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Authored by: Trevor Bryce , Heather D. Baker , Daniel T. Potts , Jonathan N. Tubb , Jennifer M. Webb , Paul Zimansky

The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia

Print publication date:  July  2009
Online publication date:  September  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415394857
eBook ISBN: 9780203875506
Adobe ISBN:


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Zabala(m) Early Bronze Age city in southern Mesopotamia, belonging to the Sumerian city-state of Umma. It was apparently destroyed during the reign of the Akkadian king Rimush (2278–2270), who reports that he fought a battle with Zabala and the nearby city of Adab, killing 15,718 of the enemy’s troops and taking 14,576 of them prisoner, including the cities’ governors; he then demolished the walls of both cities (*DaK 200–1, *RIME 2: 41–2). But Zabala (like Adab) was subsequently rebuilt. Temples dedicated to its tutelary deity, Ishtar, were built or rebuilt by a number of rulers, including Naram-Sin (2254–2218) (George, 1993: 115, no. 664), his successor Shar-kali-sharri (*RIME 2: 192) and, in the Old Babylonian period, Hammurabi (George, 1993: 160, no. 1245). The goddess Ishtar of Zabalam was also worshipped in other cities, i.e. in the temples built for her in Nineveh and Babylon by Naram-Sin (*DaK 86, *RIME 2: 138–40).


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