16: Susiana & the foundation of Susa, 4200-3800 BCE (Inanna & An)

The Drumbeat Forever After

27-02-2022 • 1 hr 6 mins

(Formerly episode 15)

Guest co-host: Kelsey

First, Inanna sets her mind to capturing the House of Heaven (that is, the E-anna) from her father, the sky-god An, after including it on her wedding registry proved too subtle of a request.

Then, we visit Susiana, the alluvial plain just east of the Ubaid homeland, just in time to see the foundation of Susa (modern Shush— it's had the same name for five millennia) and its first heyday (ca 4200-4000 BCE). They built a monumental platform eighty meters square and ten meters tall, probably the largest artificial structure in the world at the time.

Then, we talk about Susa's social organization, and one possibility for an intermediate stage between egalitarian Neolithic villages and theocratic Bronze Age monarchies.

Then, they burn their towering achievement twice, obliterating any evidence of a temple that may have stood on top. Was it intentional? Is it relevant that Chogha Mish, the center Susa was built to replace, was also destroyed by a fire?

Finally, the thrilling conclusion of Inanna's quest to capture the E-anna from An. Bad day to be a scorpion!

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Works cited