Damu (Sumerian: 𒀭𒁕𒈬), in Mesopotamian religion, Sumerian deity, city god of Girsu, east of Ur in the southern orchards region. Damu, son of Enki, was a vegetation god, especially of the vernal flowing of the sap of trees and plants. His name means "The Child," and his cult—apparently celebrated primarily by women—centred on the lamentation and search for Damu, who had lain under the bark of his nurse, the cedar tree, and had disappeared. The search finally ended when the god reappeared out of the river.
The cult of Damu influenced and later blended with the similar cult of Tammuz the Shepherd, a Sumerian deity. A different deity called Damu was a goddess of healing and the daughter of Nininsina of Isin.
Damu is a healing deity credited both as asû "healer" and āšipu, "exorcist TT ", which says as much about the close link between the two professions as about the deity's capabilities. Accordingly, Damu accompanies his mother Gula/Ninkarrak in incantations but is also credited as a healer in his own right: "Damu binds the torn ligaments" (Ebeling 1938: 115).
Divine Genealogy and SyncretismEdit
Damu's two siblings are the god Ninazu and the goddess Gunurra, both much less prominent than him. In the god-list An = Anum, Damu appears once as sukkal, "vizier", to the elusive dGIŠ.HUR.x.x (Litke 1998). According to Jacobsen 1962: 190, Damu is an aspect of Dumuzi/Tammuz due to his regenerative. Kramer 1983: 75 suggests that such a syncretism is partly due to a confusion of the two.
Damu had cults in Isin, Larsa, Lagaš, Ur and Girsu.
Time Periods AttestedEdit
Damu's earliest attestation is dated to the Ur III period. While his official cult appears not to have continued after the Old Babylonian Period (Black and Green 1998: 57), his name is found with increasing frequency in personal names of the following Kassite period (Ebeling 1938: 115).
- Hess, Richard (2007). Israelite Religions: An Archaeological and Biblical Survey. Baker Academic. p. 94.
- Cyrus Herzl Gordon; Gary Rendsburg; Nathan H. Winter, eds. (2002). Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language. 4. Eisenbrauns. p. 141. ISBN 1575060604.