Gods and goddesses in ancient Mesopotamia were embodied in statues that were brought to life through mouth-opening and mouth-washing rituals. Subsequently, the deities required daily nourishment, and it was the temple’s obligation to provide this care. The ritual presentation of foods could only be performed by a select group of ritually pure temple officials, which, in early Mesopotamia, also included women. A closer look at this daily ritual offers fascinating perspectives on Mesopotamian religious beliefs and practices.
Nicole Brisch is Associate Professor of Assyriology in the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at the University of Copenhagen.
The lecture will be held in person in 102 Weaver.