After four years of ruling in Ur, Ur-Nammu rose to prominence as a warrior-king when he crushed the ruler of Lagash in battle, killing the king himself.
After this battle, Ur-Nammu seems to have earned the title 'king of Sumer and Agade.' Ur's dominance over the Neo-Sumerian Empire was consolidated with the famous Code of Ur-Nammu, probably the first such law-code for Mesopotamia since that of Urukagina of Lagash centuries earlier.
Certain groups indeed seem to work under compulsion.
Others work in order to keep property or get rations from the state.
Some scholars theorize that Ur-Nammu led a revolt against Utu-hengal, deposed him, and seized control of the region through force.
Another hypothesis is that Ur-Nammu was a close relative to Utu-hengal, and the latter had asked the former to rule over the city of Ur in his name.
With the fall of the Ur III Dynasty after an Elamite invasion in 2004/1940 BC (middle/short chronology respectively), Babylonia fell under foreign (Amorite) influence.The government would then apportion out goods as needed, including giving food rations to the needy and funding temples.This is an area where scholars have many different views.It had long been posited that the common laborer was nothing more than a serf, but new analysis and documents reveal a possible different picture.Gangs of laborers can be divided into various groups.
It controlled the cities of Isin, Larsa and Eshnunna and extended as far north as the Jazira.