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(Sumerian, Ubme), an ancient Sumerian city-state in southern Mesopotamia (the modern archaeological site of Jokha in Iraq).

During the third millennium B.C., Umma struggled with Lagash over border territories and canals until the 24th century, when Lagash was defeated by Lugal-zaggesi, the ruler of Umma. At the end of the 24th century, Umma and other Sumerian cities were conquered by Sargon I the Ancient and thus fell under Akkadian control. Umma was invaded by the Guti circa 2200. In the 21st century, under the Third Dynasty of Ur, the city became a provincial center of the kingdom of Sumer and Akkad. After the dynasty’s fall circa 2000 B.C., Umma ceased to be of importance.

At the beginning of the 20th century, cuneiform tablets were discovered at Jokha by local inhabitants. These tablets, which constitute palace and temple economic records from the 23rd to 21st centuries, enabled V. V. Struve to deduce that Sumer was a slaveholding society.


Struve, V. V. “Novye dannye ob organizatsii truda i sotsial’noi strukture obshchestva Sumera epokhi III dinastii Ura.” Sovetskoe vostokovedenie, 1949, no. 6.
Tiumenev, A. I. Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo drevnego Shumera. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.