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Zakutu
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Zakutu

Zakutu (c. 701-c.668 BCE) was the Akkadian name of Naqia, a wife of King Sennacherib of Assyria, who reigned between 705-681 BCE. Though she was not Sennacherib's queen, she bore him a son, Esarhaddon, who would succeed him. She ruled...
Enuma Elish - The Babylonian Epic of Creation - Full Text
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Enuma Elish - The Babylonian Epic of Creation - Full Text

The Enuma Elish (also known as The Seven Tablets of Creation) is the Mesopotamian creation myth whose title is derived from the opening lines of the piece, "When on High". All of the tablets containing the myth, found at Ashur...
The Mesopotamian Pantheon
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Mesopotamian Pantheon

The gods of the Mesopotamian region were by no means uniform in name, power, provenance or status in the hierarchy. Mesopotamian culture varied from region to region, from city-state to city-state and, because of this, Marduk should not be...
Beer in the Ancient World
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Beer in the Ancient World

The intoxicant known in English as `beer' takes its name from the Latin `bibere' (by way of the German `bier') meaning `to drink' and the Spanish word for beer, cerveza' comes from the Latin word `cerevisia' for `of beer', giving some indication...
Sumerian Civilization: Inventing the Future
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Sumerian Civilization: Inventing the Future

Imagine something that has never been thought of before. If one holds a book in one's hands, one can imagine an e-book, a large-print book, a picture book, all kinds of books. But how does one imagine a book in a world where even the concept...
The Hymn to Ninkasi, Goddess of Beer
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Hymn to Ninkasi, Goddess of Beer

The Hymn to Ninkasi is at once a song of praise to Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess of beer, and an ancient recipe for brewing. Written down around 1800 BCE, the hymn is no doubt much older as evidenced by the techniques detailed in the poem...
The Queen of the Night
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Queen of the Night

The Queen of the Night (also known as the `Burney Relief') is a high relief terracotta plaque of baked clay, measuring 19.4 inches (49.5 cm) high, 14.5 inches (37 cm) wide, with a thickness of 1.8 inches (4.8 cm) depicting a naked winged...
Inanna's Descent: A Sumerian Tale of Injustice
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Inanna's Descent: A Sumerian Tale of Injustice

The Sumerian poem, The Descent of Inanna (c. 1900-1600 BCE) chronicles the journey of Inanna, the great goddess and Queen of Heaven, from her realm in the sky, to earth, and down into the underworld to visit her recently widowed sister Ereshkigal...
The World's Oldest Love Poem
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The World's Oldest Love Poem

In the 19th century CE, archaeologists descended on the region of Mesopotamia seeking physical evidence which would corroborate the biblical narratives of the Old Testament. While this may not have been initially their driving purpose, their...
The Eternal Life of Gilgamesh
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Eternal Life of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh is among the most popular works of literature in the present day and has influenced countless numbers of readers but, for the greater part of its history, it was lost. The Assyrian Empire fell to a coalition of...