Nisaba

September 9th, 2008 by sabrina

Nisaba is the Sumerian Goddess of writing, accounting, and grain. She is the daughter of An and Urash, and sister of Ninsun. With her husband Haya, God of storehouses, she is the mother of the Goddess Sud, whose name was changed to Ninlil when she married Enlil, God of the air. Nisaba keeps the records of the Gods, and as the divine scribe she was especially worshipped by Sumerian scribes. She is depicted with long flowing hair, and her tiara features a crescent moon and ears of corn, since she was also associated with the harvest. Nisaba’s name means “lady of the grain rations,” which explains her combined roles as Goddess of grain and of accounting, and is also seen as Nissaba, Nidaba, Nanibgal, and Nunbarshegunu (lady whose body is dappled barley).

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3 responses about “Nisaba”

  1. Diana said:

    Can anyone tell me what museum this piece is in? Also what period it comes from and where it was discovered?

  2. sabrina said:

    Hi Diana,
    It took me awhile to figure out where I found this picture, but I finally did it. The source doesn’t say where it was discovered, but it is estimated to be from the early dynastic period IIIb (ca 2400-2250 BCE). It is in a museum in Berlin. Here’s my source: http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/First_Cities/divine_meso_object_36.R.htm

  3. Diana said:

    Thanks Sabrina. This is a great help. I am writing an article on ancient women astronomers and this will help. It’s too long to go into but Nisaba is mentioned by an ancient Akkadian priestess of the moon god Nanna.

    Thanks again,
    Diana