Aim of the TEMEN-project

Ancient Near Eastern studies offer a promising field for the study of mythical hylemes, due to the large corpus of mythical plots in Sumerian and Akkadian. Though this corpus is partly known and edited, a systematic study in this direction has not been carried out. With regard to contents, Mesopotamian myths cover a vast and heterogeneous range (cf. Heimpel 1993-1997, 556-562). They can deal with elementary problems of human condition, such as the well attested myth that tells how the gods created humans in order to take care of the gods, or the myths where gods send a flood in order to destroy humankind on account of its over-proliferation. In TEMEN we study mythical hylemes dealing with exaltation and promotion of deities to paramount rank in the hierarchy of the pantheon. We also study the effects of this development on the hierarchy of the temples and sanctuaries of the affected gods, namely those deities who rose in rank and those who were reduced in rank as a result of this development. Thus, we treat mythical hylemes focusing on a central element of Mesopotamian religion and society, that is temple and cult (Ambos 2004; Maul 2008; Waerzeggers 2010; Zgoll 2012).