Nippur (E-kur/Duranki) : The omphalo of the Sumerians

Cradle of Civilization

An omphalos is a religious stone artifact, or baetylus. In Greek, the word omphalos means „navel“. In the ancient world of the Mediterranean, it was a powerful religious symbol. The omphalos was not only an object of Hellenic religious symbolism and world centrality; it was also considered an object of power. Its symbolic references included the uterus, the phallus, and a cup of red wine representing royal blood lines. The omphalos at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, represents, in Christian mediaeval tradition, the navel of the world (the spiritual and cosmological centre of the world).

Among the Ancient Greeks, it was a widespread belief that Delphi was the center of the world. According to the myth regarding the founding of the Delphic Oracle, Zeus, in his attempt to locate the center of the earth, launched two eagles from the two ends of the world, and the eagles, starting…

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