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The Barbar Temples (Hardback)

Ancient History > Ancient Near East

Imprint: Aarhus University Press
Series: Jutland Archaeological Society Publications
Pages: 429
Illustrations: illus
ISBN: 9788788415278
Published: 31st October 2004
Casemate UK Academic

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This book provides a detailed description of the three ancient temples unearthed between 1954-1961 near Barbar on the northern part of Bahrain island in the Persian Gulf. Two of the structures, from the centuries around 2000 BC, reveal traditions going back to Sumerian temples. A number of spectacular objects were found here, including cylindrical alabaster jars, a human-shaped copper mirror handle and the most famous object from the Barbar Temples, a bull's head of copper. Structurally, a chamber was found over a freshwater spring, indicating the presence of a water cult and perhaps forging a connection to Enki, the Mesopotamian god of the subterranean freshwater ocean, apsu. The temple-apsu is well known from cuneiform sources, but has been extremely difficult to identify in Mesopotamian excavations. The Barbar well chamber may be such an apsu, as the authors point out among their highly detailed descriptions and analysis of the finds.

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