Lunar alignments at Ur
Entanglements with the Moon God Nanna
Keywords:Sumer, Ur, ziggurat, Nanna, Ur-Nammu
In ancient Sumer the Moon god, Nanna, was the patron deity for the city of Ur. In this article data are presented showing how the city of Ur was astronomically aligned to the Moon. Assessments are made using satellite imagery in combination with early maps and aerial photographs. Also shown is how the geographic location of Ur relative to Nippur may be related to the Moon’s 18.6-year nodal cycle. It is also shown how lunar calendric data are likely embedded in an ancient legend that tells of the Moon god’s journey from Ur to Nippur. Together these and other lines of evidence demonstrate how one of the world’s oldest cities was shaped through its entanglement with the gods – and in particular, the Moon god Nanna.
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