Cultures > First Mariote Kingdom
First Mariote Kingdom
Mari is not considered a small settlement that later grew, but rather a new city that was purposely founded during the Mesopotamian Early Dynastic period I c. 2900 BC, to control the waterways of the Euphrates trade routes that connect the Levant with the Sumerian south.  The city was built about 1 to 2 kilometers away from the Euphrates river to protect it from floods, and was connected to the river by a man built canal that was between 7 and 10 kilometers long depending on which old meander it used to be attached with, which is hard to identify today.
The city is difficult to excavate, as it is buried deep under the later layers of habitation. A defensive system against floods, composed of a circular embankment was unearthed, in addition to a circular 6.7 m thick internal rampart to protect the city from enemies. An area of 300 meters long filled with gardens and craftsmen quarters, separated the outer embankment from the inner rampart which had a height of 8 to 10 meters, and was strengthened by defensive towers. Other findings includes one of the city gates, a street beginning at the center and ending at the gate, in addition to residential houses. Mari had a central mound, however no temple or palaces have been unearthed, although a large building that seem to have been an administrative one was unearthed, this building had stone foundations and dimensions of (32 meters X 25 meters), with rooms up to 12 meters long and 6 meters wide. The city was abandoned at the end of the Early Dynastic period II c. 2550 BC for unknown reasons.