period. The oldest Sumerian religious structure has been found
at Eridu (modern Abu Shahrein). Built on an artificial platform
which anticipates the ziggurat proper, it had buttressed walls.
When excavated a quantity of fishbones were found on the floor
of the cella, and it has been suggested that the temple was
dedicated to Enki, the 'lord of the earth', later called by
the Semites Ea, the 'house of sweet waters'.
period. c 3200-3000BC. The White Temple, so called because of
its whitewashed sides, surmounted the 'Anu ziggurat', the second
important predynastic sanctuary at Uruk. The central room is
flanked by five side rooms to the north-east. Entry was through
a door in the south-western side, leading through a vestibule
to the long cella. In one corridor stood a platform or altar
and, a few feet in front, an offering table of brick with semi-circular