Tish-atal (Hurrian 𒋾 𒅖 𒀀 𒊑) (fl. c. 21st century BC) was endan of Urkesh during the Third Dynasty of Ur. He was one of the earliest known Hurrian rulers, but the archaeological record is fragmentary for this period, and no precise date can be ascribed to his reign.
In older literature the name Tishari is sometimes used, but it has now been established that the correct rendering is Tish-atal.
Two other rulers with a similar name are known from around the same period, Tish-atal of Nineveh and Dishatal, king of Karahar. These are thought to be distinct persons, so the name was probably common in the area where the Hurrians lived.
A cuneiform inscription about a temple of Nergal is the only source for Tish-atal. The text is found on two bronze lion statuettes, but there is a better preserved copy on a stone tablet, now in the Louvre Museum, along with one of the lions. This famous inscription is the earliest known writing in the Hurrian language.The following translation is given by Mirjo Salvini:
Tish-atal, endan of Urkesh, has built a temple for Nergal. May the god Lubadagprotect it. He who destroys this temple, may Lubadag destroy. May the god [...] not hear his prayers. May the lady of Nagar, Shimaga and the storm god curse ten thousand times he who destroys it.
The Hurrians were a people who inhabited the Ancient Near East during the Bronze Age. They spoke the Hurrian language, and lived throughout northern Syria, upper Mesopotamia and southeastern Anatolia.
Nergal was a Mesopotamian god worshiped through all periods of Mesopotamian history, from Early Dynastic to Neo-Babylonian times, with a few attestations indicating that his cult survived into the period of Achaemenid domination. He was primarily associated with war, death, and disease, and has been described as the "god of inflicted death". He reigned over Kur, the Mesopotamian underworld, depending on the myth either on behalf of his parents Enlil and Ninlil, or in later periods as a result of his marriage with the goddess Ereshkigal. Originally either Mammitum, a goddess possibly connected to frost, or Laṣ, sometimes assumed to be a minor medicine goddess, were regarded as his wife, though other traditions existed, too.
Tikunani was a small Hurrian city-state in Mesopotamia around the middle of the second millennium BC. The name refers to both the kingdom and its capital city. Tigunānum is the older form of the name, appearing in texts excavated from Mari around the 18th century BC.
Urkesh, also transliterated Urkish, is a tell, or settlement mound, located in the foothills of the Taurus Mountains in Al-Hasakah Governorate, northeastern Syria. It was founded during the fourth millennium BC, possibly by the Hurrians, on a site which appears to have been inhabited previously for a few centuries. The city god of Urkesh was Kumarbi, father of Teshup.
Teshub was the Hurrian weather god, as well as the head of the Hurrian pantheon. The etymology of his name is uncertain, though it is agreed it can be classified as linguistically Hurrian. Both phonetic and logographic writings are attested. As a deity associated with the weather, Teshub could be portrayed both as destructive and protective. Individual weather phenomena, including winds, lightning, thunder and rain, could be described as his weapons. He was also believed to enable the growth of vegetation and create rivers and springs. His high position in Hurrian religion reflected the widespread importance of weather gods in northern Mesopotamia and nearby areas, where in contrast with the south agriculture relied primarily on rainfall rather than irrigation. It was believed that his authority extended to both mortal and other gods, both on earth and in heaven. However, the sea and the underworld were not under his control. Depictions of Teshub are rare, though it is agreed he was typically portrayed as an armed, bearded figure, sometimes holding a bundle of lightning. One such example is known from Yazılıkaya. In some cases, he was depicted driving in a chariot drawn by two sacred bulls.
Ḫepat was a goddess associated with Aleppo, originally worshiped in the north of modern Syria in the third millennium BCE. Her name is often presumed to be either a feminine nisba referring to her connection to this city, or alternatively a derivative of the root ḫbb, "to love". Her best attested role is that of the spouse of various weather gods. She was already associated with Adad in Ebla and Aleppo in the third millennium BCE, and in later times they are attested as a couple in cities such as Alalakh and Emar. In Hurrian religion she instead came to be linked with Teshub, which in the first millennium BCE led to the development of a tradition in which she was the spouse of his Luwian counterpart Tarḫunz. Associations between her and numerous other deities are described in Hurrian ritual texts, where she heads her own kaluti, a type of offering lists dedicated to the circle of a specific deity. She commonly appears in them alongside her children, Šarruma, Allanzu and Kunzišalli. Her divine attendant was the goddess Takitu. In Hittite sources, she could sometimes be recognized as the counterpart of the Sun goddess of Arinna, though their respective roles were distinct and most likely this theological conception only had limited recognition. In Ugarit the local goddess Pidray could be considered analogous to her instead.
Kumarbi, also known as Kumurwe, Kumarwi and Kumarma, was a Hurrian god. He held a senior position in the Hurrian pantheon, and was described as the "father of gods". He was portrayed as an old, deposed king of the gods, though this most likely did not reflect factual loss of the position of the head of the pantheon in Hurrian religion, but only a mythological narrative. It is often assumed that he was an agricultural deity, though this view is not universally accepted and the evidence is limited. He was also associated with prosperity. It was believed that he resided in the underworld.
Pinikir, also known as Pinigir, Pirengir, Pirinkir, and Parakaras, was an Ancient Near Eastern astral goddess who originates in Elamite religious beliefs. While she is only infrequently attested in Elamite documents, she achieved a degree of prominence in Hurrian religion. Due to her presence in pantheons of many parts of the Ancient Near East, from Anatolia to Iran, modern researchers refer to her as a "cosmopolitan deity."
