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Bad-tibira (Sumerian: 𒂦𒁾𒉄𒆠, bad3-tibira ki) is recorded in the Sumerian king list as being one of the five cities that existed before the flood, and Bad-tibira was the second oldest after Eridu. According to this list, the three rulers before the flood ruled for thousands of years each (they might represent dynasties or time eras instead of actual human rulers).

Around 3500 BCE, the city of Bad-tibira suffered a terrible fire and destruction. The fire was so hot it melted (vitrified) the clay bricks. The rebuilding of the city was started around hundred years later.
The name of Bad-tibira can be translated as the "Wall of the Copper Workers" or "Fortress of the Smiths". In later Greek, the city was called the "Canal of the Smiths".

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After the destruction of the city of Bad-tibira, King Lippit-eshtar of Isin rebuilt the Temple (the Temple of Righteousness) around 3360 BCE and Governor Sin-iddinam of Larsa rebuilt the walls around 3270 BCE.

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The main god of Bad-tibira is the god of fertility and shepherding, Dumuzi or Dumu-zid (Akkadian Tammuz or Tammuzi). He was the son of Enki and the goddess Duttur, and the primary consort of the goddess Inanna/Ishtar. Other names for Dumuzi includes Ama-ga (mother milk) and U-lu-lu (Multiplier of pasture).
He was the god for harvests and grain, and some stories explain that he dies every year in spring when the grain is milled, so the hot barren summers are due to their god being dead.
Tammuz (Hebrew: תַּמּוּז) is the name of a summer month in the Hebrew calendar, named after this Sumerian deity.

In the epic poem "Inanna's Descent into the Underworld", Inanna must find someone to replace her if she is going to be released from the underworld. She choses her husband Dumuzi. Later, Dumuzi's sister is allowed to alternate with Dumuzi, allowing the god of harvests to come to the earth for the harvest season.

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Bad-tibira today

Bad-tibira is loacted at Tell al-Madineh, in southern Iraq. The city was known from the king list, but for a long time it was not known where it was located. In the 1930s, some clay cones were offered via robber diggers in Iraq, bearing inscriptions suggesting that there might be from Bad-tibira. After multiple false starts, the city was finally located.

Tell al-Madineh or Madain is located in Dhi Qar Governorate in Iraq, about 10 kilometers northeast of Larsa, on the Iturungal Canal, one of the two main courses of the Euphrates in antiquity.
There has been recent looting of the site - various holes can be seen from aerial photos.

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