Tikunani (or Tigunānum) was a small Hurrian city-state in Mesopotamia around the middle of the second millennium BC. The name refers to both the kingdom and its capital city. Tigunānum is the older form of the name, appearing in texts excavated from Mari around the 18th century BC.
Tikunani is best known for a cuneiform document from the reign of Tunip-Teššup (a Hurrian-named king, contemporaneous with Hattusili I of the Hittites, around 1550 BC) containing a list of names of Habiru soldiers; see Tikunani Prism.
Cuneiform tables from Tikunani were illegally excavated in the late 1980s, possibly in the area around Diyarbakir or Bismil, but more likely from the region of the Upper Ḫabūr river. These texts are largely unpublished and in private collections; they were studied by M. Salvini and by W. G. Lambert in the late 1990s. Lambert's research was not published, however it has been dealt with in partial form via the work of A. R. George, appearing as an appendix of his 2013 Babylonian Divinatory Texts Chiefly in the Schøyen Collection.
Salvini assumes that Tikunani was a Hurrian-Akkadian state in northern Mesopotamia, which later merged into the Mittani Empire.
There is a tablet, in Akkadian, from a Hittite king named only by the title "tabarna" and written to a vassal king, Tuniya (possible the same as Tunip-Teššup), the ruler of Tikunani. In the letter the king extorts his vassal for support him in an attack against the city of Hahhu who have been dealing with the Mitanni. The tablet is thought to date to the reign of Hittite ruler Hattusili I though that is not certain.
The Hittites were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom, and next an empire centered on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia. This empire reached its height during the mid-14th century BC under Šuppiluliuma I, when it encompassed an area that included most of Anatolia as well as parts of the northern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia.
Babylonia was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia. A small Amorite-ruled state emerged in 1894 BC, which contained the minor administrative town of Babylon. It was a small provincial town during the Akkadian Empire but greatly expanded during the reign of Hammurabi in the first half of the 18th century BC and became a major capital city. During the reign of Hammurabi and afterwards, Babylonia was called "the country of Akkad", a deliberate archaism in reference to the previous glory of the Akkadian Empire. It was often involved in rivalry with the older state of Assyria to the north and Elam to the east in Ancient Iran. Babylonia briefly became the major power in the region after Hammurabi created a short-lived empire, succeeding the earlier Akkadian Empire, Third Dynasty of Ur, and Old Assyrian Empire. The Babylonian Empire rapidly fell apart after the death of Hammurabi and reverted to a small kingdom.
The Hurrians were a people of the Bronze Age Near East. They spoke a Hurrian language and lived in Anatolia, Syria and Northern Mesopotamia. The largest and most influential Hurrian nation was the kingdom of Mitanni, its ruling class perhaps being Indo-Iranian speakers. The population of the Hittite Empire in Anatolia included a large population of Hurrians, and there is significant Hurrian influence in Hittite mythology. By the Early Iron Age, the Hurrians had been assimilated with other peoples. The state of Urartu later covered some of the same area.
Mitanni, c. 1550–1260 BC, earlier called Ḫabigalbat in old Babylonian texts, c. 1600 BC; Hanigalbat or Hani-Rabbat in Assyrian records, or Naharin in Egyptian texts, was a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia. Since no histories or royal annals/chronicles have yet been found in its excavated sites, knowledge about Mitanni is sparse compared to the other powers in the area, and dependent on what its neighbours commented in their texts.
Yamhad was an ancient Semitic kingdom centered on Ḥalab (Aleppo), Syria. The kingdom emerged at the end of the 19th century BC, and was ruled by the Yamhadite dynasty kings, who counted on both military and diplomacy to expand their realm. From the beginning of its establishment, the kingdom withstood the aggressions of its neighbors Mari, Qatna and Assyria, and was turned into the most powerful Syrian kingdom of its era through the actions of its king Yarim-Lim I. By the middle of the 18th century BC, most of Syria minus the south came under the authority of Yamhad, either as a direct possession or through vassalage, and for nearly a century and a half, Yamhad dominated northern, northwestern and eastern Syria, and had influence over small kingdoms in Mesopotamia at the borders of Elam. The kingdom was eventually destroyed by the Hittites, then annexed by Mitanni in the 16th century BC.
Cuneiform is a logo-syllabic script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Middle East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is named for the characteristic wedge-shaped impressions which form its signs. Cuneiform was originally developed to write the Sumerian language of southern Mesopotamia. Cuneiform is the earliest known writing system.
The Tikunani Prism is a clay artifact with an Akkadian cuneiform inscription listing the names of 438 Habiru soldiers of King Tunip-Teššup of Tikunani. This king was a contemporary of King Hattusili I of the Hittites.
Assyriology is the archaeological, anthropological, and linguistic study of Assyria and the rest of ancient Mesopotamia and of the related cultures that used cuneiform writing. The field covers Sumer, the early Sumero-Akkadian city-states, the Akkadian Empire, Ebla, the Akkadian and Imperial Aramaic speaking states of Assyria, Babylonia and the Sealand Dynasty, the migrant foreign dynasties of southern Mesopotamia, including the Gutians, Amorites, Kassites, Arameans, Suteans and Chaldeans.
