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Reignc. 2200  BCE
DynastyFourth Dynasty of Uruk
Location of Uruk, in the Near East, modern Iraq.

Ur-nigin, also Ur-nigina (𒌨𒆸, ur-niŋin)[1] or Ur-nigar (𒌨𒉌𒃻, ur-ni-gar) was a Governor (ensi) of Uruk who lived in 22nd century BCE, according to the Sumerian King List.[2]

According to the Sumerian King List, Ur-Nigin destroyed the Akkadian Empire, which had probably already be weakened by the Gutians, and established a short-lived Fifth Dynasty of Uruk.[2]

The Sumerian King List, describing the confusion of the decline of the Akkadian Empire after the death of Shar-kali-shari, mentions the rule of several kings, among them Ur-Nigin:[3]

"Who was king? Who was not king? Irgigi the king; Nanum, the king; Imi the king; Ilulu, the king—the four of them were kings but reigned only three years. Dudu reigned 21 years; Shu-Turul, the son of Dudu, reigned 15 years. ... Agade was defeated and its kingship carried off to Uruk. In Uruk, Ur-ningin reigned 7 years, Ur-gigir, son of Ur-ningin, reigned 6 years; Kuda reigned 6 years; Puzur-ili reigned 5 years, Ur-Utu reigned 6 years. Uruk was smitten with weapons and its kingship carried off by the Gutian hordes."

— Sumerian King List.[4]

Ur-Nigin is also mentioned in several votive inscriptions by his son Ur-gigir.[5] One of them reads:

Ur-gigir, governor-general of the god Dumuzi, son of Ur-nigar, the mighty man, king of Uruk, and Ama-lagar his mother, for the goddess Ninšešegara his lady, the Ešešegara temple, her beloved temple in Patibira he built for her.

— Inscription of Ur-gigir.[6]

The Fourth Dynasty of Uruk was finally destroyed by the Gutian Dynasty.[2][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sumerian Dictionary". oracc.iaas.upenn.edu.
  2. ^ a b c Leick, Gwendolyn (2009). Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. Scarecrow Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-8108-6324-8.
  3. ^ Kriwaczek, Paul (2014). Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization. Atlantic Books. p. 193. ISBN 978-1-78239-567-6.
  4. ^ Forsythe, Gary (2018). Primary Sources for Ancient History: Volume I: The Ancient Near East and Greece. Dorrance Publishing. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-4809-5425-0.
  5. ^ "CDLI-Found Texts". cdli.ucla.edu.
  6. ^ "CDLI-Archival View". cdli.ucla.edu.
  7. ^ "This threat was apparently met for a time by the establishment of a new kingdom in southern Babylonia, the fourth dynasty of Uruk; and around this standard flocked those who would oppose the Semitic throne of Akkad as well as those who desired to resist the growing power of Gutium. But the five kings who made up the fourth dynasty of Uruk (Ur-nigin, Ur-giger, Kudda, Puzur-ili, and Ur-Utu), proved unable to stay the invaders; and the land passed under the control of the Guti.” in Litke, Richard Lynn (1953). The Position of Uruk in Sumer and Akkad. University of California, Berkeley. p. 56.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Akkadian Empire
King of Uruk
ca. 22nd century BCE
Succeeded by