Mazamua or Zamua (Akkadian: Mazamu / Lullumu, Babylonian: Mazamua / Zamua) was an Iron Age region with several small kingdoms. It was located between Madia, Namri and Hubushkia. The region extended from Zagros to ancient Assyrian soils and from Lake Urmia to Diyala river in the south. Its center was in the valley of Sulaymaniyah in Southern Kurdistan. People of Soran region still call this are as Zamua/Zamwa.

Frankly, Zamua covered nearly the same territory of Lullubum.

Inner Zamua

Inner Zamua refers to the northern and eastern parts of Zamua (presumably towards the lake Urmia)[1]. The most imperative kingdom in Inner Zamua was Ida, with Nikdera who was one of its most prominant potentates.

Assyrian texts shows us that Shalmanese III the Assyrian conquerer of Mazamua mentioned “the sea of Zamua interior”. There is a dispute over the identification of this sea. It’s either Lake Urmia or Lake Zaribar in Kordestan Province of Iran.[2]

Historical Process

The researches on this land and its people are highly dependent on the writings by their neighbors, mostly Akkadians and Assyrians who were foes. Because either the Zamuans didn’t have a scripted language or their marks were erased.

Ashur-nasir-pal II. called the land Lullumu, made it tributary in 881 BC after the kings of Mazamua formed an alliance with Nur-Adad of the Chiefdom of Dagara. The pass of Bazian between Kirkuk and Suleymaniyah was made impassable with a wall. Nevertheless, the region was subdued by the end of the year. In 880 BC, Assyrians restarted the military campaign, as the kings Ameka and Arashtua (or Urashtu) refused to pay tribute.

The defenders suffered a huge defeat. The fortress of Mamli (Ammali), in which Arashtua fled, was captured and destructed. Not only Arashtua’s city-state, but also neighboring ones up to the Hashmar pass in Hawraman region were occupied, even if they had nothing to do with the war. As a result, Assyrians persecuted the peoples of fallen city-states. They executed Zamuan chiefs, killed the locals in masses and enslaved many of them. Enslaved Zamuans who were compelled to build constructions in Calah, Assyria and later settled themselves in that city.

On the other hand, Ameka with his people succeed to flee from genocide and took refuge in mountains.[3]

In 843 BC, Shalmaneser III. -during his campaign against the Zamuans- affirmed that the locals built reed boats, which they also used against the Assyrian army.

In the year 733 BC ,Mazamua under Tiglath-Pileser III was an Assyrian province. In the reign of Sargon II, who had improved the infrastructure there and built new structures, no uprisings were reported. However, Sargon II recorded about the new immigrants from the east who could pose a threat.


  1. The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 2, Page 59
  2. Velhartická, 2016, P. 378
  3. The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 2, Page 60

Related Pages