The Amarna letters are an archive, written on clay tablets, primarily consisting of diplomatic correspondence between the Egyptian administration and its representatives in Canaan and Amurru, or neighboring kingdom leaders, during the New Kingdom, spanning a period of no more than thirty years between c. 1360–1332 BC. The letters were found in Upper Egypt at el-Amarna, the modern name for the ancient Egyptian capital of Akhetaten, founded by pharaoh Akhenaten (1350s–1330s BC) during the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. The Amarna letters are unusual in Egyptological research, because they are written not in the language of ancient Egypt, but in cuneiform, the writing system of ancient Mesopotamia. Most are in a variety of Akkadian sometimes characterised as a mixed language, Canaanite-Akkadian; one especially long letter—abbreviated EA 24—was written in a late dialect of Hurrian, and is the longest contiguous text known to survive in that language.
A kudurru was a type of stone document used as a boundary stone and as a record of land grants to vassals by the Kassites and later dynasties in ancient Babylonia between the 16th and 7th centuries BC. The original kudurru would typically be stored in a temple while the person granted the land would be given a clay copy to use to confirm legal ownership. Kudurrus are often linked to what are usually called "ancient kudurrus", land grant stones from the third millenium which serve a similar purpose though the word kudurru did not emerge until the 2nd millenium.
Adad-nārārī I, rendered in all but two inscriptions ideographically as mdadad-ZAB+DAḪ, meaning “Adad (is) my helper,” was a king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian Empire. He is the earliest Assyrian king whose annals survive in any detail. Adad-nārārī I achieved major military victories that further strengthened Assyria. In his inscriptions from Assur he calls himself son of Arik-den-ili, the same filiations being recorded in the Nassouhi kinglist. He is recorded as a son of Enlil-nirari in the Khorsabad kinglist and the SDAS kinglist, probably in error.
Emar is an archaeological site in Aleppo Governorate, northern Syria. It sits in the great bend of the mid-Euphrates, now on the shoreline of the man-made Lake Assad near the town of Maskanah. It has been the source of many cuneiform tablets, making it rank with Ugarit, Mari and Ebla among the most important archaeological sites of Syria. In these texts, dating from the 14th century BC to the fall of Emar in 1187 BC, and in excavations in several campaigns since the 1970s, Emar emerges as an important Bronze Age trade center, occupying a liminal position between the power centers of Upper Mesopotamia and Anatolia-Syria. Unlike other cities, the tablets preserved at Emar, most of them in Akkadian and of the thirteenth century BC, are not royal or official, but record private transactions, judicial records, dealings in real estate, marriages, last wills, formal adoptions. In the house of a priest, a library contained literary and lexical texts in the Mesopotamian tradition, and ritual texts for local cults.
Nuhašše, also Nuhašša, was a region in northwestern Syria that flourished in the 2nd millennium BC. It was a federacy ruled by different kings who collaborated and probably had a high king. Nuhašše changed hands between different powers in the region such as Egypt, Mitanni and the Hittites. It rebelled against the latter which led Šuppiluliuma I to attack and annex the region.
The First Sealand dynasty, (URU.KÙKI) or the 2nd Dynasty of Babylon, very speculatively c. 1732–1460 BC, is an enigmatic series of kings attested to primarily in laconic references in the king lists A and B, and as contemporaries recorded on the Assyrian Synchronistic king list A.117. Initially it was named the "Dynasty of the Country of the Sea" with Sealand later becoming customary. The dynasty, which had broken free of the short lived, and by this time crumbling Old Babylonian Empire, was named for the province in the far south of Mesopotamia, a swampy region bereft of large settlements which gradually expanded southwards with the silting up of the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Sealand pottery has been found at Girsu, Uruk, and Lagash but in no site north of that. The later kings bore pseudo-Sumerian names and harked back to the glory days of the dynasty of Isin. The third king of the dynasty was even named for the ultimate king of the dynasty of Isin, Damiq-ilišu. Despite these cultural motifs, the population predominantly bore Akkadian names and wrote and spoke in the Akkadian language. There is circumstantial evidence that their rule extended at least briefly to Babylon itself. In later times, a Sealand province of the Neo-Babylonian Empire also existed.
Ulam-Buriaš, contemporarily inscribed as Ú-la-Bu-ra-ra-ia-aš or mÚ-lam-Bur-áš in a later chronicle and meaning “son of Buriaš”, was a Kassite king of Sealand, which he conquered during the second half of 16th century BC and may have also become king of Babylon, possibly preceding or succeeding his brother, Kaštiliašu III. His reign marks the point at which the Kassite kingdom extended to the whole of southern Mesopotamia.
Kadašman-Turgu, inscribed Ka-da-aš-ma-an Túr-gu and meaning he believes in Turgu, a Kassite deity, was the 24th king of the Kassite or 3rd dynasty of Babylon. He succeeded his father, Nazi-Maruttaš, continuing the tradition of proclaiming himself “king of the world” and went on to reign for eighteen years. He was a contemporary of the Hittite king Ḫattušili III, with whom he concluded a formal treaty of friendship and mutual assistance, and also Ramesses II with whom he consequently severed diplomatic relations.
Akkad was the name of a Mesopotamian city. Akkad was the capital of the Akkadian Empire, which was the dominant political force in Mesopotamia during a period of about 150 years in the last third of the 3rd millennium BC.
Urshu, Warsuwa or Urshum was a Hurrian-Amorite city-state in southern Turkey, probably located on the west bank of the Euphrates, and north of Carchemish.
Hassum was a Hurrian city-state, located in southern Turkey most probably on the Euphrates river north of Carchemish.
Amarna letter EA 59, titled: "From the Citizens of Tunip", is a short- to moderate-length clay tablet Amarna letter from the city-state of Tunip, written to the Pharaoh of Egypt. Only one other city sent a clay tablet Amarna letter to the Pharaoh, namely Irqata, letter EA 100, titled: "The City of Irqata to the King".