The Gutians practiced hit-and-run tactics, and would be long gone by the time regular troops could arrive to deal with the situation. Their raids crippled the economy of Sumer. Travel became unsafe, as did work in the fields, resulting in famine.
The Sumerian king list indicates that king Ur-Utu of Uruk was defeated by the barbarian Guti, perhaps around 2150 BC. The Guti swept down, defeated the demoralized Akkadian army, took Akkad, and destroyed it around 2115 BC. However, they did not supplant all of Akkad, as several independent city states remained alongside them, including Lagash, where a local dynasty still thrived and left numerous textual and archaeological remains.
Ultimately Akkad was so thoroughly destroyed that its site is still not known. The Guti proved to be poor rulers. Under their crude rule, prosperity declined. They were too unaccustomed to the complexities of civilization to organize matters properly, particularly in connection with the canal network. This was allowed to sink into disrepair, with famine and death resulting. Thus, a short "dark age" swept over Mesopotamia.
Akkad bore the brunt of this as the center of the Empire, so that it was in Akkad that the Guti established their own center in place of the destroyed Akkad. Some of the Sumerian cities in the south took advantage of the distance and purchased a certain amount of self-government by paying tribute to the new rulers.
Uruk was thus able to develop a 5th dynasty. Even in the city of Akkad itself, a local dynasty was said to have ruled. The best known Sumerian ruler of the Gutian period was the ensi of Lagash, Gudea. Under him, ca. 2075 BC (short), Lagash had a golden age.
After a few kings, the Gutian rulers became more cultured. Guti rule lasted only about a century - around 2050 BC, they were expelled from Mesopotamia by the rulers of Uruk and Ur, when Utu-hengal of Uruk defeated Gutian king Tirigan. Utu-hengal's victory revived the political and economic life of southern Sumer.
Later the name "Guti" was used to signify any hostile people from east and northeast of Mesopotamia. Assyrian royal annals use the term Gutians to refer to Iranian populations of northeastern Mesopotamia otherwise known as Medes or Mannaeans; and as late as the reign of Cyrus the Great of Persia, the famous general Gubaru was described as the "governor of Gutium".
|Ruler|| Proposed reign|
|Erridupizir||ca. 2141 – 2138 BC||Royal inscription at Nippur|
|Imta or Nibia||ca. 2138 – 2135 BC|
|Inkishush||ca. 2135 – 2129 BC||First Gutian ruler on the Sumerian king list|
|Zarlagab||ca. 2129 – 2126 BC|
|Shulme||ca. 2126 – 2120 BC|
|Silulumesh or Elulmesh||ca. 2120 – 2114 BC|
|Inimabakesh||ca. 2114 – 2109 BC|
|Igeshaush||ca. 2109 – 2103 BC|
|Yarlagab||ca. 2103 – 2088 BC|
|Ibate||ca. 2088 – 2085 BC|
|Yarla or Yarlangab||ca. 2085 – 2082 BC|
|Kurum||ca. 2082 – 2081 BC|
|Apilkin||ca. 2081 – 2078 BC|
|La-erabum||ca. 2078 – 2076 BC||Mace head inscription|
|Irarum||ca. 2076 – 2074 BC|
|Ibranum||ca. 2074 – 2073 BC|
|Hablum||ca. 2073 – 2071 BC|
|Puzur-Suen||ca. 2071 – 2064 BC||Son of Hablum|
|Yarlaganda||ca. 2064 – 2057 BC||Foundation inscription at Umma|
|Si'um or Si'u||ca. 2057 – 2050 BC||Foundation inscription at Umma|
|Tirigan||ca. 2050 – 2050 BC||Defeated by Utu-hengal of Uruk|