Nammu: The Sumerian Goddess of The Deep !!!


Goddess Nammu

 “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
                   - Genesis 1:2

Goddess Nammu is known as the mother of the G-d Enki/Ea as well as the mother Goddess who gave birth to the cosmos and all the gods. Like her son Enki/Ea she is also associated with magic. In later times, her role is taken on by Tiamat.

According to the God list An-Anum, tablet I line 28 (Litke 1998: 24; Wiggermann 1998-2001c: 137), Namma bears the title "Mother who gave birth to the heavens and the earth."

Goddess of the Primeval Sea, “ She who gave birth to heaven and earth." In the Sumerian cosmogony, firstly there is the primeval sea, called Nammu which was the endless sea in which the universe floated. They believed that Nammu was without a beginning in time and that Nammu had created heaven and earth.
An indication of her continued relevance may be found in the name of Ur-Nammu, the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur  between 21st - 20th century BCE. Ur-Nammu founded the Sumerian 3rd dynasty of Ur, in southern Mesopotamia.

Notice how this time scale of Sumerian Empire falls so precisely to the birth time frame of Abraham the Patriarch of Jewish religion, around late 1996 BCE. A clear attestation to the fact that the myths around that time which predominated the empire must have had a profound impact on Abraham as he was in his growing stage. His homeland was also Ur (Gen11:31) and Ur was one of the many city states which made up the country of Sumer.

Just as in the Biblical narrative, humans were fashioned out of clay at Enki’s suggestion as shown  in this translation by S.N. Kramer, who also translated the other verses below:

Mix the heart of the clay that is over the abyss,
The good and princely fashioners will thicken the clay,
You, [Nammu] do you bring the limbs into existence;
Ninmah [earth-mother or birth goddess] will work above you,
The goddesses [of birth] .  . . will stand by you at your fashioning;
O my mother(Nammu), decree its [the newborn's] fate,
Ninmah will bind upon it the image (?) of the gods,
It is man . . . . "

Notice that, just like in the later Bible, humans are made in the image of the Gods. The shadow of Goddess  Nammu  still lingers today and is strongly felt even by linguistics today  in bible, for when G-d hovers over “the deep” in the opening scene of Genesis (Chapter 1, Verse 2), the word  translated here is Tehom, meaning the deeps, the abyss, and linguistically it is the Semitic form of Tiamat, the name of the a Sumero-Babylonian Goddess, a primordial Goddess of the Ocean. 

This story of life to have dramatically emerged out of deep ocean is not a new theme. Hindu mythology of Churning Of The Ocean, The Gods and the Demons knew that they could gain the Divine Elixir.

Robert Mascharan !!!


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