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Mesopotamia

The Meteoric Mystery of The Magical Islamic Stone: Experts Seek Help in Deciphering Inscription

The Meteoric Mystery of The Magical Islamic Stone: Experts Seek Help in Deciphering Inscription

This weekend, history experts across London are attempting to solve the astronomical mystery surrounding an ancient carved “meteorite” found in Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq) by a 19th century English...
Illustration of city in Mesopotamia.

The Great City of Uruk Became Sumerian Powerhouse of Technology, Architecture and Culture

Home to Gilgamesh, Uruk was the major force of urbanization and state formation during the 4th millennium BC. In Epic of Gilgamesh , the king is said to have built the city’s monumental walls. There...
Louvre Museum, Department of Near Eastern Antiquities: Gilgamesh and Lion, Human headed winged bull, Assyria.

Immortality Lies within the Legend: Is Gilgamesh Alive and Well?

In 1853, Hormuzad Rassam discovered fragments of an ancient Sumerian text which is now considered to be the first great work of literature our civilization ever produced. After its translation it was...
Detail of Tiamat.

Tiamat: Mesopotamian Mother Goddess and the Key Component in 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...
Hammurabi Code of Laws

Hammurabi and his God Given Code of Laws

At that time, the gods Anu and Enlil, for the enhancement of the well-being of the people, named me by my name: Hammurabi, the pious prince, who venerates the gods, to make justice prevail in the...
From the royal tombs of Ur, the Standard of Ur mosaic, made of lapis lazuli and shell, shows peacetime.

A Functional and Fertile Crescent: Technological Advancements in the Cradle of Civilization

The Fertile Crescent is the name given to the arc-shaped area of land that stretched across the Middle East from the northern end of the Gulf in the East to the Nile Valley in the West. It was here...
Coming together for a solstice feast in ancient Peru. Robert Gutierrez.

How Feasting Rituals Helped Lead to a Civilized World

Charles Stanish / The Conversation “ The Epic of Gilgamesh ” is one of the earliest texts known in the world. It’s the story of a god-king, Gilgamesh, who ruled the city of Uruk in Mesopotamia in the...
The tomb with 8 human sacrifices at the entrance and 2 skeletal remains within.

A Matter of Honor? Evidence of Brutal Child Sacrifice Surfaces in Ancient Mesopotamia

The 5,000-year-old bodies of a 12-year-old a boy and girl surrounded by “hundreds of bronze spearheads and eight human sacrifices” were unearthed at Basur Höyük in southeastern Turkey (Mesopotamia,)...
The reconstructed Bull’s Lyre.

A Bull-Headed Lyre: Reconstructing the Sound and Style of Ancient Mesopotamia

A musician may have strummed its strings all the way back in the 3rd millennium BC. This means that the Bull’s Lyre, aka the Golden Lyre of Ur, is one of the oldest string instruments in the world...
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...
Illustration of an ancient city in Mesopotamia.

Hoard of Ancient Tablets Found in Iraq Reveal Location of Lost Royal City of Mardama

In an exciting discovery, archaeologists have found the location of the lost royal city of Mardama. The ancient Hurrian city had laid buried for millennia until archaeologists unearthed the remains...
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...
One of the buildings uncovered at the Sumerian port town of Abu Tbeirah, its function is still unknown.

4,000-Year-Old Sumerian Port Shows the Famed Civilization Excelled at Sea Too

Now it’s a desert, but 4000 years ago the ancient site of Abu Tbeirah in southern Iraq was a thriving Sumerian port town. It was a hub where ships set sail for distant lands such as the Indus Valley...
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...
Detail of a bronze statuette of Pazuzu, circa 800 BC - circa 700 BC. Pazuzu was an Assyrian evil spirit believed to frighten away other evil spirits - protecting humans against plagues and misfortunes.

Mesopotamian Ghostbusters: The Evil Acts of Assyrian Ghosts and How They Were Vanquished

Assyria, like Mesopotamia in general, has always excited the Western imagination. Assyrian beliefs about the spiritual world are no exception. The Assyrians believed that ghosts could return from the...
From Giovanni Battista Belzoni: Egyptian race portrayed in the Book of Gates.

The ‘Dynastic Race’ and the Biblical ‘Japheth’ Part II: Ethnology and Influence

In Part I, the author pieced together the possible genealogy to be found in Mesopotamia and Egypt, taking as his starting point the Biblical account of human developments in the region after the...

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