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Mesopotamia / Religions / Gods and goddesses /
Ninhursag
Other spelling: Ninhursaga



From Temple of Ninhursag, Tall al-Ubayd, Iraq

From Temple of Ninhursag, Tall al-Ubayd, Iraq.

Frieze with Lion-Headed Eagle (Ninhursag) and Stags, copper, Temple of Ninhursag. Tall al-Ubayd, Iraq.
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Frieze with Lion-Headed Eagle (Ninhursag) and Stags, copper, Temple of Ninhursag. Tall al-Ubayd, Iraq.

In Mesopotamian religions, in particular Sumerian religion, goddess of the stony, rocky ground, with the capacity of producing wildlife. She is represented as a woman with a horns and wearing some form of light weapon, like a bow or a stick.
She is among the oldest deities of the Sumerian pantheon, possibly being the same as the Ki, the earth goddess. Her name can be translated with Lady of the Mountain. She had several other names, like Mamma or Ninmah (Great Queen). One legend tells that her name was changed from Ninmah to Ninhursag by her son, Ninurta, honouring her relation to the mountains.
In Akkadian religion she was called Belit-ili, which can be translated with Lady of the Gods.
She was the protective goddess of many Sumerian kings. One Babylonian myth tells that she was the goddess that placed the crown on the head of the king in the E-anna temple.
City goddess of two cities, Adab in the south and Kish in the north.
Myths vary on who was her husband. It is stated to have been Enki or Shulpae, and among her children are the sons, Mululil and Ashirgi and the daughters, Egime and Ninsar. Mululil was a dying god, with many similarities to Dumuzi. One of the myths relating to her involves the sorrowing over Mululil's death.





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By Tore Kjeilen