Wolkstein and Kramer on Uruk's (also translated as the edin of Kulaba) great apple tree where Dumuzi is seized by the Ugalla/Galla demons. Note that Dumuzi is described as seated upon a throne and the above stele shows enthroned dieties:
The galla said:
"Walk on to your city, Inanna.
We will go with you to the big apple tree in Uruk."
In Uruk, by the big apple tree,
Dumuzi, the husband of Inanna, was dressed in his shining me-garments.
He sat on his magnificent throne...
The galla seized him...
Inanna fastened on Dumuzi the eye of death.
She spoke against him the word of wrath.
She uttered against him the cry of guilt:
"Take him! Take Dumuzi away!"...
The galla...seized Dumuzi..."
(p. 71. "From the Great Above to the Great Below." Diana Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer. Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth, Her Stories and Hymns From Sumer. New York. Harper & Row. 1983)
Below, an impression from a cylinder seal showing perhaps Dumuzi as the "life-force" in the vegetation of the edin (the great plain through which flow the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) of the Spring, feeding two goats. He was a shepherd of the edin and had flocks of goats and sheep. At the far ends of the seal appear two Sumerian cult-poles usually associated with Dumuzi's wife Inanna of Uruk, who bore the Sumerian epithet nin-edin "the lady of edin." (for the below photo cf. p. 85. Diana Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer. Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth, Her Stories and Hymns From Sumer. New York. Harper & Row. 1983)
Below, a clyinder seal impression showing a god (?) with horned helmet and a woman seated on either side of a date palm possessing two clusters of dates. Behind the god (?) is a serpent. This seal has been popularly called "The Adam and Eve Seal," the serpent being described by some as Eden's serpent. The problem in such an identification? The Edenic serpent is portrayed as possesing legs and this serpent has none. Neither Adam nor Eve are portrayed as being a god and goddess, thus this is most likely NOT a seal of Adam, Eve and the Serpent. However I understand that these figures are the pre-biblical Sumerian "prototypes" of Adam, Eve and the Serpent in the forms of Inanna and Dumuzi. I understand that Eve is a recast of Inanna and Adam a recast of Dumuzi. Both Inanna and Dumuzi were called in Sumerian ama-ushumgal-an-na "the mother is a great serpent-dragon of heaven." So the serpent on the seal might be an allusion to these two deities' epithet (for the below picture cf. p. 3. "The Huluppu Tree." Diana Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer. Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth, Her Stories and Hymns From Sumer. New York. Harper & Row. 1983)?
Genesis tells us that God stationed Cherubim to deny man access to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24) and later we are informed that Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem bore scenes of Cherubim and Palm Trees (1 Kings 6:29, 32, 35). Perhaps the Palm Trees in Solomon's Temple were Date Palms? If so, then the Date Palm seedlings shown above on this page being watered by man before various Mesopotamian gods and goddesses perhaps were later morphed by the Hebrews into the Tree of Life?
Interestingly, the late Professor Thorkild Jacobsen (Harvard University) rendered ama-ushumgal-an-na NOT as "the mother is a great serpent-dragon of heaven":
We can distinguish the form of Dumuzi called Dumuzi-Amaushumgalanna, who appears to be the power in the date plam to produce new fruit. The name Amaushumgalanna means "the one great source of the date clusters" (ama-ushum.gal-ana (.ak) and refers to the so-called heart of palm, the enormous bud which the palm tree sets each year. This is the lightest and happiest of all the forms of the god. The cult celebrates his sacred marriage only, not his loss in death- presumably because the date is easily storable and endures. His worship among the shepherds and cowherds has greater range.."
(p. 26. "Dying Gods of Fertility." Thorkild Jacobsen. The Treasures of Darkness, A History of Mesopotamian Religion. New Haven & London. Yale University Press. 1976)
If Jacobsen is right, perhaps the hands extended toward the date palm in the below seal are alluding to Dumuzi as being manifested in the palm's date-clusters (his resurrection from death, hence the tree is a tree of life)? Most scholars however disagree with Jacobsen and prefer to render ama-ushumgal-an-na as: "the mother is a great serpent-dragon of heaven" (ama= mother, ushum= serpent, gal= great, an-na= heaven).
