- (modern TELL SENKEREH)A city in southern Mesopotamia, some 20 kilometers southeast of Uruk. It was first excavated by William K. Loftus in 1854 and then by the French, under Andre Parrot in 1933 and 1967 and in the 1960s by Jean Margueron and by Jean-Louis Huot (1976–1991). The site had a long history of occupation, from the Ubaidperiodin the fifth millennium B.C. to the Parthian period (to A.D. 224).The earliest architectural remains belong to a palace built by NurAdad, who reigned c. 1865–1850 B.C. The city remained independent after the disintegration of the Third Dynasty of Ur and vied with Isin for supremacy. The king lists record the names of the kings of Larsa, from Naplanum (reigned 2025–2005) until Rim-Sin (reigned 1822–1763), who was defeated by Hammurabi of Babylon. It was Gungunum (reigned 1932–1906) who had put an end to the supremacy of Isin, campaigned against Elam, conquered Ur, and took on the ancient title “king of Sumer and Akkad.” This marks the apogee of Larsa’s power.Gungunum’s successors, Abisare and Sumuel, also built canals to extend and improve agricultural exploitation. Long-distance trade flourished. The reign of the last king, the Amorite Rim-Sin, lasted for 60 years. He put in place an administrative network that was to benefit his rival Hammurabi.Larsa was an important religious center, and its main temple, the Ebabbar (“Shining House”), belonged to the sun god Shamash. It stood in the middle of the city and was already in existence during the Early Dynastic periodIII. The temple was then substantially rebuilt by Ur-Nammuaround 2100 B.C. and continued to function well into the Neo-Babylonian period. The temple also had a ziggurat, and the main priestess of the Sun (Akkadian entu) had her own residence, the Giparu, within the sacred precinct. Other temples were dedicated to Ishtar and Gula.
Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. EdwART. 2012.