The story of Edin is without doubt one of the earliest recorded, it's setting will pre-date the establishment of Uruk, which dates back some 7,000
years, here i will establish the context for the story, and suggest the location of the Great Apple Tree that lies at the Heart of the story.
First the general location of Edin needs to be established;
EDIN ("read" as Akkadian seru, seri, tseri) apparently has two meanings. Firstly, it means "back" or "upper side," and secondly, by analogy,
the uncultivated steppe land that abuts the cultivated and watered lands was envisioned as "the back," (the backland or hinterlands, the wilderness,
or the wilds where roamed wild animals: antelope, onagers, lions, and shepherds with goats and sheep
Most scholars stress that the steppe or plain called in Sumerian edin or eden is semi-arid. Its "fertility" as a plain arises from man's irrigation
canals and ditches which make possible the gods' city-gardens and fields. With the Spring rains and river floods this semi-arid plain takes on a
greenish hue from the new-growth grasses. In antiquity Mesopotamian shepherds grazed their flocks upon the edin's grasses
The Edin then was uncultivated plain in central Sumeria, located between the Tigris and Euphrates, the dominant city of the region was Uruk, city of
As Uruk was the sacred City of Inanna, she held the titles nin edin "the lady of edin" and Inanna edin "Inanna of edin." , as recorded in Temple hymns
Before determining the location of the Great Apple Tee of Edin, it will be best in my opinion to glimpse the manner in which sacred trees were
regarded in Sumeria, the starting point for that has to be the sacred tree of the Lady of Edin.
Once upon a time, a tree, a huluppu, a tree --It had been planted on the bank of the Euphrates,It was watered by the Euphrates --
The violence of the South Wind plucked up its roots,Tore away its crown,The Euphrates carried it off on its waters.
The woman, roving about in fear at the word of An,Roving about in fear at the word of Enlil,Took the tree in her hand, brought it to Uruk:"I shall
bring it to pure Inanna's fruitful garden
The woman tended the tree with her hand, placed it by her foot, Inanna tended the tree with her hand, placed it by her foot,
"When will it be a fruitful throne for me to sit on," she said,"When will it be a fruitful bed for me to lie on," she said.
The tree grew big, its trunk bore no foliage,In its roots the snake who knows no charm set up its nest,In its crown the Imdugud-bird placed its
young,In its midst the maid Lilith built her house --The always laughing, always rejoicing maid
,The maid Inanna -- how she weeps!
The sacred tree of Inanna then was the Euphrates poplar or Huluppu, this was understood as the MES tree of Inanna. In Sumeria the MES whether trees
or written Tablet governed all aspects of Creation, the written functions were derivative of the natural world.
I, the queen, will look with wonder at the foliage. I, Inana, will gaze at the soft foliage. May my bridegroom speak to me ...... kindly words such
as a farmer or a shepherd would speak.
I, the queen, will lie on the foliage. I, Inana, will run to the foliage. May they stand at my service
I will sprinkle water ....... I will make ...... shine. I will make my mes tree sprout forth
The Apple tree within Edin was the MES tree of the Lord of Edin, Dumuzid, the husband of Inanna
My desirable one, my desirable one, your charms are lovely, my desirable apple garden, your charms are lovely. My fruitful garden of mes trees,
your charms are lovely, my one who is in himself Dumuzid-abzu, your charms are lovely
Good semen, good seed; when he comes forth from the brickbuilt abzu, I will make him sprout forth like a mes tree. Ama-ucumgal-ana, may An create
....... ...... shall supply you with ....... Your sweet beauty, like foliage ....... I shall cherish you ....... I will make Ama-ucumgal-ana sprout
forth as just such a mes tree
Ama-ucumgal-ana is a descriptive title of the shepherd King Dumuzid.
My lord is perfect for the holy embrace. Ama-ucumgal-ana, the son-in-law of Suen, lord Dumuzid, is perfect for the holy embrace. Ama-ucumgal-ana,
son-in-law of Suen, my lord: how pleasing is your lavishness, and how sweet-tasting are your herbs and plants from the plain!
As the Apple Tree is the MES tree of her husband Dumuzid, beloved of Heavenly Anu, Inanna kneels before it
"He brought me into his garden.
My brother, Dumuzi, brought me into his garden.
I strolled with him among the standing trees,
I stood with him among the fallen trees
By the apple tree I knelt as is proper.
My brother-bearer, your allure was sweet.
My blossom-bearer in the apple orchard,
My bearer of fruit in the apple orchard,
Dumuzi-abzu, your allure was sweet."
The location of the Great Apple Tree of Dumuzid is revealed in the tale of Inannas descent into the Underworld. When she obtains her release a
surrogate must be found to take her place, the seven Gallu demons accompany her as she seeks such, eventually coming upon her husband Dumuzid;
Inana's descent to the nether world: c.1.4.1
Holy Inana answered the demons: "Outstanding Lulal follows me at my right and my left. How could I turn him over to you? Let us go on. Let us go on to
the great APPLE TREE in the plain of Kulaba."
Inana's descent to the nether world: c.1.4.1
They followed her to the great APPLE TREE in the plain of Kulaba. There was Dumuzid clothed in a magnificent garment and seated magnificently on a
throne. The demons seized him there by his thighs. The seven of them poured the milk from his churns.
The Great Apple Tree was then in the Plain of Kulaba, some simply translate this as Uruk, as Kulaba was the central and oldest part of the City.
The Demons make off with Dumuzid and he is forced to spend six months of the year in the Underworld, his loving sister accomplishing the other six.
For our purposes then we can understand the Apple Tree was contained within the Kulaba Temple.
House with the great me’s of Kulaba, .(its) has made the temple flourish
O house with the great divine powers of Kulaba, ......, its platform has made the great shrine flourish. Green fresh fruit, marvellous, filled with
ripeness, descending from the centre of heaven
From later times it can be determined that this tree was understood as the Tree of Life.
Tammuz has descended from Dumuzi, and Gizzida was a god of healing sometimes connected with the underworld. Gizzida was called Lord of the Tree of
Truth, as Dumuzi-Tammuz was Lord of the Tree of Life -trees that were stars planted in heaven.
Edin and the Apple Tree not so difficult then to locate.
City, majestic bull bearing vigour and great awesome splendour, Kulaba, ......, breast of the storm, where destiny is determined; Uruk, great
mountain, in the midst of ....... There the evening meal of the great abode of An was set. In those days of yore, when the destinies were determined,
the great princes allowed Uruk Kulaba's E-ana to lift its head high. Plenty, and carp floods, and the rain which brings forth dappled barley were then
increased in Uruk Kulaba. Before the land of Dilmun yet existed, the E-ana of Uruk Kulaba was well founded, and the holy jipar of Inana in brick-built
Kulaba shone forth like the silver in the lode.
edit on 6-6-2013 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)