added by archaeologs A Semitic-speaking dynasty founded by Sargon the Great (Sharrukin, 2334-2279 BC) c. 2370 BC with Akkad (or Agade), an unidentified site, as his capital. Under Sargon and his grandson, Naram-Sin, the dynasty established an empire that included much of Mesopotamia and neighboring Elam to the east. The dynasty saw three major developments: the beginning of the absorption of the Sumerians by the Semites, a trend from city-state to the larger territorial state, and imperial expansion. It is considered the first empire in history. Akkadian also refers to the Semitic dialects of Old Akkadian (3rd millennium) and Assyrian and Babylonian (2nd and 1st millennia). The Amarna Letters (diplomatic correspondence between Egypt and the Levant in the mid-14th century BC) are written in Babylonian, a late form of Akkadian. Akkadian was written in a cuneiform script borrowed from Sumerian and was the lingua franca of the civilized Near East for much of the 2nd millennium. It replaced Sumerian as the official language (though Sumerian was still used for religious purposes). Akkadian was gradually replaced by Aramaic.
added by archaeologs (1) Name derived from the city of Akkad, applied to the northern part of Sumer and to the dynasty that was established by Sargon in the mid-3rd millennium bc. Under Sargon and his grandson Naram-Sin this dynasty established an empire that included northern as well as southern Mesopotamia and neighbouring Elam to the east. (2) The Semitic language which was associated with the Akkadian dynasty. Under Sargon and his successors the Akkadian language, written in the cuneiform script which had been devised originally for writing the unrelated and quite different Sumerian language, replaced Sumerian as the official language (though Sumerian continued in use for religious purposes) and became the medium for business and international communications throughout the Near and Middle East, from Anatolia to Egypt, as well as in Mesopotamia and Elam.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983