Tell Brak was an ancient city in Syria; its remains constitute a tell located in the Upper Khabur region, near the modern village of Tell Brak, 50 kilometers north-east of Al-Hasaka city, Al-Hasakah Governorate. The city's original name is unknown. During the second half of the third millennium BC, the city was known as Nagar and later on, Nawar.
Šauška (Shaushka), also called Šauša or Šawuška, was the highest ranked goddess in the Hurrian pantheon. She was associated with love and war, as well as with incantations and by extension with healing. While she was usually referred to as a goddess and with feminine titles, such as allai, references to masculine Šauška are also known. The Hurrians associated her with Nineveh, but she was also worshiped in many other centers associated with this culture, from Anatolian cities in Kizzuwatna, through Alalakh and Ugarit in Syria, to Nuzi and Ulamme in northeastern Mesopotamia. She was also worshiped in southern Mesopotamia, where she was introduced alongside a number of other foreign deities in the Ur III period. In this area, she came to be associated with Ishtar. At a later point in time, growing Hurrian influence on Hittite culture resulted in the adoption of Šauška into the Hittite state pantheon.
Samnuha or Samanuha was the tutelary deity of Shadikanni in the lower Habur area. It is generally accepted that he had Hurrian origin. It is assumed that Šamanminuḫi, a god known from a treaty of Shattiwaza, is the same deity. In this document, he occurs before "Teshub, lord of Washukanni," and after KASKAL.KUR.(RA).
The Hurrian foundation pegs, also known as the Urkish lions, are twin copper foundation pegs each in the shape of a lion that probably came from the ancient city of Urkesh in Syria. The pegs were placed at the foundation of the temple of Nergal in the city of Urkesh as mentioned in the cuneiform inscriptions on them. The inscription on the two pegs and the associated stone tablet is the oldest known text in the Hurrian language. One of the lions is now housed, along with its limestone tablet, in the Musée du Louvre in Paris. The second lion is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The Hurrian religion was the polytheistic religion of the Hurrians, a Bronze Age people of the Near East who chiefly inhabited the north of the Fertile Crescent. While the oldest evidence goes back to the third millennium BCE, it is best attested in cuneiform sources from the second millennium BCE written not only in the Hurrian language, but also Akkadian, Hittite and Ugaritic. It was shaped by the contacts between Hurrians and various cultures they coexisted with. As a result, the Hurrian pantheon included both natively Hurrian deities and those of foreign origin, adopted from Mesopotamian, Syrian, Anatolian and Elamite beliefs. The culture of the Hurrians was not entirely homogeneous, and different local religious traditions are documented in sources from Hurrian kingdoms such as Arrapha, Kizzuwatna and Mitanni, as well as from cities with sizeable Hurrian populations, such as Ugarit and Alalakh.
Aštabi, also known as Aštabil, was a god worshiped in the third millennium BCE in Ebla, later incorporated into Hurrian beliefs in locations such as Alalakh and Ugarit and as a result also into the religion of the Hittite Empire.
Šimige was the Hurrian sun god. Known sources do not associate him with any specific location, but he is attested in documents from various settlements inhabited by the Hurrians, from Kizzuwatnean cities in modern Turkey, through Ugarit, Alalakh and Mari in Syria, to Nuzi, in antiquity a part of the kingdom of Arrapha in northeastern Iraq. His character was to a large degree based on his Mesopotamian counterpart Shamash, though they were not identical. Šimige was in turn an influence on the Hittite Sun god of Heaven and Luwian Tiwaz.
Belet Nagar was the tutelary goddess of the ancient Syrian city Nagar. She was also worshiped by the Hurrians and in Mesopotamia. She was connected with kingship, but much about her role in the religions of the ancient Near East remains uncertain.
Nupatik, in early sources known as Lubadag, was a Hurrian god of uncertain character. He is attested in the earliest inscriptions from Urkesh, as well as in texts from other Hurrian settlements and Ugarit. He was also incorporated into Hittite religion. A similarly named deity continued to be venerated in Arbela as late as in the Neo-Assyrian period.
Shuwala (Šuwala) was a Hurrian goddess who was regarded as the tutelary deity of Mardaman, a Hurrian city in the north of modern Iraq. She was also worshiped in other Hurrian centers, such as Nuzi and Alalakh, as well as in Ur in Mesopotamia, Hattusa in the Hittite Empire and in the Syrian cities Emar and Ugarit.
Ugur was a Mesopotamian god associated with war and death, originally regarded as an attendant deity (sukkal) of Nergal. After the Old Babylonian period he was replaced in this role by Ishum, and in the Middle Babylonian period his name started to function as a logogram representing Nergal. Temples dedicated to him existed in Isin and Girsu. He was also worshiped outside Mesopotamia by Hurrians and Hittites. He might also be attested in sources from Emar.
Nabarbi or Nawarni was a Hurrian goddess possibly associated with pastures. She was one of the major deities in Hurrian religion, and was chiefly worshiped in the proximity of the river Khabur, especially in Taite. It has been proposed that she was associated with the goddess Belet Nagar, linked to the Upper Mesopotamian city of Nagar. In addition to being venerated in Hurrian religion, she was also incorporated into the beliefs of the Hittites and into the local pantheon of Emar. She also continued to be worshiped in Taite in the Neo-Assyrian period, as attested in a text from the reign of Ashurbanipal, where she is one of the deities invoked to bless the king.