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Middle East Kingdoms

Ancient Syria


MapTuttul (State of Amnanum)

Tuttul was a religious centre which was strategically located at modern Tell Bi'a/Tell Bian (near Raqqa), where it could control the junction of the River Balikh in Syria with the Euphrates. Now it is a mound of some 35-40 hectares in size, but when the city first appeared in the second half of the third millennium BC, it was one of a wave of such new cities. Amorite power at this period usually meant that a king was associated with both a city, such as Tuttul, and a 'land' which bore a tribal name like Amnanum, probably referring to his non-urban subjects. Like other urban centres of the period, Tuttul was provided with a fortified enclosure wall and a gate with a tower or bastion.

With the city's rise came a certain sense of religious unity, with rulers of various cities being attested as taking oaths in the temple of Dagan at Tuttul. As a result of the temple, and its apparently neutral status, this city may have had the same regional prestige as Nippur in Sumer, perhaps in relation to the city of Emar. Because of that, it may not necessarily have had many kings of its own, and what little information there is mentions just one king and two high priests who may have been the city chiefs.

c.2500 BC

Datable to this point in time are six above-ground mudbricks tombs within the city walls. Each has a uniform three-room plan which is reminiscent of the elite tombs of the Royal Cemetery of Ur, and all of them are clearly for high status burials, perhaps for local rulers and their families. Excavated above these graves, although apparently not associated with them, is a burned palace with its contents in situ. Pottery and dating place the palace to the twenty-fourth century BC, making it a contemporary of Ebla palace G.

c.1809 - 1776 BC

Having been dominated for the lifetime of Shamshi-Adad, following the break-up of the kingdom of Upper Mesopotamia, Tuttul is restored to independence.

fl c.1800 BC


King of the city of Tuttul & the land of Amnanum.

c.1800? BC

Yahdun-Lim of Mari sends troops to join those of Yamkhad to fight against several hostile northern Mesopotamia tribal states, including Abattum, Samanum, and Tuttul, defeating their armies and attacking their cities. He claims to destroy their ramparts and turn their cities into ruin mounds.

c.1770s BC

Bahdi-Lim, an official of the court of Zimri-Lim of Mari in the city of Tuttul, records the arrival of Dagan's entry into the city, accompanied by two persons, both of whom may be Yaminite chiefs in northern Mesopotamia. The city is at this time under the protection of Mari, but Bahdi-Lim's predecessor there, Lanasum, has already pointed out that the populace are uneasy about having Mari's representative there (ie. him) to the extent that it affects the running of the city's religious life. It seems relations are still closer with Emar than with Mari. Two religious leaders are mentioned for this period, one succeeding the other, and they may be the city leaders as well as its high priests. Yakbar-Lim is described as having 'acceded to the throne' - whether this is simply his enthronement as high priest is not known.


High priest of Dagan and possible city leader.


High priest of Dagan and possible city leader.

The accession of Yakbar-Lim seems to be a concession to the dynasty of Mari, called the 'dynasty of Lim'. If this is true then it does not correspond with an improvement in relations between the two cities.

c.1595 BC

In the political collapse which follows the Hittite destruction of Alep and the sacking of Babylon, the city declines, as do many others in the region. By the end of the century it is part of the Mitanni state which unifies much of the region.