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Ur

Identifier

022132

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Ur was an important Sumerian city-state in ancient Mesopotamia, located at the site of modern Tell el-Muqayyar (Arabic: تل المقير‎‎) in south Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate. Although Ur was once a coastal city near the mouth of the Euphrates on the Persian Gulf, the coastline has shifted and the city is now well inland, south of the Euphrates on its right bank, 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Nasiriyah.

The city dates from the Ubaid period circa 3800 BC, and is recorded in written history as a City State from the 26th century BC, its first recorded king being Mesh-Ane-pada. The city's patron deity was Nanna (in Akkadian, Sin), the Sumerian and Akkadian (Assyrian-Babylonian) moon god, and the name of the city is in origin derived from the god's name, literally "the abode of Nanna".

The site is marked by the partially restored ruins of the Ziggurat of Ur, which contained the shrine of Nanna, excavated in the 1930s. The temple was built in the 21st century BC (short chronology), during the reign of Ur-Nammu and was reconstructed in the 6th century BC by Nabonidus, the Assyrian born last king of Babylon. The ruins cover an area of 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) northwest to southeast by 800 metres (2,600 ft) northeast to southwest and rise up to about 20 metres (66 ft) above the present plain level.

Although some archaeologists appear to still believe the city was square, most of the reconstructions one sees are of an Egg shaped city.  In other words Ur was built along sacred geography lines and the ziggurat of Ur was its heart – the unmoving mover of the cosmic Egg.  As a site it could not have been more perfect, near water it may also have incorporated the symbolism of an isthmus as well as an island.

 

A description of the experience

Given the looting that has taken place and the destruction, the constant rebuilding and the sheer time – thousands of years – that has gone by, it is not possible to precisely state which Intelligences were the deities of which cities.   Wikipedia has made many brave attempts, but they all contradict one another and this is not a criticism, it is a reflection of the fact that one cannot pin down the history of a mystic system when it is 6000 years old. Using their tables and a snapshot of the earliest allocations that could be found this is a possible allocation of deities to city states:

The Planets

The Babylonians coloured the seven planets as follows: the moon, silvern; the sun, golden; Mars, red; Saturn, black; Jupiter, orange; Venus, yellow; and Mercury, blue.  City state attributions are then

  • Uruk – Anu and then Ishtar/Inanna, VENUS
  • Ur - Nanna (in Akkadian, Sin) the MOON
  • Marad - Ninurta was the god of hunting and war MARS.
  • Lagash – and Girsu, dedicated to Ningursu/Ninip SATURN
  • Larsa – and/or Sippar.  Shamash also known as Utu – the SUN
  • Eridu – Enki [later called Nebo] MERCURY
  • Babylon [old] - Adad or Hadad, JUPITER.  Jupiter the planet was called ‘Merodach’  - Marduk, in Babylonia.  In other words when Marduk was introduced by the Babylonians, they also associated him with a planet.  Jupiter was associated with Marduk by the Hammurabi period

 

 

 

 

The source of the experience

Mesopotamian system

Concepts, symbols and science items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Suppressions

Creating a sacred geography

Commonsteps

References