Dumuzi was seen as the life-force in the annual Spring renewing of edin's vegetation and in one myth he is transformed into a snake to slither out of his bonds to elude briefly his captors the Ugalla demons. Is the snake on the below seal an allusion to his being made briefly into a snake and his extended hand toward the tree an allusion to his "return to life" in the vegetation of edin as a date palm? To the degree that Inanna was called
nin-edin "the lady of edin" and her husband Dumuzi was called mulu-edin "the lord of edin" I understand these gods are pre-biblical prototypes behind Adam, Eve and the Serpent who dwelt in Eden (The Sumerian edin).
Another possible interpretation of the below cylinder seal is that the seated deities are Inanna and either her husband Dumuzi or Gilgamesh, both were kings of Uruk and both were deified and made into gods.
Inanna plants a Huluppu tree (a willow tree?) in her holy garden at Uruk and wants to make furniture of it, a throne to sit on and a bed to lie upon but is prevented by a snake living at its base. Gilgamesh drives away the snake, slaying it with his ax, then uproots it so it can be made into a throne (and bed) for Innana. The below cylinder seal's two thrones (?) might be an allusion to the myth about the Huluppu tree's being chopped down and made into a throne after Gilgamesh slays and removes the tree's guardian, the serpent? The extended hands of the god and goddess pointing to the tree might allude to it being the source of the wood for the thrones they sit upon?
Kramer on the Huluppu tree, describing it as being formed with the earth's creation:
"In the first days, in the very first days,
In the first nights, in the very first nights,
In the first years, in the very first years,
In the first days when everything needed was brought into being...
When earth had separated from heaven,
And the name of man was fixed...
Enki, the god of wisdom...
At that time, a tree, a single tree, a huluppu tree
Was planted by the banks of the Euphrates...
A woman who walked in fear of the word of the sky God...
Plucked up the tree from the river and spoke:
'I shall plant this tree in Uruk,
I shall plant this tree in my holy garden.'
Inanna cared for the tree with her hand...
'How long will it be until I have a shining throne to sit upon?'
'How long will it be until I have a shining bed to lie upon?'
The years passed...
Then a serpent who could not be charmed
Made its nest in the roots of the huluppu tree.
How Inanna wept!
(Yet they would not leave her tree.)...
Gilgamesh the valiant warrior...
Lifted his bronze ax...
He entered Inanna's holy garden.
Gilgamesh struck the serpent who could not be charmed...
Gilgamesh then loosened the roots of the huluppu tree;
And the sons of the city, who accompanied him, cut off the branches.
From the trunk of the tree he carved a throne for his holy sister
From the trunk of the tree Gilgamesh carved a bed for Inanna"
(pp. 4-9. "The Huluppu-Tree." Diana Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer. Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth, Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. New York. Harper & Row, Publishers. 1983)
Elsewhere on this website I have articles identifying Adam, Eve, the Serpent, Yahweh, the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life as recast Sumerian and Mesopotamian myths, some associated with Ur, Uruk, Eridu and Nippur.
Some commenators on the BIble understand that Eden's tree of life was the date palm, cf. Ezekiel's description of Cherubim guarding date palms as decorations in Solomon's temple (Ez 41:18-25) and it is interesting that the cylinder seal shows a date palm and a serpent.
In the biblical recasting the serpent is associated with a tree in a Yahweh's Garden of Eden. Inanna had a Holy Garden surrounded by Uruk's edin possessing a date palm and serpent just like Yahweh, and at Nippur Sumerian hymns called her nin-edin "the lady of edin/eden." She sought knowledge by eating of a tree in another hymn with her brother Utu the son-god just like Eve of Eden's garden. Naked men at Uruk cared for Inanna's holy garden surrounded by the Sumerian edin/eden (cf. the Warka/Uruk 3rd millennium BC alabaster vase for a file of naked men presenting her the harvest from her holy garden which included date-palms). So like Yahweh, Inanna's holy garden surrounded by an edin/eden was cared for by naked man (Adam caring for Yahweh's garden of Eden in a state of nakedness).
I understand that the Hebrews are taking "great liberties" in recasting the Sumerian and Mesopotamian motifs about the origins of the earth and man into new stories with new names and locations, Yahweh being a fusion of innumerable gods and goddesses including: An/Anu (of Uruk), Enlil/Ellil (of Nippur), Enki/Ea (of Eridu); Eve being a fusion of Inanna/Ishtar (and Shamhat of Uruk); Adam being a fusion of Enkidu of Uruk, Adapa of Eridu and the innumerable Sumerian city-gardens of the gods and goddesses surrounded by edin being fused together and recast as _one_ God's Garden in Eden.