqaqip "scorpion". The Semitic nature of these and other early names associated with Kish reveals that its population had a strong Semitic component from the dawn of recorded history.[3].

The 12th king of Kish appearing on the list, Etana, is noted as "the shepherd, who ascended to heaven and consolidated all the foreign countries". Although his reign has yet to be archaeologically attested, his name is found in later legendary tablets, and Etana is sometimes regarded as the first king and founder of Kish himself. The 21st king of Kish on the list, Enmebaragesi, said to have captured the weapons of Elam, is the first name confirmed by archaeological finds from his reign. He is also known through other literary references, where he and his son Aga of Kish are portrayed as contemporary rivals of Dumuzid, the Fisherman and Gilgamesh, early rulers of Uruk.

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