Type of Spiritual Experience
Marad (Sumerian: Marda, modern Wana as-Sadoum or Tell as-Sadoum, Iraq) was an ancient Sumerian city. It was situated on the west bank of the then western branch of the Upper Euphrates River west of Nippur in modern day Iraq and roughly 50 km southeast of Kish, and mid way between Babylon and Isin.
Although Marad is not mentioned in the Sumerian King List and in the earliest city lists, it does appear in the temple hymns of the Early Dynastic period. The city's ziggurat E-igi-kalama was dedicated to Ninurta the planet Mars.
The site of Marad covers an area of less than 124 hectares (500 acres) and very little is known about it. Marad was excavated by a team from Qādisiyyah University in 1990 led by Na'el Hannoon, and in 2005 and 2007 led by Abbas Al-Hussainy. Publication of the last two seasons is in progress.
The Marad project, begun in 2005, marked the first excavation to take place in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. There, Dr Abbas discovered a complex including a temple to Lugal Marda (the god of Marad), a large sacred wall, houses, an administrative area and many objects, such as cylinder seals (carved stone cylinders used to make impressions on clay tablets), pottery and terracotta figurines. The site was especially important during the Old Babylonian period, 2004–1595 BC, and was conquered by Hammurabi, the famous king of Babylon.
A description of the experience
Marad appears in the temple hymns of the Early Dynastic period, 42 in all, referring to 35 different cities in the southern alluvium and praising their main gods--in this instance, Lugal –Mar(a)da (some cities had more than one). They express the overarching Sumerian ideology that the land was composed of equal ranking city-states, each with its principal deity(ies) and sanctuaries—a view supported by the archaeological record as both excavations and surface surveys indicate the picture of a fairly uniform class of major population centres dotting the alluvium with strong local identities reflected in urban pride and allegiance to their city gods. In the Ur III period, Marad was a province ruled by a governor, in one case a son of the ruler. It also appears to have been affected by the flood.
The source of the experienceMesopotamian system
Concepts, symbols and science items
Science ItemsSacred geography
Sacred geography - ley lines
Sacred geography - palace
Sacred geography - rivers and streams
Sacred geography - water sites
Sacred geography - ziggurat
Activities and commonsteps
SuppressionsCreating a sacred geography