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Friday, 24 January 2014

The death of Ur-Nammu.

Invention of the divine king.

Naram-Sin was once King of Akkad.His grandfather Sargon had conqured Sumer...sometime between 2300-2200 BC and created a 'country' out of many city states. Sargon's great capital was the new city of Akkad, sometimes called Agade.

His grandson, Naram-Sin called himself King of 'four quarters', meaning king of all the world...2254–2218 BC.




In a text known as 'The cursing of Agade', Naram-Sin loses faith in the god Enlil and begins to believe that Enlil has plans to devastate Agade.

For the first time since cities were built and founded,
The great agricultural tracts produced no grain,
The inundated tracts produced no fish,
The irrigated orchards produced neither wine nor syrup,
The gathered clouds did not rain, the masgurum did not grow.
At that time, one shekel's worth of oil was only one-half quart,
One shekel's worth of grain was only one-half quart. . . .
These sold at such prices in the markets of all the cities!
He who slept on the roof, died on the roof,
He who slept in the house, had no burial,
People were flailing at themselves from hunger.

For seven years Naram-Sin practiced austerity; gave away his royal clothes, threw out the royal paraphernalia, until finally even the Sacred temples were stripped to pay for food for the starving populous..
The life of Agade's sanctuary was brought to an end as if it had been only the life of a tiny carp in the deep waters, and all the cities were watching it. Like a mighty elephant, it bent its neck to the ground while they all raised their horns like mighty bulls. Like a dying dragon, it dragged its head on the earth and they jointly deprived it of honour as in a battle
Climate change, catastrophic upheavals elsewhere...

Nothing could save Akkad.

Divine Kingship, was an Egyptian invention.

The most famous image of Naram-Sin borrows from the image of King Narmer (also known as King Menes).

Naram Sin.


King Narmer.




From Ugarit (Ras Shamra) c.1350-1250 BC.

Sargon and his grandson drew inspiration from King Narmer  in art and politics, but Naram-Sin was portrayed as a god,  like King Narmer.

King Narmer, first pharaoh of the Dynasty I period, inherited the throne and crown of Egypt from the falcon-headed god, Horus.

He had united Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt by marrying into the family of a southern royal family and claimed the throne of the southern "Falcon kings". He worshipped Horus and carried out the correct rituals.

He informed those around him that he had been given the kingship by Horus, the god himself...

The Serekh symbol.
During Narmer's reign, Egypt had an active economic presence in southern Canaan. Pottery sherds have been discovered at several sites, both from pots made in Egypt and imported to Canaan and others made in the Egyptian style out of local materials. The latter discovery has led to the conclusion that Egypt's presence in Canaan was in the form of a colony rather than just the result of trade.
The extent of Egyptian activity in southern Canaan is shown by the discovery of 33 serekhs on pottery sherds at sites in Canaan dating from the Protodynastic Period to the beginning of the First Dynasty. Thirteen of these belong to Narmer, and came from six different sites: Tel Arad, En Besor (Ein HaBesor), Tel es-Sakan, Nahal Tillah (Halif Terrace), Tel Erani, and Lod. An additional serekh from Lod is attributed to Narmer's probable predecessor, Ka. Significantly only one is attributable to Narmer's successors, to Hor Aha, his immediate successor. The remainder of the serekhs either have no name on them or have a name not attributable to any known Pharaoh.
During the summer of 1994, excavators from the Nahal Tillah expedition, in southern Israel, discovered an incised ceramic sherd with the serekh sign of Narmer. The sherd was found on a large circular platform, possibly the foundations of a storage silo on the Halif Terrace. Dated to c. 3000 BC, mineralogical studies of the sherd conclude that it is a fragment of a wine jar which had been imported from the Nile valley to Canaan.
After about 200 years of active presence in Canaan, Egyptian presence peaked during Narmer's reign and quickly declined after that.

Ur-Nammu ( 2047 2030 BC) the builder of ziggurats, was king of Ur for just eighteen years. He died, on the  battlefield, helpless, abandoned by his men.

 As if he were a boxwood tree, they put axes against him in his joyous dwelling place. As if he were a sappy cedar tree, he was uprooted in the palace where he used to sleep. His spouse …… resting place; …… was covered by a storm; it embraced it like a wife her sweetheart. His appointed time had arrived, and he passed away in his prime.
When it is all over, Ur-Nammu comes to rest in the Otherworld:

 He presented gifts to the seven chief porters of the nether world. As the famous kings who had died and the dead išib priests, lumaḫ priests, and nindiĝir priestesses, all chosen by extispicy, announced the king's coming to the people, a tumult arose in the nether world. 
As they announced Ur-Namma's coming to the people, a tumult arose in the nether world. The king slaughtered numerous bulls and sheep, Ur-Namma seated the people at a huge banquet.
The food of the nether world is bitter, the water of the nether world is brackish. The trustworthy shepherd knew well the rites of the nether world, so the king presented the offerings of the nether world, Ur-Namma presented the offerings of the nether world: as many faultless bulls, faultless kids, and fattened sheep as could be brought.
To Nergal, the Enlil of the nether world, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a mace, a large bow with quiver and arrows, an artfully made barbed dagger, and a multicoloured leather bag for wearing at the hip.
To Gilgameš, the king of the nether world, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a spear, a leather bag for a saddle-hook, a heavenly lion-headed imitum mace, a shield resting on the ground, a heroic weapon, and a battle-axe, an implement beloved of Ereškigala.
To Ereškigala, the mother of Ninazu, in her palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a …… which he filled with oil, a šaĝan bowl of perfect make, a heavy garment, a long-fleeced garment, a queenly pala robe, …… the divine powers of the nether world.
To Dumuzid, the beloved husband of Inana, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a …… sheep, ……, mountain ……, a lordly golden sceptre, …… a shining hand. {(1 ms. adds:) He …… a gold and silver ……, a lapis-lazuli ……, and a …… pin to Dimpikug …….}
To Namtar, who decrees all the fates, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered perfectly wrought jewellery, a golden ring cast (?) as a …… barge, pure cornelian stone fit to be worn on the breasts of the gods.
To Ḫušbisag, the wife of Namtar, in her palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a chest (?) with a lapis-lazuli handle, containing (?) everything that is essential in the underworld, a silver hair clasp adorned with lapis-lazuli, and a comb of womanly fashion.
To the valiant warrior Ninĝišzida, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a chariot with …… wheels sparkling with gold, …… donkeys, thoroughbreds, …… donkeys with dappled thighs, ……, followed …… by a shepherd and a herdsman. To {Dimpimekug} {(1 ms. has instead:) Dimpikug}, who stands by his side, he gave a lapis-lazuli seal hanging from a pin, and a gold and silver toggle-pin with a bison's head.
To his spouse, Ninazimua, the august scribe, denizen of Arali, in her palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a headdress with the august ear-pieces (?) of a sage, made of alabaster, a …… stylus, the hallmark of the scribe, a surveyor's gleaming line, and the measuring rod …….
1. To ……, the great …… of the nether world, he gave
2 lines fragmentary
After the king had presented properly the offerings of the nether world, after Ur-Namma had presented properly the offerings of the nether world, the …… of the underworld, the ……, seated Ur-Namma on a great dais of the nether world and set up a dwelling place for him in the nether world. 
At the command of Ereškigala all the soldiers who had been killed by weapons and all the men who had been found guilty were given into the king's hands. Ur-Namma was ……, so with Gilgameš, his beloved brother, he will issue the judgements of the nether world and render the decisions of the nether world.