Tribal pastoralists who inhabited the mountainous regions of the Zagros and the upper valleys of the Diyala River. This northeastern region was known as Gutium throughout Mesopotamian history. The Guti (or Gutians) were always described in negative terms in the cuneiform sources, mainly as the “hordes of Gutium,” “numberless like locusts,” invaders, and raiders of citiesand countryside. They first appear around 2200 B.C. in the royal inscriptions of Shar-kali-sharri, who reports to have captured their “king.” On the other hand, Guti mercenaries also served in the Akkadian armies.
   According to the Sumerian King List, it was the Guti who brought the Akkadian Dynasty to an end, and they are said to have furnished 21 kings. The sacking of the capital is also blamed on them in the literary composition “The Curse of Akkade.” Just how much territory the Guti controlled is uncertain. There is no evidence of destruction in other citiesor of a cultural break. It is most likely that the Guti rulers commanded not much more than the area around the Diyala River.
   Around 2120, they were defeated by Utuhegal, a king of Uruk who reports that he slew the “Gutium, the dragon of the mountains, enemy of the gods, who had carried off the kingship of Sumer to the mountains.” The Guti remained the archetypical enemy of Sumerian civilization, at least in literature, as, for example, in the “Lamentation over the Destruction of Ur.”

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

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