Sirrush Or Mushussu, Guardian Of The Ishtar Gate Of Babylon
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Guardian of Babylon, the Sirrush is a creature that fuelled many speculations.
Guardian of the Ishtar Gate
The Sirrush or Mushussu was perched on the Ishtar Gate, one of the largest buildings in the city of Babylon. This entrance to the city was one of the most important, the way leading directly to the temple of Marduk, king of the gods and protector of the city.
Also this access was one of the most supervised, the task entrusted to two guards who were represented on the facade many times. The first was a bull representing the god Hadad and the other the Sirrush, related to Marduk.
If the Sirrush is often presented as a dragon, it cannot really be described as such. Despite a snake's scaly body and head, his neck is long, his head adorned with corkscrew horns. Its legs are eagle claws and its tail is like a lion.
Origins and theories
A mysterious creature, it is the subject of many theories, including the fact that it was inspired by an existing creature. The reason is that mythical animals and monsters are often represented in different ways during the same period, varying according to interpretations. The Sirrush is an exception, since it is commonly represented in Babylonian art is always the same way.
In 1902, archaeologist Robert Johann Koldewey made this theory when he discovered the Ishtar Gate. In his hypothesis, he suggests that the Babylonians may have been inspired by dinosaur remains they found, the iguanodon appearing closest to Sirrush. Some even pushed this possibility to the point that the last iguanodons were still living in the Babylonian era. The Mokele Mbêmbé of Central Africa also derives its myth from this prehistoric animal.
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