Mesopotamian Gods

Collection

Joshua J. Mark
by
published on 11 February 2024

The gods of Mesopotamia are first evidenced during the Ubaid Period (c. 5000-4100 BCE) when temples were raised to them, but their worship developed during the Uruk Period (4100-2900 BCE) and their names appear in writing beginning in the Early Dynastic Period (2900-2334 BCE) in Sumer alongside the development of the ziggurat.

The ziggurat first appeared in the Uruk Period and was the center of the temple complex. It was created as an artificial mountain raising the clergy who officiated at rituals and festivals closer to the gods. Male deities replaced many female deities during the reign of Hammurabi of Babylon (1792-1750 BCE) and remained more popular through the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 612 BCE. The worship of both male and female deities continued, however, into the Persian era beginning c. 550 BCE.

In the following collection, Pazuzu is not, technically, a god but a demon. Demon, however, should not be understood in its modern sense but as a supernatural entity who often served the will of the gods.

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Questions & Answers

How old are the Mesopotamian gods?

Worship of gods in Mesopotamia dates to the Ubaid Period (c. 5000-4100 BCE) when the first temples were raised to them.

Who is the oldest Mesopotamian god?

The oldest Mesopotamian god who appears in writing is Anu during the Early Dynastic Period (2900-2334 BCE).

Where were the Mesopotamian gods worshipped?

The Mesopotamian gods were worshipped at temple complexes with a ziggurat at the center. The ziggurat served as an artificial mountain raising the clergy closer to the gods.

Are the gods of Mesopotamia still worshipped today?

Yes. The gods of Mesopotamia are still worshipped today but Neo-Pagan, Wiccan, and other groups honoring ancient deities.

About the Author

Joshua J. Mark
A freelance writer and former part-time Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, New York, Joshua J. Mark has lived in Greece and Germany and traveled through Egypt. He has taught history, writing, literature, and philosophy at the college level.

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