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Ehursag (ÉḪURSAG, É.ḪAR.SAG, ekharsag) is a Sumerian term meaning "house of the mountains".[1]

Sumerian ÉḪURSAG is written as a special ligature (ÉPAxGÍN 𒂍𒉺𒂅),[2] sometimes etymologized as É.ḪAR.SAG (𒂍𒄯𒊕), written with the signs É "temple" (or "house"), ḪAR "mountain" and SAG "head".

Ehursag is commonly associated with a temple of Enlil discovered by Sir. Charles Leonard Woolley during excavations at Ur in modern-day Iraq. He originally considered this to be a palace, a view that was later rejected in replace for a temple. The location of the royal palace at Ur remains unknown. No graves were discovered under the Ekursag during these excavations.[3] Woolley eventually conceded that it was a "minor temple of some sort." Modern scholars still vary on their interpretations of it as a temple, palace or administrative building. It has even been suggested to be a wing or annex of the main temple, having had some of its foundations destroyed.[4] Stamped bricks used in the construction of the foundations revealed that they were built by Ur-Nammu of the Third Dynasty of Ur. Bricks from the pavement bore the stamp of his successor, Shulgi and later ones of the Isin-Larsa period after Ur was destroyed by Elamites.[4] Ehursag is also the name or epithet of Ninhursag's temple at Hiza and has been suggested to have been an interchangeable word with Enamtila.[1] The Ehursag at Ur was restored in 1961 using ancient and modern bricks, a 2008 report for the British Museum noted that this had collapsed in some areas, especially the northwest corner.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b A. R. George (1993). House most high: the temples of ancient Mesopotamia. Eisenbrauns. pp. 2–. ISBN 978-0-931464-80-5. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  2. ^ Erich Ebeling; Bruno Meissner; Dietz Otto Edzard (1998). Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatischen Archäologie: Nab-Nuzi. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 15–. ISBN 978-3-11-017296-6. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  3. ^ Tonia M. Sharlach (2004). Provincial taxation and the Ur III state. BRILL. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-90-04-13581-9. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  4. ^ a b Harriet E. W. Crawford (2004). Sumer and the Sumerians. Cambridge University Press. pp. 103–. ISBN 978-0-521-53338-6. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Curtis, John., Rahee, Qais Hussein., Clarke, Hugo, Al Hamdani, Abdulamir M., Stone, Elizabeth., Van Ess, Margarete., Collins, Paul., Ali, Mehsin., An assessment of archaeological sites in June 2008: An Iraqi-British Project., p. 8,, Iraq, 2008" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2011-06-09.