The City of Kuta

The ruins of the city of Babylon are near Hillah, Babil Governorate, Iraq. Above: the Tower of Babel.

Kuta (catfish . Gú.du 8 .a ki , akad . Kutu) – an ancient city in northern Babylonia, situated approx. 25 km north of Kish; usually identified with the position of Tall Ibrahim in Iraq. Kuta is also referred to as KuthaCuthah, or Cutha (Sumerian: Gudua, modern Tell Ibrahim)

Interestingly, the Kuta name is also listed in the Collins English Dictionary as Kuta (Guda) and the Polish variant of Kutowski is also connected to Gutowski. They are all quite similar.

The Babylonian Empire

The Babylonian Empire ushered in a new era in Mesopotamia after the downfall of the Akkadians. The reign of Hammurabi 1792-1750 BC the sixth King of Babylon is regarded as one of the highlights of ancient Mesopotamian civilization. Hammurabi was the first to develop a code of law, moving justice from the whips of the powerful, to a codified system of regulation applicable to all society. It’s most famous phrase is “an eye for an eye” representing the Babylonian sense of justice. The Hammurabi code has been credited as the foundation for many modern systems of justice with standard codification of written law. The city of Kuta/Kutha is recorded in the Prologue of the Hummurabi Code.

The ruins of the city of Babylon are near Hillah, Babil Governorate, Iraq. Above: the Tower of Babel.
The ruins of the city of Babylon are near Hillah, Babil Governorate, Iraq. Above: the Tower of Babel.

The City of Kuta / Kutha

Little is known about the beginnings of the city of Kuta. For the first time, its name appears in the inscription of Naram-Sin (circa 2254-2216 BC) on the statue from Baseta and in the inscription on the obelisk of Manisztus. During the reign of the Third Dynasty of Ur (circa 2113-2005 BC), Kuta was already the capital of one of the provinces, managed by the ensi, the royal governors. The names of five of them are known to us – they were Gudea, Lu-Szara, Namzitar, Piszah-Il and Ursagam. It is also known that under the rule of Amar-Suen (around 2047-2038 BC) Kute was to be managed by the royal governor (sum of šagin). In turn Szulgi (around 2096-2048 BC), another from the rulers of the Third Dynasty of Ur, was to erect in Mesa the temple of the god Meslamtaea – the caring god of this city.

In the Old Babylon period, the rulers of the First Dynasty of Babylon (1894-1595 BC) took control over Kuta. One of them, Sumu-la-El (1880-1845 BC), fortified this city. Kuta is also mentioned in the prologue of the Hammurabi Code.

After the fall of the I dynasty from Babylon, Kuta still appears in written sources, but they provide very little information about this city. More information about Kuta begins to appear in Assyrian and Babylonian texts from the first half of the first thousand. BC In the 9th and at the beginning of the 8th century BC many Assyrian kings visited Kuta, offering sacrifices to the deities in this city (eg Salmanasar III , Shamshi-Adad V , Adad-nirari III and Tiglat-Pileser III ). In 703 BC Babylonian king Marduk-aplaiddin II he made Kutta his base of operations, gathering the allied Babylonian, Chaldean, Aramaic, Elamite and Arab armies against the new Assyrian king Sennacherib. In response Sennacherib with his army entered Babylonia and defeated the coalition army, taking control of numerous Babylonian cities, including Kute. The time of Assyrian domination over Babylon in the 7th century BC marks the period of relative peace and stability in Kuta’s history. During this period, during the rule of Ashurbanipal (668-627 BC), the restoration work was carried out at the Nergal temple therein Kuta. In 651 BC, Kuta was among the cities captured by Szamasz-szumaukina rebel brother Ashurbanipal. Within two years, this rebellion was suppressed by Ashurbanipal, and Kuta was again in Assyrian hands.

At the end of the 7th century BC Kuta along with many other Babylonian cities, such as Dilbat and Borsippa , came under the control of the Babylonian king Nabopolassar, regaining his former son and successor Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC) former splendor as a cult center. Kuta was settled during the rule of the Achaemenids and Seleucids, as evidenced by the preserved written sources 

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