The Lullubi (also Lulubi or Lullubeans) were a people consist of Zagrosian and Mesopotamian tribes who inhabited a region known as Lulubum during the second half of the third millennium BC. Their land is located Iraqi Kurdistan, specifically mountainous eastern areas and Sharizor plain. Frayne (1990) identified their city Lulubuna (or Luluban) with the modern Kurdish city of Halabja.[1]

Lullubi people are counted among the ancestors of Kurdish people.[2][3][4]

Like their Gutian kins, Lullubeans seem to have no scripted language (No findings discovered so far). Hence, the researches about these people depends on the writings by other peoples like Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Sumerians.

They became known through a rock relief in Sarpol-e Sahab in Kermanshah which shows the armed king Anubanini together with a goddess (possibly Inanna or Ishtaar), standing on conquered enemies. The frequent mention at this time underlines that they were quite a power factor in Mesopotamia, but they alone could not be decisive. The Lulubi made frequent raids on Mesopotamia, but are mentioned only few centuries in total, most of the mentions come from the Akkad / Ur-III period. In the myth of Erra (or Irra), they appear as enemies of the Babylonians and their wives are portrayed as a kind of witch, who was called as Maqlû in Babylonian. Fincke identifies them in Old Babylonian texts of Shemshara (Shusharra) as Lullu or Lullim.[5] In Middle Assyrian texts, the name Lullāyu appears.[6] In addition the name Lulume -along with Zamua- appears among the enemies of Adad-narari II. Lullubeans are also mentioned in the epic “Lugalbanda and the thunderbird” (Lugalbanda and the Anzu Bird), according to which Lugalbanda received the divine qualities of strength, speed and flying from the thunbird Anzu.


The border between Lullubum and Gutium is unclear. Horst Klengel assumes that the area of Lullubum was significantly expanded in their first millennium.[7] Through an inscription, Frayne identified their central settlement as Lulubuna / Luluban in Halabja city of Kurdistan.[1]

Anubanini Rock Relief

Anubanini was the king of Lulubis during the age of Naram-Sin.

Anubanini, King of Lulubis. The relief is located in the Eastern Kurdish province of Kermanshah.


Depiction of the rock relief in Sarpol-e Sahab,Kirmanshah drawn by French architect & traveller Pascal Coste in 1840.


Naram-Sin’s Stele

The Lulubi under their king Anubanini were defeated by Naram-Sin of Akkad. The 2m high Naram-Sin stele (now in the Louvre) depicts the king in a short apron, bare-chested, and crowned with horns as he faces the vanquished Lulubi in the highlands. He carries a bow and mace, in his right hand he holds an arrow. It is difficult to decide whether the enemy himself is laying himself down with a spear or being struck by the arrow of the Great King. It is difficult to decide whether the enemy is stripped to him with a spear or hit by the Great King’s arrow. The stele was originally placed in Sippar right on the east bank of Euphrates river, but was found in Susa where it had been taken by the victorious Elamites.

Naram Sin’s Stele in Louvre Museum, Paris


According to the nameyears, Szulgi (or Shulgi) the Sumerian king of Ur launched campaigns against the Lulubeans in 44th and 45th years of the reign[8]


1. Frayne (1992, p. 61)
2. The Origin of the Kurds by Hennerbichler, DOI:10.4236/aa.2012.22008
3. Izady, 1992
4. Thomas Bois, The Kurds, 159 pp., 1966. (see p.10)
5. Fincke, 1993, p. (190-193)
6. Nashef, 1982, p. 189
7. Klengel: Lullu(bum). 1987–1990, P. 166.

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