The Old Babylonian period describes south
in the period about 2000-1600 BC. The early
a number of important states dominating the
Isin, Larsa, Eshnunna and, from 1894 BC,
Babylon was ruled by a dynasty of Amorite kings.
sixth ruler was Hammurapi, who defeated the
southern states and expanded his control into
Mesopotamia. On the death of Hammurapi the
gradually shrank over about 150 years.
Babylon remained an important power until it
sacked by the Hittite king, Mursili I, in about
During the Old Babylonian period literary activity
flourished with scribes composing and recording
religious, poetic and 'scientific' works in
Akkadian cuneiform. Perhaps the most famous
monument is the stele of Hammurapi, now in the
du Louvre, Paris.