An intermediate step between Anu viewed as the local deity of Erech (or some other centre), Bel as the god of Nippur, and Ea as the god of Eridu is represented by the prominence which each one of the centres associated with the three deities in question must have acquired, and which led to each one absorbing the qualities of other gods so as to give them a controlling position in an organized pantheon.
L5 Baron Oppenheim's excavations at Tell Halaf have resulted in the recovery of reliefs of barbaric style, simulating the Syro-Hittite, from the palace of a local king, Kapara, of about the same period as Sinjirli and Sakchegozii (Toth-9th centuries B.C.), and pottery of all ages, going back to the chalcolithic period.ls The neolithic and chalcolithic pottery of Mesopotamia and Persia is one of the chief archaeological discoveries of late years in the Near East, and attention has recently been directed to it again by the important finds at Abu Shahrein (the ancient Eridu) and Tell el `Obeid, near Ur.
The only stone building in southern Babylonia is the town wall of Eridu (Abu Shahrein), which is built of rude lumps of a local coral rag.
17-23) actually used the clothing peculiar to some deity, nor is it quite clear what is meant when a Babylonian ritual text refers to the magical use of the linen garment of Eridu (seat of the cult of Ea).
The primitive seaport of the country, Eridu, the seat of the worship of Ea the culture-god, was a little south of Ur (at Abu Shahrain or Nowawis on the west side of the Euphrates).
Two main centres, Eridu in the south and Nippur in the north.
Eridu had once been a seaport, and it was doubtless its foreign trade and intercourse with other lands which influenced the development of its culture.
Long before history begins, however, the cultures of Eridu and Nippur had coalesced.
While Babylon seems to have been a colony of Eridu, Ur, the immediate neighbour of Eridu, must have been colonized from Nippur, since its moon-god was the son of El-lil of Nippur.
But in the admixture of the two cultures the influence of Eridu was predominant.
His native home was probably Arabia; hence Eridu (" the good city ") and Ur (" the city ") would have been built in Semitic territory, and their population may have included Semitic elements from the first.
ERIDU, one of the oldest religious centres of the Sumerians, described in the ancient Babylonian records as the "city of the deep."
The special god of this city was Ea, god of the sea and of wisdom, and the prominence given to this god in the incantation literature of Babylonia and Assyria suggests not only that many of our magical texts are to be traced ultimately to the temple of Ea at Eridu, but that this side of the Babylonian religion had its origin in that place.
But while of the first importance in matters of religion, there is no evidence in Babylonian literature of any special political importance attaching to Eridu, and certainly at no time within our knowledge did it exercise hegemony in Babylonia.
The site of Eridu was discovered by J.
Through an error, in many recent maps and Assyriological publications Eridu is described as located in the alluvial plain, between the Tigris and the Euphrates.
Calculating from the present rate of deposit of alluvium at the head of that gulf, Eridu should have been founded as early as the seventh millennium B.C. It is mentioned in historical inscriptions from the earliest times onward, as late as the 6th century B.C. From the evidence of Taylor's excavations, it would seem that the site was abandoned about the close of the Babylonian period.
The name indicates the existence of the same conception regarding sacred edifices in Assyria as in Babylonia, where we find such names as E-Kur ("mountain house") for the temple of Bel at Nippur, and E-Saggila ("lofty house") for Marduk's temple at Babylon and that of Ea at Eridu, and in view of the general dependence of Assyrian religious beliefs as of Assyrian culture in general, there is little reason to doubt that the name of Assur's temple represents a direct adaptation of such a name as E-Kur, further embellished by epithets intended to emphasize the supreme control of the god to whom the edifice was dedicated.
Corresponding to the states into which we find the country divided before 2250 B.C., we have a various number of religious centres such as Nippur, Erech, Kutha (Cuthah), Ur, Sippara (Sippar), Shirgulla (Lagash), Eridu and Agade, in each of which some god was looked upon as the chief deity around whom there were gathered a number of minor deities and with whom there was invariably associated a female consort.
Associated with Marduk was his consort Sarpanit, and grouped around the pair as princes around a throne were the chief deities of the older centres, like Ea and Damkina of Eridu, Nebo and Tashmit of Borsippa, Nergal and Allatu of Kutha, Shamash and A of Sippar, Sin and Ningal of Ur, as well as pairs like Ramman (or Adad) and Shala whose central seat is unknown to us.
Since Merodach was the son of Ea, the culture god of Eridu near Ur on the Persian Gulf, it is possible that Babylon was a colony of Eridu.
This association of Marduk and Ea, while indicating primarily the passing of the supremacy once enjoyed by Eridu to Babylon as a religious and political centre, may also reflect an early dependence of Babylon upon Eridu, not necessarily of a political character but, in view of the spread of culture in the Euphrates valley from the south to the north, the recognition of Eridu as the older centre on the part of the younger one.
At all events, traces of a cult of Marduk at Eridu are to be noted in the religious literature, and the most reasonable explanation for the existence of a god Marduk in Eridu is to assume that Babylon in this way paid its homage to the old settlement at the head of the Persian Gulf.
On the summit of this artificial mountain stood, apparently, as at Ur and Eridu, a small chamber, the special shrine or abode of the god.
Incantations originally addressed to Ea of Eridu, as the god of the watery element, and to Nusku, as the god of fire, were transferred to Marduk.
Eridu, on the other hand, was the home of the culture-god Ea, the god of light and beneficence, who employed his divine wisdom in healing the sick and restoring the dead to life.