Ninhursag and Hathor
Posted by Fredsvenn on August 11, 2015
In Sumerian mythology, Ninhursag (Ninḫursag) or Ninkharsag was a mother goddess of the mountains, and one of the seven great deities of Sumer. She is principally a fertility goddess. Temple hymn sources identify her as the ‘true and great lady of heaven’ (possibly in relation to her standing on the mountain) and kings of Sumer were ‘nourished by Ninhursag’s milk’.
According to legend her name was changed from Ninmah to Ninhursag by her son Ninurta in order to commemorate his creation of the mountains. As Ninmenna, according to a Babylonian investiture ritual, she placed the golden crown on the king in the Eanna temple.
Her temple, the Esagila (from Sumerian E (temple) + SAG (head) + ILA (lofty)) was located on the KUR of Eridu, although she also had a temple at Kish. Her symbol, resembling the Greek letter omega Ω, has been depicted in art from around 3000 BC, though more generally from the early second millennium. It appears on some boundary stones — on the upper tier, indicating her importance.
The omega symbol is associated with the Egyptian cow goddess Hathor, and may represent a stylized womb. Hathor is at times depicted on a mountain, so it may be that the two goddesses are connected.
The Goddess Hathor in Her form of sacred cow, standing in a shrine, and Queen Hatshepsut sucking Her divine milk; at left, before Hathor, is represented Amon-Ra. Scene from the south wall of the Chapel of Hathor, “Temple of Millions of Years” of Queen Hatshepsut, West ‘Uaset’-Thebes.