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In the texts of the end of the 3rd millennium, but also in those of Mari, of Tell Rimah and of Tell Leilan of the second millennium, as well as in the Neo-Assyrian tablets we find the following names: Marad, Marat, Maretum and Murattash. Do these different names mean the same city? Many cities ? And how much towns in the latter case?

The location of this city is important for understanding the history of Mesopotamia. Marad and Kazallu are powerful cities during the end of the third millennium BC, in the history of Isin, but also of Eshnunna.


1. Recent archaeological excavations on the Tell Wannat es Sadum (or Wanna-wa-Sadum) were carried out by a team from the University of Qādisiyyah under the direction of Naal Hannoon in 1990 and Abbas Al-Hussainy in 2005 and 2007.

On many websites it is said that this is the city of Marad, based on a dedication from the Ziggurat to Ninurta and Lugalmarada (also known as Lugal-Amarda). Nebuchadrezzar II mentions a temple of Lugal-Maradda in Maradda.


2. The route of Urbana shows a town "Marataa", located before Zanipa and Adu. ARM 5 61 and 62 refer to Sasaranu, governor of Apqum and Zanipa, not far from Karana and Nurrugum. Apqum is also on the Urbana route. Marata, Apqum and Zanipa are therefore located to the north of Assur.


3. In the texts of the Tell Rimah is organized a gathering of laborers in a city called Mar'atan. In L.87-473a+491 of Tell Leilan, which also evokes Kahat, Zurra, Kaspatum, is the spelling "Maretum"

In the archives of Mari, appears "Mara'âtâ" or "Mar'âtân". And tablet IV 29 is quite precise on the location of this city: "From the city (Ashur), I made stop at Mar'atan and from Mar'atan I reached Qattara. I had sent Iddin-Addu to Subat-Enlil 2 days before my departure from the city for detailed news. He came to Qattara to meet me and he told me .... "

But a doubt about the name appears from the comments of the translator, Jean-Marie Durand. On the subject of the toponym "Mara'dt", he says that the spelling is rather "Marhada".


4. Curiously, 1000 years later, Tiglath-pileser the first declares: «I crossed the Little Zab and conquered Murattash and Saradaush (current Sardasht?), cities in the Asaniu and Atuma mountains, a difficult territory to access because very mountainous.» In another later – a less precise text - which recapitulates the facts of several kings, there is a spelled city "Marriti" which seems to be a place of battle, above Akkad. This victory allowed Tiglath-pileser to take the cities of Durkurigalzu, Sippar of Shamash, Sippar of Anunit, Babylon and Upi. It is possible to understand there that this is the tell Wannat es Sadum.

While Sennacherib, after fleeing the king of Ellipi, captured Marubishti and Akkuddu, his royal cities, as well as Sissirtu and Kummahlum (Kumme). And therefore, here we must see a city to the north, but rather to the mountains of the Zagros.


In conclusion, it is certain that a first town named « Marata » existed north of Assur, not far from the Tigris, towards the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. A second city, but rather named Murattash or Marubishti, is located to the mountains of Zagros. Finally, a last city existed at the Tell Wannat es Sadum between the third and the first millennium BC, with the spelling "Marad".


Thoses names probably corresponds to an initial settlement of Amorrhéens or Amorites. See the study by Jean-Robert Kupper:


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

For French language, click here.

My notes of veracity :

Marata was a town north of Assur in the 2nd millennium BCE: 3/5

Murattash or Marubishti was a city in the mountains of Zagros in the 1st millennium BCE: 3/5

Marad was the tell Wannat es Sadum between the third and the first millennium BC : 3/5

Tag(s) : #Region: Mesopotamia, #Empire of Assyria, #Kingdom: Assyria, #Kingdom:Mari, #Kingdom: Akkad

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