Introduction: Neo-Sumerian & Successor States

The 3rd Dynasty of Ur was founded by Ur-Nammu, after he defeated Utu-hegal of Uruk, who had previously expelled the Gutians from southern Mesopotamia. Under his successor, Shulgi, the lands of the previous Akkadian Empire were amalgamated into what became a Sumerian renaissance.

Neo Sumerian Artwork

A carving, showing Ur-Nammu enthroned in Ur. Terah approaches, to liaise with the royal court – tending to the plants.

However, this period ended under Ibbi-Sin with repeated attacks by Amorites and the Elamites, who sacked and destroyed the city of Ur, bringing the 3rd Dynasty of Ur to an end. The Sumerian State, after the fall of 3rd Dynasty of Ur, was fragmented into several city-states among which Isin was the strongest. The Amorites then started to settle in the area of southern Mesopotamia. Larsa, the first Amorite Dynasty, was founded and under Gungunum, the old capital of Ur was seized and became a rival to Isin.

Neo Sumeria Map

Eshnunna, was another rival state with added Elamite and Hurrian influence.

In the early part of this period at the end of the Early Bronze Age the Spearmen still had the front rank with large wicker body shield and the rear ranks without a shield. After the Amorite invasions at the end of the Early Bronze Age, the 3rd Dynasty of Ur and Amorite influenced states, such as Larsa and Eshnunna, began to equip their Spearmen with the Amorite Shield, though still retaining the long spear.The Infantry of the City-State of Isin may still have used the more traditional larger body shield of the Sumerian-Akkadian tradition.

The Kingdom of Sealand in the deep south of Mesopotamia and centred around Uruk was the last survivor of the Sumerian Successor States, until defeated by the Kassite Babylonians at the end of the beginning of the Late Bronze Age.

Neo Sumerian Building at Ziggurat

A surviving Neo Sumerian Ziggurat – a massive terraced step pyramid of successively receding levels.

Amorite levies and Highlanders would also have filled out the ranks of the Neo-Sumerian and Sumerian Successor State armies.

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