By: Lauren VanderEsch
The Fabulous Four of Mesopotamia
Gods and Goddeses
Mesopotamian people were polytheistic meaning they had multiple gods. Here are the gods and goddesses they worshiped:
Adad - was the god of storms. His symbol was writing.
Dumuzi - was the god of the harvest. He was also the god of the underworld.
Ereshkigal - she was the goddess of the underworld.
Ninhurtha - He is the god of war. Many times he is holding a bow and arrow and a sickle sword.
Marduk - Is the city god of Babylon. Marduk's symbols are a spade and the Mushhushshu snake-dragon.
Ashur - Is the principle Assyrian god.
Ea - Ea is the god or fresh water. He is the god of wisdom, farming, building, arts, magic and crafts. Ea would appear a s a bearded man surrounded by flowing water. Ea's symbols include a goat-fish and a scepter with a ram's head.
Mushhushshu - Is a snake-dragon who protects the gods. His name means furious snake. Anu - Is the god of the sky and is also the supreme ruler of all the gods. Anu's symbol is a horned cap.
Anzu - Anzu looks like a bird with a lion head. He can flap his wings with such force that whirlwinds and storms are created.
Nabu - He is the god of scribes, writing, and wisdom. The symbol for Nabu is a wedge which can stand for a cuneiform sign or a stylus.
Ellil - Ellil main city is Nippur. Ellil is so powerful other gods can not look at him so he is only shown as a horned cap.
Pazuzu - He has a human body with feet an talons of a eagle, and the head of an monster. Pazuzu protects humans against evil. Finally, for the last god,
Ninhursag - the mother of all the gods.
Geography of Mesopotamia
So, in the map above is a visual aiding this Geography paragraph I will show you the main large city-states of Mesopotamia. In the dark green, there is the fertile crescent where all Mesopotamia cities were located. Above the fertile crescent is the Zagros mountains and below is the Arabian Desert. The main city states were Sumer, which is closest to the Persian Gulf, Babylon, Assyria, Ur, Nineveh, Akkad, and Uruk. The two rivers that run through Mesopotamia are the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.
Vocabulary You Might Want to Know
Civilization - A group with an organized and complex society
Fertile Crescent - An area of land that is curved and good for farming
Irrigation - Helps people control how much water the crops get
City-State - An unit with its own form of government and traditions
Mesopotamia - land between two rivers
Polytheism - Belief in more than one god
Ziggurat - A pyramid like temple used to worship
Code of Hammurabi - A set of laws established by King Hammurabi
Cuneiform - Wedge shaped writing
Monotheism - Belief in one god
Hanging Gardens - Gardens built by King Nucchebuzzar for his wife
Farming vs. Hunting
Most Mesopotamia people were farmers and few of them were hunters, unlike most of the people before them, the Stone Age people that mostly hunted and gathered, and during the end of the Stone Age, people started to farm. With farming, you can always know that you will have a stead supply of food unless you do not have irrigation. For hunting, food sources may become very rare or hard to find. Farming allows you to have free time after you have watered or planted it. With hunting or gathering, you are constantly using time for food only. With farming, if you dry out your crops, they store nice, with meat and berries, not so much.