Bronze head of a king, perhaps Sargon of Akkad, from Nineveh (now in Iraq), Akkadian period, —Courtesy of the Directorate General of Antiquities, Baghdad, Iraq
Ancient region, central Iraq. Akkad was the northern division of ancient Babylonian civilization (Sumer was the southern division). Its name was taken from the city of Agade, founded by the conqueror Sargonc. 2300 BC. Sargon united the city-states in the region and extended the empire to much of Mesopotamia, including Sumer, Elam, and the upper Tigris. The empire waned in the 22nd century BC. Under the kings of Akkad, their Semitic language, Akkadian, became a literary language, and great art was fostered.