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Inanna

5,000-year-old musical scene found on pottery in Israel

5,000-year-old musical scene found on pottery in Israel may reflect sacred marriage ritual

Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority working at Bet Ha-‘Emeq have discovered a shard from an early Bronze Age storage vessel depicting scenes from what seems to be a ‘sacred marriage...
Ereshkigal.

Ereshkigal: The Mighty Mesopotamian Goddess of the Underworld

“Namtar made his voice heard and spake, addressed his words to Ereshkigal, "Send me to Anu your father, and let me arrest the god! Let me take him to you, that he may kiss you again!" - Excerpt from...
A shepherd (Jesus? Tammuz? Other?) with his flock.

Tammuz and Jesus: More Than a Distant Connection?

Christianity has its origins in a Middle Eastern religion, Judaism, so it is little surprise that there are some residual similarities between Christian theological thought and ancient Middle Eastern...
Louvre Museum, Department of Near Eastern Antiquities: Gilgamesh and Lion, Human headed winged bull, Assyria.

The Ascension of Gilgamesh: Did the Epic Hero Actually Exist?

The Epic of Gilgamesh is widely recognized and frequently a required reading for world literature courses. The poem is considered a masterpiece in its own right, not just because it is the earliest...
An image of Enki from the Adda cylinder seal.

The Powerful Enki: Epic Sumerian, Babylonian, and Akkadian Deity

In the belief system of the Sumerians, Enki (known also as Ea by the Akkadians and Babylonians) was regarded to be one of the most important deities. Originally Enki was worshipped as a god of fresh...
The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna (known also as ‘Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld / Underworld’) is a piece of work in the literary corpus of ancient Mesopotamia. This story, which was originally written in...
Enheduanna: A High Priestess of the Moon and the First Known Author in the World

Enheduanna: A High Priestess of the Moon and the First Known Author in the World

The ancient Sumerian poet Enheduanna has a unique claim to fame: she was the first author in the world known by name. While there were previous instances of poems and stories written down, Enheduanna...
Descent to the Underworld: The Little-Known Practices and Symbols in Ancient Mythology of the Great Below

Descent to the Underworld: The Little-Known Practices and Symbols in Ancient Mythology of the Great Below

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious...
More than a Goddess of Love: The Many Other Aspects of Aphrodite

More than a Goddess of Love: The Many Other Aspects of Aphrodite

The Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, has a very distinctive image in classical arts. In 458 BCE, the playwright Aeschylus, in his play Agamemnon , used the name of Aphrodite to denote “beauty, charm...
Hygeia - The Serpent Priestesses

The Serpent Priestesses and Ancient Sexual Rites

Women robed in scarlet sheaths, conducting rituals associated with serpents away from prying eyes, serving Innana, the Goddess of Love, Fertility and War. The color of their clothes was symbolic of...
Ancient Sumerian Love Poem

The 4,000-Year-Old Sumerian Love Poem and the Sacred Ritual of Marriage

'Bridegroom, dear to my heart; goodly is your beauty, honeysweet; lion, dear to my heart'. These are the passionate words of a lover to a king, from more than 4,000 years ago, in the oldest known...