PUSHING THE LIMITS

PUSHING THE LIMITS
DISASTER ARCHAEOLOGY, ARCHAEODISASTERS & HUMANS

MIDDLE EASTERN





THE CURSE OF AGADE

For many years, the events described in "The Curse of Akkad" were thought, like the details of Sargon's birth, to be purely fictional. Apart from the archaeological evidence of Tell Leilan,  recent findings of elevated dust deposits in sea-cores collected off Oman, dated to the period of Akkad's collapse, suggest that climate change may have played a crucial role. Within 100 years (22nd -21st cent. BC), the Empire of Akkad collapsed almost as fast as it had developed, ushering in a period of regional decline. By the end of the reign of Naram-Sin's son, the empire had weakened and finally collapsed, along with the First Intermediary Period of the Ancient Egyptian Old Kingdom. This rapidly increasing aridity, and failing rainfall patterns in the region of the Ancient Near East, was caused by a global centennial-scale drought, triggered by severe impact events:
"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"





ENHEDUANNA'S WRITINGS


It is widely accepted that Enheduanna's "religious" hymns - the first written poems of humanity, dated back to late 3rd millennium B.C.- were politically motivated to support the imperialistic ambitions of her father, King Sargon, of Sumer and Akkad . The mighty king installed his daughter as en, or High Priestess, of Nanna , the Sumerian Moon God, in the ancient Sumerian city of Ur (Southern Iraq). Yet, her cycle of three hymns to the goddess Inanna reveals a sophisticated literary style which interweaves the concept of the personal god(dess) into the political/religious dimension. This goddess has been now identified with the proto-planet Venus. According to Dr. Joan Westenholz, the princess  lived ca. 2300-2225 B.C. and the first artifact discovered informing us of her existence is a  translucent alabaster disk, , which was discovered in pieces by Sir Leonard Woolley in 1925 in section C of the giparu (a joint building, containing the temple of Ningal), where she lived..
You have filled the land with venom, like a dragon.
Vegetation ceases, when You thunder like Ishkur,
You who bring down the Flood from the mountain,
Supreme One, who are the Inanna of Heaven (and) Earth,
Who rain flaming fire over the land,
Who have been given the me by An,
Queen Who Rides the Beasts,
Who at the holy command of An, utters the (divine) words,
Who can fathom Your great rites! Destroyer of the Foreign Lands,
You have given wings to the storm,
Beloved of Enlil - You made it (the storm) blow over the land,
You carried out the instructions of An.
My Queen,
the foreign lands cower at Your cry,
In dread (and) fear of the South Wind, mankind
Brought You their anguished clamor,
Took before You their anguished outcry
Opened before You wailing and weeping,
Brought before You the "great" lamentations in the city streets. In the van of battle, everything was struck down before You,
My Queen,
You are all devouring in Your power,
You kept on attacking like an attacking storm,
Kept on blowing (louder) than the howling storm,
Kept on thundering (louder) than Ishkur,
Kept on moaning (louder) than the evil winds,
Your feet grew not weary,
You caused wailing to be uttered on the "lyre of lament."