Early Dynastic Period (Mesopotamia)
The Early Dynastic period (abbreviated ED period or ED) is an archaeological culture in southern Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) that is generally dated to 2900–2350 BC. It was preceded by the Jemdet Nasr period and followed by the Akkadian period. The ED period is divided into three sub-phases termed Early Dynastic (ED) I–III, with the ED III period being further subdivided into ED IIIa and ED IIIb. The period was coined in the 1930s by archaeologist Henri Frankfort during excavations in the Diyala region in Iraq. Subsequent research has led to various proposals to modify the dates, sub-divisions, and characteristics of the Early Dynastic.No inscriptions have yet been found verifying any names of kings that can be associated with the Early Dynastic I period. The ED I period is distinguished from the ED II period by the narrow cylinder seals of the ED I period and the broader wider ED II seals engraved with banquet scenes or animal-contest scenes. The Early Dynastic II period is when Gilgamesh, the famous king of Uruk, is believed to have reigned. Texts from the ED II period are not yet understood. Later inscriptions have been found bearing some Early Dynastic II names from the King List. The Early Dynastic IIIa period, also known as the Fara period, is when syllabic writing began. Accounting records and an undeciphered logographic script existed before the Fara Period, but the full flow of human speech was first recorded around 2600 BC at the beginning of the Fara Period. The Early Dynastic IIIb period is also known as the Pre-Sargonic period.Hegemony, which came to be conferred by the Nippur priesthood, alternated among a number of competing dynasties, hailing from Sumerian city-states traditionally including Kish, Uruk, Ur, Adab and Akshak, as well as some from outside of southern Mesopotamia, such as Awan, Hamazi, and Mari, until the Akkadians, under Sargon of Akkad, overtook the area.