"Each part of the world recapitulates, shares in and experiences the history of the world as a whole"
Fernand Braudel

Lapis lazuli bead

3rd millennium BC
1.9 cm x 11.8 cm

The dawn of civilization, the Early Bronze Age 2800-2350 BC, saw the rise and distribution of many kingdoms throughout Mesopotamia and Bilad al-Sham. These first dynasties manifested as important city-states, such as Kish, Uruk, Ur, Lagesh and Mari. The authority of their kings was considered divine, granted from the mysterious powers of the sky. The city-states were important centers of civilization, and they were also always in conflict with each other, as every kingdom trying to expand its control on account of the other.

However there are also ancient documentations that reveal good relations between the kingdoms. This inscribed lapis lazuli bead is one such form of documentation and it was found in the Ur treasure. The stone is a lapis lazuli octahedral bead inscribed with Sumerian cuneiform script which reads: "A dedication from the god Kal Mesannipadda, King of Ur to Kansu the King of Mera." Here, Mera means Mari.

This text indicates the recognition and power achieved by the kingdom of Mari in the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. It also shows close relations between Mesannipadda the King and founder of the First Dynasty in Ur, and Kansu (Ansud), the King of Mari and the establisher of the Dynasty of Mari before the age of Sargon.

see also