Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2): 279-299

Andrew SCHUMANN, Vladimir SAZONOV
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ABSTRACT

In this paper we show that the Mesopotamian goddess Nanāia had some attributes (such as ‘warrior
goddess’ and ‘sitting on a tiger/lion/standing with a lion/lions’) which were preserved in her worship from the
period of Ur III (the second millennium BC) in Mesopotamia up to the period of the Kuṣāṇas and Kūšānšāhs (from
the 1st century AD to the late 4th century AD), and even up to the period of later Nomadic dynasties of Northern
India, such as the Kidarites and Hephthalites (from the 4th century AD to the 8th century AD) in Central and South
Asia. In later stages we detect early Hindu images of Nanāia presented as Durgā as well as early Hindu images of the
divine couple Oešo and Nanāia presented as Umāmaheśvara. So, the standard Indian iconographic motif of Durgā
could be traced back to the Mesopotamian goddess Nanāia.

 

KEYWORDS

world-system, Nanā, Nanāia, Oešo, Umā, Durgā, Maheśvara.

 

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