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Ninhursag

by Micha F. Lindemans
"Queen of the Mountain". The Sumerian earth and mother-goddess, and a goddess of fertility who created all vegetation. She is the consort of the supreme god Enki (and is as such identified with Damgalnunna). Ninhursag is one of the oldest members of the Sumerian pantheon and has prestigious titles such as 'mother of the gods' and 'mother of all children'. She is also called Nintu, "lady of bearth", and Ki, the earth. She was the tutelary deity of the Sumerian rulers, who styled themselves "children of Ninhursag".

Ninhursag ensures fertile fields, but when she cursed her husband for his incestuous affairs (with the plants she gave birth to) and his descend into the underworld, the earth became barren. Only when the hastily assembled gods managed to mollify her, the earth became fertile again and the cycle of the seasons was instituted.

A temple of Ninhursag was excavated near Tell Harriri (the ancient Mari) in Syria, near the Iraquian border.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Ninhursanga
    Ninchursag

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