Uruk - The Anu ziggurat
Type of Spiritual Experience
Ziggurat - The Anu district consists of a single massive terrace, the Anu Ziggurat. It began with a massive mound topped by a cella during the Uruk period c 4000 BC and was expanded through 14 phases of construction, labeled L to A3 (L is sometimes called X).
White Temple - In phase E, corresponding to Uruk III period c 3000 BC, the White Temple was built. The White Temple was clearly designed to be seen from a great distance across the plain of Sumer as it was elevated 21 m and covered in gypsum plaster which reflected sunlight like a mirror. In addition to this temple, the Anu Ziggurat also had a monumental limestone paved staircase used in religious processions.
The Stone Temple - Under the northwest edge of the ziggurat an Uruk VI period structure, the Stone Temple, has been discovered. The Stone Temple [see map] was built of limestone and bitumen on a podium of rammed earth and plastered with lime mortar. The podium itself was built over a woven reed mat called giparu a word which originally referred a reed mat used ritually as a nuptial bed.
The implications are that this was the site for the consummation and creation of the mystic marriage. The structure of the Stone Temple further develops some mythological concepts from Enuma Elish, “perhaps involving libation rites as indicated from the channels, tanks, and vessels found there”. The structure was ritually destroyed.
A description of the experience
There are interesting parallels between the White Temple and the Parthenon, showing that the underlying symbolism was a constant
Not a terribly imaginative reconstruction, but it gives an idea at least.
The source of the experienceMesopotamian system
Concepts, symbols and science items
Science ItemsSacred geography
Sacred geography - altars
Sacred geography - ancient trees
Sacred geography - bridges
Sacred geography - cities
Sacred geography - crossroads
Sacred geography - cursus
Sacred geography - enclosures and camps
Sacred geography - gardens
Sacred geography - islands
Sacred geography - ley lines
Sacred geography - mark stones
Sacred geography - mountain
Sacred geography - natural hills
Sacred geography - obelisk
Sacred geography - palace
Sacred geography - rivers and streams
Sacred geography - sacred grove
Sacred geography - water sites
Sacred geography - ziggurat
Activities and commonsteps