Zabala shown within Near East
Qar Province, Iraq
N 45°52'36 E
also Zabalam (zabalamki, modern Tell Ibzeikh, Dhi Qar Governorate, Iraq)
was a city of ancient Sumer in what is now the Dhi Qar governorate in
Iraq. Zabala was at the crossing of the ancient Iturungal and Ninagina
canals, not far from Umma. The city's deity was Inanna of Zabala.
The first mentions of Zabala are in seals from the Jemdet Nasr period
including a list of early sites - Ur, Nippur, Larsa, Uruk, Kes, and
Zabalam. The earliest historical record, a bowl inscription, indicates
that Zabala was under the control of Lugal Zagesi of Lagash.
the Sargonic Period, Rimush of Akkad reports Zabala as attempting to
rebel against the control of the Akkadian Empire:
king of the world, in battle over Adab and Zabalam was victorious, and
15,718 men he struck down, and 14,576 captives he took. Further, Meskigala,
governor of Adab, he captured, and Lugalgalzu, governor of Zabalam,
he captured. Their cities he conquered, and their walls he destroyed.
Further, from their two cities many men he expelled, and to annihilation
he consigned them"
Adab and Zabalam Inscription of Rimus.
Shar-kali-sharri and Naram-Sin both reported building a temple to the
goddess Inanna in Zabala.
the fall of Akkad, Zabala came into the sphere of the city-state of
Isin as reported by the year names of several rulers including Itar-pisa
and Ur-Ninurta. The town was later subject to Abisare of Larsa, who's
year name reported the building of the "Favorite of Inanna of Zabalam"
the Ur III period, Zabala was controlled by the Ur governor in Umma
which was the capital of Umma Province. Cuneiform texts state that Hammurabi
built Zabala's temple Ezi-Kalam-ma to the goddess Inanna. The temple
of Inanna in Zabalam is the subject of hymn 26 in the temple hymns of
figurine of Warad-Sin for Inanna, found at Zabalam
Beginning in the early 1900s, a great deal of illegal excavation occurred
in Zabala. An example of writing from the time of Hammurabi was removed
from Zabala during this period. This activity reached a new height in
the 1990s, at which time the Iraqi State Organization of Antiquities
and Heritage appears to have authorized an official excavation, the
first at the site. It is not clear that the results were ever published.
A further outbreak of archaeological looting at Zabala broke out after
the 2003 War in Iraq.