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Kiririsha, the 'Lady of Liyan,' was worshiped principally in the south of Elam. Along with Khumban and In-shushinak, she formed the supreme triad of the Elamite pantheon.[1]:401 Pinikir, another goddess, was held in the same regard in the north of Elam, but "as the centre of the kingdom gradually shifted southward, she became less important, and gave place to the 'lady of Liyan', Kiririsha."[1]:406

Kiririsha, strictly translated, means "the great goddess," in the Elamite language. This reflects a feature of the Elamite pantheon, and, likely, other ancient pagan religions of Western Asia—that of the "ill-defined character of the individual gods and goddesses. ...Most of them were not only ineffable beings whose real name was either not uttered or was unknown, but also sublime ideas, not to be exactly defined by the human race."[1]:403

The king, Khumban-Numena, had "a chapel built at Liyan (an Elamite port on the Persian Gulf)...dedicated exclusively to Kiririsha."[1]:390

Kiririsha was sometimes merely called "'the Great' or 'the divine mother'."[1]:406


  1. ^ a b c d e Edwards, F.B.A., I.E.S.; Gadd, C.J.; Hammond, F.B.A., N.G.L.; Sollberger F.B.A., E., eds. (1975). The Cambridge Ancient History, Third Edition, Volume II, Part 2, History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region c.1380-1000 B.C. Cambridge University Press. pp. 400–416. ISBN 0 521 08691 4.