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The tell Shemshara, or Shemsharah, was excavated by a team of Danish archaeologists in 1957, and between 1958 and 1959 by an Iraqi team led by Abd Al Qadir. It was a rescue mission before the Lake Dukan has flood the site.

It is situated along the small Zab, to the current border of Iraq and Iran, in the Rania plain of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Archaeologists found 16 levels of occupation, dating from the 6th millennium until the 14th century BC. In a palace, destroyed by fire, were exhumed 146 tablets written in Akkadian. They show that the city was then called Shusharra or Susarra, in the country of Utum. The local king called Kuwari, chose to follow Samsi-Addu of Ekallatum when he takes control of Idamaras. Many letters are direct exchanges for one to two years, between Samsi-Addu and Kuwari about military operations on cities of the region. The checking of informations of the local tablets with the archives of Mari, and also with steles, allowed to have a good view of the different stages of the conquest of the Mariote army, together with the army of Dadusha of Eshnunna, who successively reached Qabra, Nineth (Nineveh), Kunsum and Susarra. Then a part of the army led by Samsi-Addu reached Nurrugum, while another part of the army, led by Isme-Dagan went to fight in the country of Ahazum (I 69 of Mari) to its capital Siksabbum. Then, probably with the army Eshnunna - because on a stele found to Tell Asmar,the King Dadusha Eshnunna proclaimed the same victories - Isme-Dagan took control over the cities of Tutarum, Hadkum, Kerhum and Hurrara.

These letters make possible to date precisely the destruction of the palace of the Tell Shemsharah by fire of the year 30 of the reign of Samsi-Adu. It is the letter IV 25 from Mari that describes disorders and states « It is impossible to administer the country of Susarra ». The inhabitants were displaced in the countries of Arrapha and of Qabra.

It is appropriate to ask what interest had this strategist of invading this mountainous border region? Some historians believe that this destruction is the end of the ambitions of Samsi-Adu at those places. It is possible to interpret the desertification of the area as a desire to secure a path frequently used.

The Turukkéens and the Gutis are often mentioned in those tablets. They are neighbouring people. The tell Shemshara is distinguished by the presence of "towers" similar to what still exists today in some countries of the Caucasus.

A tablet of the Ur III shows that this city was also called Sasrum or Sassurum.


For an explanation on the colors of text, click here.

For French language, click here.

My notes of veracity :

3800 years ago, the tell Shemshara was the city of Šušarra: 5/5

4000 years ago, the tell Shemsharah was the city of Sasrum, or Sassurum: 4/5

Tag(s) : #Region: Persian Gulf, #Region: Mesopotamia, #Kingdom:Mari, #Kingdom: Assyria, #Kingdom:Idamaras, #Kingdom: Hayasa-Azzi

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