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  • The Sealand Dynasties

  • The History and Mystery of the Southern Mesopotamian Kings Who Conquered Babylon
  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Colin Fluxman
  • Length: 1 hr and 27 mins

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The Sealand Dynasties

By: Charles River Editors
Narrated by: Colin Fluxman
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Publisher's Summary

Thanks to countless written sources and corroborating archaeological evidence, the chronology of the ancient Near East is fairly well-known by modern scholars, but as with most periods in history, there are exceptions.

In ancient Mesopotamia’s otherwise well-documented history, there were two dynasties that historians and archaeologists are only now beginning to understand: the Sealand I, or First Sealand Dynasty (c. 1742-1460 BCE), and the Sealand II, or Second Sealand Dynasty (c. 1025-1005 BCE). These dynasties are named after the way they are referred to in ancient texts, and they likely originated in the marshy region of southern Mesopotamia.

The texts mentioning these dynasties documented them as legitimate Babylonian dynasties for the most part, but few details are ever related about the dynasties or their rulers, even though both dynasties coincided with periods when there was a lack of central power in Mesopotamia and the Sealand dynasties were briefly able to assume control of the city of Babylon itself.

The ephermal nature of Sealand’s rule is not completely understood by experts, to the extent that all kinds of aspects of these dynasties remain open to debate. Ancient sources provide an outline of these dynasties, as well as some information concerning major events, but the nature of the Sealand government, how the people lived, and even where their cities were located (if any existed) all remain unclear. Due to problems with sources, scholars have largely avoided the Sealand dynasties and the topic of the Sealand in general in favor of better-documented periods in Mesopotamian history.

That being said, some recent archaeological discoveries have helped provide a base for future research that may solve some of these riddles. A number of cuneiform tablets published relatively recently point to continuity from the First Dynasty of Babylon to the First Sealand Dynasty and from the latter to the Kassits.

The image of the Sealand dynasties emerging is one of political but not necessarily cultural outsiders of the traditional Mesopotamian system, who, once in power, ruled much like the other Mesopotamian dynasties before and after them. The rulers of both Sealand dynasties were ambitious and clever men who took advantage of the general chaos enveloping Mesopotamia in the early second millennium BCE and then centuries later in the late second millennium BCE.

The sources also indicate that even after the Second Sealand Dynasty collapsed, the Sealand region and its elites continued playing a role in Mesopotamia’s larger geopolitical machinations. The Sealand may not have been the most important region in ancient Mesopotamia, but research indicates it was important nonetheless.

©2023 Charles River Editors (P)2023 Charles River Editors
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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