All  

Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ Mobile

Mesopotamian Life

Welcome to our exploration of Mesopotamian life, where we delve into the intricacies and daily experiences of the people who inhabited the ancient land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

In this section of our website, we invite you to step into the world of Mesopotamian life, where each article unveils a different facet of the ancient society. From social structures and family life to economy, art, and education, we uncover the tapestry of daily existence that shaped the lives of Mesopotamians.

Eve tempted by the serpent in a paradise illustrated according to the texts of the Bible. An image showing good and evil in one scene.

Lilith: Ancient Demon, Dark Deity or Sensual Goddess?

Lilith, an ancient mythological figure and one of the oldest known female spirits in the world, has embodied various roles across cultures. In some sources she has been described as a demon, while in...
Sumerian priestess. Source: Oleksandr / Adobe Stock.

Sumerian King Iddin-Dagan Copulated with a Priestess in a Public Annual Ritual

In the annals of history, we have witnessed a myriad of unique, and at times, bizarre traditions that have defined civilizations and their leaders. One such tradition that stands tall in its peculiar...
Aerial view of the structure at Tel Shimron supporting the passageway to the corbelled vault. Credit: Eyecon.	Source: Eyecon

Israel's Tel Shimron Excavations Reveal Ancient Architectural Marvel Dating to 1,800 BC

Archaeologists participating in the ongoing Tel Shimron excavations in the Jezreel Valley of northern Israel recently unearthed the first section of an arched, vaulted passageway with steps that they...
The Burning of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar’s Army (1630-1660)

By the Rivers of Babylon: Life in Ancient Babylon’s Thriving Jewish Community

In the 6th-century BC, the armies of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah. They tore down the city walls, burned the temples, and ran down every person who tried to escape. The few...
A seedhead of an opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, with white latex. (Public Domain) Cylinder-seal of the "Lady" or "Queen" (Sumerian NIN) Puabi, one of the defuncts of the Royal Cemetery of Ur, c. 2600 BC. Banquet scene, typical of the Early Dynastic Period.

New Research Provides First Peek at Ancient Mesopotamian Drug Use

Medical usage? Ritual practice? Or perhaps the drugs served both purposes? Researchers are asking what the recently recovered psychoactive drug residues from ancient Mesopotamia mean. But not...
Marduk

Marduk: Babylonian King of Gods and Reportedly Liberator of the Jews

Most people have heard of Zeus, Odin, or Jupiter, but not many have heard of Marduk. Born to the mother and father of all Babylonian gods, Marduk clawed his way to the top becoming the head of the...
Relief image on the Tablet of Shamash, British Library room 55. Found in Sippar (Tell Abu Habbah), in Ancient Babylonia; it dates from the 9th century BC and shows the sun god Shamash on the throne, in front of the Babylonian king Nabu-apla-iddina (888-855 BC) between two interceding deities. The Babylonian language text tells how the king made a new cultic statue for the god and gave privileges to his temple.

Ancient Babylonian Reborn After Having Been Silenced for 2000 Years

Almost 2,000 years after falling out of use, a Cambridge University linguistics specialist, Dr. Martin Worthington has learned how to speak ancient Babylonian and is not only campaigning to revive it...
Example of a lamb stew with vegetables. (Jo del Corro/CC BY 2.0) “Hen with Herbs”. Laura Kelley recreates Recipe 2 from Yale tablet 8958. (Laura Kelley) Lamb shanks in a stew. (E4024/CC BY SA 4.0) YBC 4644, a tablet with a Babylonian recipe, ca. 1750 BC. (Yale University Library)

Three Babylonian Recipes From 1600 BC You Can Make At Home Today

Ever wanted a taste of life in an ancient civilization? The oldest cookbook ever found was made sometime around 1600 BC in the ancient city of Babylon. It’s a set of cracked tablets engraved by an...
A cylinder seal impression, ca. 2100 BC, sometimes interpreted as Ur-Nammu (seated) bestowing governorship on Ḫašḫamer, ensi of Iškun-Sin.

The Code of Ur-Nammu: When Ancient Sumerians Laid Down the Law, Everyone Obeyed

The Code of Ur-Nammu is the oldest surviving law code. This text was written on clay tablets in the Sumerian language and is reckoned to have been produced towards the end of the 3rd millennium BC...
Detail of a modern depiction of the goddess Ishtar.

Love is a Battlefield: The Legend of Ishtar, First Goddess of Love and War

Louise Pryke / The Conversation As singer Pat Benatar once noted, love is a battlefield . Such use of military words to express intimate, affectionate emotions is likely related to love’s capacity to...
Plimpton 322 clay tablet. Source: Public Domain.

