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Gula
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Gula

Gula (also known as Ninkarrak) is the Sumerian goddess of healing and patroness of doctors, healing arts, and medical practices. She is first attested to in the Ur III Period (2047-1750 BCE) where she is referenced as a great goddess of health...
Early Dynastic Period (Mesopotamia)
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Early Dynastic Period (Mesopotamia)

The Early Dynastic Period of Mesopotamia is the modern-day archaeological term for the era in Mesopotamian history – 2900-2334 BCE – during which some of the most significant cultural advances were made including the rise of the cities, the...
Festivals in Ancient Mesopotamia
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Festivals in Ancient Mesopotamia

Festivals in ancient Mesopotamia honored the patron deity of a city-state or the primary god of the city that controlled a region or empire. The earliest, the Akitu festival, was first observed in Sumer in the Early Dynastic Period (2900-2334...
The Curse of Agade: Naram-Sin's Battle with the Gods
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Curse of Agade: Naram-Sin's Battle with the Gods

The Curse of Agade is a story dated to the Ur III Period of Mesopotamia (2047-1750 BCE) though thought to be somewhat older in origin. It tells the story of the Akkadian king Naram-Sin (r. 2261-2224 BCE) and his confrontation with the gods...
Ashurbanipal's Collection of Sumerian and Babylonian Proverbs
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Ashurbanipal's Collection of Sumerian and Babylonian Proverbs

Ashurbanipal's collection of Sumerian and Babylonian proverbs formed part of the famous Library of Ashurbanipal (7th century BCE) established at Nineveh for the express purpose of preserving the knowledge of the past for future generations...
Schooldays: Sumerian Satire & the Scribal Life
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Schooldays: Sumerian Satire & the Scribal Life

Schooldays (c. 2000 BCE) is a Sumerian poem describing the daily life of a young scribe in the schools of Mesopotamia. The work takes the form of a first-person narration and dialogue in relating the challenges the student faces and how he...
Matter of Aratta
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Matter of Aratta

The Matter of Aratta is the modern-day title for a collection of four poems – Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, Enmerkar and En-suhgir-ana, Lugalbanda in the Mountain Cave, and Lugalbanda and the Anzud Bird – concerning the rivalry between...
Truths Wrapped in Fiction: Mesopotamian Naru Literature
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Truths Wrapped in Fiction: Mesopotamian Naru Literature

Originality in literary compositions in the ancient world did not carry the same weight and value as it does today. In recent centuries, authors have been applauded for the creation of original works and have been derided for plagiarism or...
Lost Treasures From Iraq: Revisited & Identified
Article by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin

Lost Treasures From Iraq: Revisited & Identified

For how long do we build a household? For how long do we seal a document? For how long do brothers share the inheritance? For how long is there to be jealousy in the land(?)? The Epic of Gilgamesh, chapter 10, Tablet X. I have...
Sumerians
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Sumerians

The Sumerians were the people of southern Mesopotamia whose civilization flourished between c. 4100-1750 BCE. Their name comes from the region which is frequently – and incorrectly – referred to as a “country”. Sumer was never a cohesive...
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