The Entrance Gate

In my historical fantasy world, stories about the Anzu’s theft were already well known during the Sargonic period. Representations of lion-headed eagles adorned temples dedicated to Ninurta as well as Enlil. In the holy city of Nippur, the E-Kur Temple itself displayed images of the Anzu, as described in Inanna’s Bargain:


The entrance gate featured massive wooden panels above and on each side of the open doorway. The panels were carved with scenes of a famous legend about the Anzu that stole the Tablet of Destinies from Enlil. The Tablet was recovered by Enlil’s son Ninurta, who battled and defeated the monstrous beast. This well-known story about the Tablet of Destinies confirmed the divine authority of Enlil, and the E-Kur Temple, in legitimizing secular power on earth.

Kianu and I both slowed our steps, then we paused to look more closely at the carved panels.

“Does that look familiar?” I asked, pointing to an image of the Anzu.

I already knew the answer to my question. But I was curious to hear Kianu’s thoughts.

“The Anzu is depicted here as a large eagle with the head of a lion,” he replied. “You’re right. The Anzu looks very similar to the creature that attacked us. We still don’t know who sent the horrible beast. Which deity was behind the attack?”

“Do we know why the Anzu stole the Tablet of Destinies?” I asked suddenly. “Was the thief acting alone? Or was it sent by some deity seeking to usurp Enlil’s power?”

“The legends aren’t clear about the reasons,” Kianu responded. “We may never learn the full story about the theft and recovery of the Tablet of Destinies.”

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