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Ea-Damkina temple (Kalhu)

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Jamie Novotny
Contributors: Jeffrey Becker
Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Jan 14, 2021 10:02 AM History
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When Kalhu (biblical Calah, modern Nimrud) became the principal administrative center of the Assyrian Empire in the ninth century BC, king Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883–859 BC) built (or rebuilt) numerous temples. One of those was dedicated to the god Ea and the goddess Damkina. Although its location is not known, the Ea-Damkina temple at Kalhu is thought to have been situated within the Ninurta temple complex, in the northwest corner of the citadel.

36.0999590309, 43.3290661907

unlocated, temple


Akkadian inscriptions of the ninth-century-BC Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883–859 BC) record that that ruler built (or rebuilt) temples to the deities Adad, Damkina, Ea-šarru, Enlil, Gula, Nabû, Ninurta, Sîn, Šala, and Šarrat-niphi, as well as to the Sebetti and Kidmuri; for example, see RIAo Ashurnasirpal II 030 lines 53–78a. Of those, only four have been positively identified during nineteenth- and twentieth-century excavations: the Kidmuri temple, the Nabû temple, the Ninurta temple, and the Šarrat-niphi temple.

Despite the fact that the location of the Ea-Damkina temple at Kalhu is not known from the archaeological record, it is generally thought that it was located inside the Ninurta temple complex. Julian Reade (2002: 137 fig. 2, 191–193), based on the arrangement of the temples at Dūr-Šarrukīn, has suggested that a room (= Reade 2002 fig. 2 Room D) on the north side of the western courtyard of the building complex (Reade's 'Ninurta Court’) might have been the Ea-Damkina temple. This proposal cannot be confirmed from in-situ inscriptions and, therefore, must remain conjectural.

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Jamie Novotny, and Jeffrey Becker, 'Ea-Damkina temple (Kalhu): a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2021 <> [accessed: 22 September 2023]

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