Chronology*

The Babylonian Collections of the University Museum

By: Leon Legrain

Originally Published in 1944

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THE succession of archaeological periods in Mesopotamia in the IVth and IIIrd millennia is fairly well established. However, absolute dates are still out of the question. King’s lists-not all complete-, astronomical observations, parallel dynasties, synchronism between the kings of Assyria, Babylonia and Egypt, have been combined in turn by the authors of conflicting systems. The present table follows a middle way, intended as a practical help to the reader.

Inlay of a lion biting a ram
The carving illustrated on page 1 is the shell lid of a silver toilet box of Queen Shubad. The relief, on a background of lapis, shows a lion felling a ram.
al-‘Ubaid Period before 3200 B.C.
Uruk Period before 3000 B.C.
Jemdet-Nasr Period 3000-2850 B.C.
Early Dynasties 2850-2750 B.C.
Ur Royal Cemetery c. 2750 B.C.
First Dynasty of Ur c. 2700 B.C.
Eannatum of Lagash c. 2650 B.C.
SargonofAgade c. 2550B.C.
The Guti domination and Gudea c. 2200 B.C.
The Third Dynasty of Ur 2130-2015 B.C.
The Kings of Isin and Larsa 2025-1863 B.C.
The First Dynasty of Babylon 1894-1595 B.C.
The Cassite Dynasty 1741-1164 B.C.
Ashurnasirpal of Assyria 884-860 B.C.
Sargon II of Assyria 722-705 B.C.
The destruction of Nineveh 612 B.C.
The Nee-Babylonian Kings (Nebuchadnezzar etc.) 612-539 B.C.
Cyrus conquers Babylon 539 B.C.
The Persian Achaemenides (Darius, Xerxes, etc.) 539-331 B.C.
Alexander, the Greek period 331-129 B.C.
The Parthian, Arsacid Persian rulers 129 B.C.-79 A.D.
The SassanianPersianrulers 79-632 A.D.
Muhammed and the Arab rulers 632-1258 A.D.
Copper bull’s head from a lyre in the Royal Cemetery at Ur
A drawn map of Mesopotamia
Map of the Near East showing Mesopotamia and surrounding countries

* On the short chronology of the 2d and 3d millennia now generally accepted see Sidney Smith, Alalakh and Chronology, 1940, and The Statue of Idri-mi, 1949 (London); W. F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity, 1946 (2d Edition, Baltimore).

Cite This Article

Legrain, Leon. "Chronology*." Museum Bulletin X, no. 3-4 (June, 1944): 5-5. Accessed July 15, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/bulletin/2535/


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