If Shinar included both Babylon ("Babel") and Erech, then "Shinar" broadly denoted southern Babylonia. Any cognate relation with Šumer, an Akkadian name used for a non-Semitic people who called themselves Kiengir, is not simple to explain and has been the subject of varied speculation. The Egyptian term for Babylonia / Mesopotamia was Sngr (Sangara), identified with the Sanhar of the Amarna letters by Sayce.
Some scholars have suggested that Shinar must have been confined to the northern part of Mesopotamia, based on Jubilees 9:3 which allots "Shinar" (or in the Ethiopic text, "Sadna Sena`or") to Asshur. However, 10:20 states that the Tower was built with bitumen from the sea of Shinar. Other scholars such as David Rohl, however, have proposed that the Tower was actually located in Eridu, once located on the Persian Gulf, where there are ruins of a massive, ancient ziggurat worked from bitumen.
This is where the sons of Shem, Ham and Japheth went after they tarried in the highlands of Armenia, after the flood (Vuibert, Ancient History, 25).