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046. Madain (ancient: Bad Tibira)**

Alternate name (modern): Tell Medinah

Dhi Qar Governorate. About 10 kilometers northeast of Larsa, on the Iturungal Canal, one of the two main courses of the Euphrates in antiquity.

Dates: Late Uruk III or Early Dynastic, 3000-2000 BC (?)

Bad-Tibira, an ancient Sumerian city, is first mentioned in the Sumerian king list (an ancient text in the Sumerian language listing kings of Sumer from Sumerian and foreign dynasties) as "exercising kingship" over one of the five cities that were the centers of dynasties that ruled before the Deluge ("Great Flood"); the other four cities being Eridu, Larak, Shuruppak and Sippar. Bad Tibira is listed as the "second city" following Eridu. The founder of Bad Tibira was the king-god Enmenluanna.

If the Sumerian king list is to be believed, the rulers of Bad Tibira — Enmenluanna, Enmengalanna and Dumuzid —and the other ancient dynasties enjoyed reigns of truly fantastic lengths; for this reason, the tradition may be partly mythic. Nevertheless, the existance and antiquity of four of the five cities has been established archaeologically. Bad Tibira has not been fully excavated; the site for Larak has not yet been identified.

In Sumerian hymns and mythology, Bad Tibira is associated with Dumuzi (Akkadian Tammuz), the god of shepherds and their flocks, and one of the three rulers of the antediluvian dynasty there. As the lover of Ishtar, he is also part of a tradition of dying (and reborn) gods. In Akkadian times, Tammuz was the name for the lunar month that approximately corresponds with July, and this is still the name for that month in the Jewish calendar.

Site Assessment: Recent looting - illicit holes seen






  31° 22' 47.9640"
  31.37999º N
  45° 59' 59.9639"   
  45.99999º E