Were the Ancient Babylonians Far More Advanced Than We Thought? (Video)

Plimpton 322 , a 3,800-year-old ancient clay tablet, stands as a testament to the astounding mathematical prowess of the Babylonians. Dating back centuries before ancient Greece, this artifact...
Babylonian relief carving. Credit: Andrea Izzotti / Adobe Stock

Eat Like a Mesopotamian: Experts Reconstruct 4000-Year-Old Recipes

Mesopotamia is considered to be home to one of the first civilizations and it decisively shaped world history. Now thanks to some of the oldest culinary recipes, inscribed on clay tablets, we now...
Relief representing a two-headed eagle on the sphinx located at the right of the Sphinx Gate, Alaca Höyük, Turkey.

How a Two Headed Bird of Prey Ruled Ancient Mesopotamia and Hatti

Several infamous empires of the early modern period and current modern periods bore curious insignia. The Byzantine, Austrian, and Russian Empires all adopted the symbol of a mythical creature, a...
Detail of Tiamat.

Tiamat, Mesopotamian Mother Goddess: From Chaos to Creation

Tiamat is an ambiguous deity who played an important role in the creation myth of ancient Mesopotamia . She was their personification of the primordial sea, from which the first generation of gods...
Deriv; Stone statue of Gilgamesh (CC BY 2.0), used here as a representation of an ancient Mesopotamian man. Background: Solar event. (CC0) Information provided by ancient Assyrian astrologers can help modern scientists predict future solar storms.

Ancient Assyrian Astrologers Teach Us About Solar Storms

What exactly goes on high above our heads? Why do the stars and celestial spheres seem to dance around the sky? What is the sun up to when it seems to “randomly” disappear in the day, or when it...
Medieval stargazers. People have been fascinated by the stars and their possible influence over our lives, long before and after the time of Babylonian astrology.

Complex Astronomical and Astrological Systems Detailed on Ancient Assyrian Tablets

Archaeologists studying a group of five unique stone tablets dating to the first millennium in Babylonia and Assyria have announced that they reveal a hitherto unknown level of astronomical...
Ordered universe and cuneiform (Public Domain) and Akkadian cylinder featuring Anunnaki.

Anunnaki Revealed: Who Were These Beings of Ancient Astronaut Theory? – Part I

The modern era has witnessed an incredible surge in the popularity of all forms of media concerning the mythology of the ancient Mesopotamians. Fueling this ever-growing trend are the writings of a...
Fragment of talisman used to exorcise the sick, Assyrian era.

Mixing Magic and Medicine: New Study Shows Mesopotamian Doctors Had to Battle Demons

Analysis of a collection of clay tablets confirms that a Mesopotamian doctor had to deal with more than just physical ailments. The ancient healer was expected to exorcise demons, ward off witchcraft...
Edwin Long’s The Babylonian Marriage Market.

The Babylonian Marriage Market: An Auction of Women in the Ancient World

In the 5 th century BC, Greek Historian Herodotus wrote about the customs and traditions he witnessed while in Babylon. One of the more controversial customs he reports on is the Babylonian marriage...
Sumerian warriors

The Sumerian Seven: The Top-Ranking Gods in the Sumerian Pantheon

The Sumerian religion was polytheistic in nature, and the Sumerians worshipped a great number of deities. These deities were anthropomorphic beings, and were meant to represent the natural forces of...
Detail of Painting ‘Astarte Syriaca.’

Goddess Ninkharsag—Ancient Powerful Mother who Faded into The Holy Ghost

The tale of our creation we know from the Bible is only half the story—one which has been heavily edited. But have you ever wondered how god created male and female in his image? There are other...
Top: Sumerian chariots drawn by hybrid animals known as kungas, illustrated on the Standard of Ur (© Thierry Grange) Bottom left: Hybrid animals known as ‘kungas’ found at Umm el-Marra site, Syria (Glenn Schwartz/John Hopkins University). Bottom right: South of Gobekli Tepe, Turkry, D enclosure T pillars. (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin).		Source: CNRS

Earliest-known Human Engineered Hybrid Animals Identified in Mesopotamia

A super-powerful animal known as the ‘kunga’ was the first-known human-engineered hybrid of two animal species, reports a new study published in Science Advances . The researchers conducted a genome-...
‘The Banquet Scene’ relief panel, 645BC-635BC.

Gazelle Stewed in Broth and Garlic: Would You Try These 3,700-Year-Old Recipes for the Babylonian Elite?

"A cuisine of striking richness, refinement, sophistication and artistry, which is surprising from such an early period,” is how French Assyriologist and gourmet chef Jean Bottero, who decoded three...
pper part of a gypsum statue of a Sumerian woman. The hands are folds in worship.

Nammu: A Forgotten Tale of the Sumerian Mother of Gods

Nammu was the primeval Sumerian mother goddess who gave birth to the gods and created humanity. Despite her extremely important role, much of her story is wrapped in mystery. Some information can be...

Pages