The gods also had chariots, which were used for transporting their cult statues by land. Ninurta, also known as Ningirsu, was a Mesopotamian warrior deity who was worshipped in Sumer from the very earliest times. He represented the brilliant light of the sun, which returns every day to illuminate the lives of mankind, as well as providing the warmth to enable the plants to grow. Dating back 11,000 years - with a coded message left by ancient man from the Mesolithic Age - the Shigir Idol is almost three times as old as the Egyptian pyramids. Based on the literary texts left behind by the Sumerians, it may be said that the most popular deity of the Sumerian pantheon was Inanna (known to the Assyrians and Babylonians as Ishtar). The Sumerians believed that their gods were responsible for all matters pertaining to the natural and social orders. Belet-Seri is a chthonic Underworld goddess who was thought to record the names of the deceased as they entered the Underworld. Lahamun is a Dilmunite goddess who is described in Mesopotamian texts as the ". Ningirama was a deity associated with magic who was invoked for protection against snakes.  This assembly was seen as a divine counterpart to the semi-democratic legislative system that existed during the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2112 BC – c. 2004 BC). Ningishzida is a god who normally lives in the Underworld. The personality of Inanna can be divided into three quite separate parts: goddess of love and sexual behavior, especially connected with extramarital sex and lust; a warlike goddess fond of battle, violence, and power, standing next to her favorite kings as they fight; and Inanna as the planet Venus, the morning and evening star.  The name Igigi seems to have originally been applied to the ten "great gods", but it later came to refer to all the gods of Heaven collectively. Enkimdu is described as the "lord of dike and canal". , The ancient Mesopotamians believed that their deities lived in Heaven, but that a god's statue was a physical embodiment of the god himself. Nanaya was originally a goddess of lust and sexuality who shared many of her aspects with Inanna. Sumerian Myth. Nanna and his wife Ningal were the parents of Utu, the sun god, who was said to “rise in the mountains of the east and set in the mountains of the west.”. Ninlil was the wife of Enlil, the ruler of the gods. Among these decrees were those referring to lordship, wisdom, understanding, victory, judgment, and decisions. The Sumerian religion was polytheistic in nature, and the Sumerians worshipped a great number of deities. His wife is the earth goddess Ki. An was the great god in heaven and his two sons were Enki who was sent to Earth first and then Enlil. , The Mesopotamian pantheon evolved greatly over the course of its history. Through legends, it is unclear who was more important: Enki or Enlil. The Sumerians were among the first known cultures to develop many benchmarks that are used to define a "civilization”. Their history is shrouded in mystery. Scholars in fact no longer talk of the Christian West when they speak of Modern Europe and North America, but of the Secular West.  The names of over 3,000 Mesopotamian deities have been recovered from cuneiform texts. [Online]Available at: http://www.mesopotamia.co.uk/gods/explore/main.html, I am a university student doing a BA degree in Archaeology. Enki was also associated with wisdom, magic, incantations, and arts and crafts. Especially among the rulers who hated each other even though they were siblings.  These are mostly preserved as brief prologues to longer mythographic compositions dealing with other subjects, such as Inanna and the Huluppu Tree, The Creation of the Pickax, and Enki and Ninmah. Are the Distinctive Kalash People of Pakistan Really Descendants of Alexander the Great’s Army? ", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_Mesopotamian_deities&oldid=983601362, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Enlil, later known as Ellil, is the god of wind, air, earth, and storms. Heaven consisted of the sky and the space above the sky which was called the “great above” where the sky gods lived. They are credited with the establishing codes of law, the plow, the sailboat, and a lunar calendar. The main center of his cult was the temple of E-kur, or the Mountain House, at Nippur, and Enlil was often called “the great mountain” and “king of the foreign lands.”. Inanna descended to the nether world and approached Ereshkigal’s temple of lapis lazuli. After Enlil and Nanna both refused to help, Ninshubur went to Enki, the god of wisdom, who came to Inanna’s rescue. The Sumerians regarded Inzak as the chief god of the Dilmunite pantheon. It is generally agreed that Sumerian civilization began at some point between c. 4500 and 4000 BC, but the earliest historical records only date to around 2900 BC.  Both the Sumerian and Akkadian languages contain many words to express the sensation of ni, including the word puluhtu, meaning "fear". Many of us tend to think that the people of early cultures were less sophisticated than us.  An was identified with all the stars of the equatorial sky, Enlil with those of the northern sky, and Enki with those of the southern sky. The Fierce Amorites and the First King of the Babylonian Empire. On some stones, archaeologists have found graffiti and some enigmatic marking. The Gods were jealous and they guarded their kingdoms zealously. It can be translated as the land of six cities and six rivers. Located in the southernmost part of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (modern day Iraq), Sumer was often called the cradle of civilization. These deities were anthropomorphic beings, and were meant to represent the natural forces of the world. Ninmena is a Sumerian mother goddess whose name means "Lady of the Crown". Sirtur was a goddess of sheep known from inscriptions and passing comments in texts. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. She was also believed to be the mother of Enki, the water god. Išḫara is a mainly Semitic goddess who was primarily associated with love. about World’s Oldest Pearl Found in Abu Dhabi is 8,000-Years-Old! And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained. Ishkur, later known as Adad, is the Mesopotamian god of storms and rain.  In some instances, the terms Anunnaki and Igigi are used synonymously. Lamashtu was a goddess with the "head of a lion, the teeth of a donkey, naked breasts, a hairy body, hands stained (with blood? The Sumerians devised one of the earliest writing system known as cuneiform or wedge-shaped symbols. Sumerian male worshipper, 2750-2600 BC ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ).  They are chiefly mentioned in literary texts and very little evidence to support the existence of any cult of them has yet been unearthed. Lahmu is a protective and beneficent god whose name means "Hairy". His symbol is a horned cap.  As such, cult statues were given constant care and attention and a set of priests were assigned to tend to them. In ancient Sumerian religion and mythology, the universe was at first a primordial sea or cosmic ocean, deified by the goddess Namma. Hundreds of thousands of these tablets have survived, providing a window into Sumerian culture, economy, law, literature, politics, and religion. Nanna was one the patron deities of Ur. Both cultures had gods that were anthropomorphic,, (resembled human beings) who often times exhibited dramatic scenes of human passion and emotion. Nisaba, also known as Nanibgal, was originally a goddess of grain and agriculture. In Sumerian mythology, An was the god whose name was synonymous with the sun's zenith, or heaven. The Vikings’ next step out into the Atlantic – the discovery and settlement of Iceland – is one of the best documented events of the Viking Age. The horned ‘fish’ signs undoubtedly represent Innana the goddess of love. Bes is an Egyptian god of play and recreation. Inanna visited the underworld and told her vizier, or advisor, Ninshubur that if she did not return after three days, he was to alert the gods. Archaeologists working in Iraq have made an intriguing discovery. They also developed a numerical system, based on the number 60 that is still used to measure seconds and minutes. Inanna was known to Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians as Ishtar and Romans as Venus. Nammu was the one who gave birth to the first deities An (the god of heaven) and Ki (the earth goddess) and to many more of the ancient gods. [Online]Available at: http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/amgg/, Spar, I., 2009. Ki is the Sumerian word for earth, and she was personified as a goddess and female counterpart to An (the heaven god). She passed seven gates into the nether world, and her jewels were removed piece by piece as she walked until she was brought naked and on her knees before Ereshkigal who turned her into a corpse. Enki, the god of wisdom, organized the earth according to the decisions of Enlil, who made the general plans. Until the 1800s, when the lost civilization was discovered, no one knew of the existence of a land called Sumer in ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iran and Iraq). It is An who, in Sumerian tradition, took over heaven when it was separated from earth, creating the universe as we know it. 150,000-Year-Old Pipes Baffle Scientists in China: Out of Place in Time? Lulal is a god who is closely associated with Inanna. Ilaba was briefly a major deity during the Akkadian Period. Enten is a shepherd deity in the Sumerian poem. There were more than 3,000 Sumerian gods and goddesses, and the four most well-known gods in the Sumerian religion were An, Ki, Enlil and Enki. Ki is also identified with the goddesses Ninmah, the great queen; Ninhursag, the queen of the cosmic mountain; Nintu, the queen who gives birth; and many more. Ama-arhus is a fertility goddess who was worshipped in Uruk during the Hellenistic Period. Birtum is an obscure minor god, the husband of the goddess, The Bull of Heaven is a mythical beast that Ishtar demands from her father Anu in both the Sumerian poem. Erra is a warlike god who is associated with pestilence and violence. Aglibol is the Palmyrene god of the moon. Atargatis is a Syrian goddess who was worshipped in the early centuries AD. Modern reproduction of a detail of the Adda seal (c. 2300 BC) ( Public Domain ). Naupa Iglesia: An Egyptian Portal in the Andes? According to Sumerian poetry, the goddess Ninmah acted as a midwife. The principal temple of Utu, called E-babbar or White House was at Sippar. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. , The three most important deities in the Mesopotamian pantheon during all periods were the gods An, Enlil, and Enki. Floki and the Viking Discovery of Iceland, 3 Problems to Remember When Trying to Find Atlantis. Nabu was the Mesopotamian god of scribes and writing. Ninkasi is the ancient Sumerian tutelary goddess of beer. Enki is credited with the creation of mankind, and was also, according to Sumerian mythology, its protector.
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