Iraqi archaeologists find ancient temple


Iraqi archaeologists in a new find have uncovered a temple dedicated to the goddess Ishtar at the ancient city of Babylon, 90 km (56 miles) south of Baghdad, the weekly Tikrit newspaper reported today.

Ishtar was the goddess of love in Babylonia and Assyria. Under various names, the cult of the mother goddess was universal in the ancient Near East.

Tikrit reported excavation teams had also discovered a house with an open courtyard, a number of rooms and graves inside the house in the temple area.

Artefacts included a relief on a clay tablet of a woman breast-feeding her child, the first ever to be found, it quoted the source as saying.

The excavations also yielded a number of jars, clay tablets, seals used at that time, and toys. A well and two canals used to carry water to the temple and the houses and clay basins to collect water were uncovered.