ENTRY 72

4000, Garden of Eden, Sacred Trees, and Pillar Cults

Creator-Goddess-Eve

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INTRODUCTORY CITATIONS

Creator-Goddess Eve.

We cannot understand the history of Eve,

Without seeing her as a deposed Creator Goddess.

(ETH: 3.)

 

 

Genesis 2-3.

 

The Garden of Edin/Eden was the setting

for the biblical creation story that included:

banished Lilith; the maligned serpent;

fallen Eve; Adam’s rib theo – logy;

jealous Jahweh/Yahweh; the screech owl;

and the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge.

(DM: 146.)

World Tree 4000 BCE.

 

According to an ancient Acadian bilingual hymn,

the oldest version of the world tree in the

Garden of Edin or Eden dates to c. 4000.

The Garden of Edin/Eden was located

on the Mesopotamian alluvial plain where

the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers merge

just above the Persian Gulf border.

(ST: 111.)

An Ancient Hymn.

 

In Eridu a stalk grew overshadowing;

in a holy place did it become green.

Its roots were of white crystal,

which stretched towards the deep.

(Before) Ea was its course in Eridu,

teeming with fertility;
Its seat was the (central place of the earth);
Its foliage (?) was the couch

of Zikum the (primeval) mother;
Into the heart of its holy house,

which spread its shade like a forest,
Hath no man entered.

(There is the home) of the mighty mother

who passes across the sky.
In the midst of it was Tammuz.
There is the shrine of the two (gods).

(ST: 111, n. 1; RAB: 238.)

ENTRY NARRATIVE

Over the centuries, the sacredness of the Mesopotamian Garden of Edin/Eden as well as adjacent Ur has been well documented both biblically and archaeologically. As noted in Gn 2-3, the Garden of Edin/Eden was the setting for the biblical creation story that included: banished Lilith; the maligned serpent; fallen Eve; Adam’s rib theo – logy; jealous Jahweh/Yahweh; the screech owl; and the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. (No one fared well, including apples, which were transformed from a life source to a symbol of sin. (DM: 146.))

Ultimately, since if it were only their sin the rest of us should logically have our chance at Eden as well, the theology had to be developed that we are all tainted with their sin from our birth. Now we were all damned and in need of god to save us. Thus, it is not surprising that [an androcentric] religion based on a savior gave us the concept of Original Sin (SOTB: 430).

 

The adjacent city of Ur is also significant. In 4000 BCE, it was one of the primary temple cities of the great goddess, Inanna. Ur was also the international moon worshiping center of god Ningal and goddess Sin-Nana, (RDW: 146-7) and possible homeland (?) of Abraham plus the birthplace of his priestess wife [consort/mother goddess/Hieros Gamos], * Sarah. (STP: 93.) (Given that Sarah was pre-Indo-European, it is unlikely that she was considered – or – known as Abraham’s wife [mother goddess/Hieros Gamos]? J. Kien suggests that it was Abraham and Sarah who imported the Mesopotamian moon religion to Mamre near Hebron. Mamre was a major oracular center that included a Terebinth Tree Shrine. (RDW: 160, 148; Gn 18. 1, 23, 17.)

* “When Indo–European gods took over birth and creation attributes, goddesses were then reduced to the position of brides and wives, and ‘not always successfully or consensually’” (TLG: 164). (RGS: 1100-800, Mediterranean Dark Ages).

 

The honored trees at Edin/Eden and Mamre are of interest as trees are both ancient and a universal life symbol. They give protection from the elements, nourishing fruit, healing medicine, and spiritual comfort. (CDBL: 130-1.) In Pr 3:18, wisdom is compared to the tree as, “She is a tree – of – life for those who hold her fast.” Sir Arthur Evans adds that sacred trees were also associated with pillar worship. This dual culture of sacred trees and pillars became so widespread that Evans and others believed this tree – pillar practice marked and defined the early stage of religious evolution and tree – goddess Asherah veneration. (MTPC: 6-7; STP: 91-92; ATLM.)

 

[I]t is hardly an exaggeration to indicate that the sacredness of

vegetation and trees has been a recurrent and integral theme in a

wide range of cultures spanning most areas of the globe and most epochs of human history... [T]he sacred quality of trees lies in the fact of their embodiment of the life principle. … [This] widespread association of vegetal life with the generative power of the divinity has resulted in the common phenomenon of the manifestation of deity within or at certain trees. The God, often a fertility deity, who would favor the exceptional growth and fecundity of particular trees, indicate his presence or the possibility of his presence at such locations. … The tree points the worshipper in the direction [of the divinity.] Furthermore, the divinity revealed in the tree is also the source of the hoped–for life after death, to whom man [one] turns in search of his [or her] own immortality. Thus, the theophany motif of the sacred tree becomes blended inextricably with the concept of life eternal. The tree – of – life in the sense of immortal life becomes an inseparable aspect of the regenerative principle contained within plant life (TTM: 95-96; ATLM: 15-16). (Also, ST: 111; RAB: 238; SOTB: 430; RDW: 146-8, 160; STP: 91-93; CDBL: 130-1; MTPC: 6-7; STCC.)

 

In Asian traditions, Tara probably derived “from prehistoric tree goddesses or from the Mother Tree, Mutvidr. The World Tree expressing its milky golden sap, denotes ‘absolute reality,’ a return to center and place of origin, the home of ‘wisdom that heals.’” (NHI: 128.)

FURTHER RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS

For further research on the eleven-thousand-year-old Gobekli Tepe temple near Ur/Urfa (8200 BCE), see publications by archaeologists Peter Benedict (1980, 150-191) – or - Klaus Schmidt and Garden of Eden. *

* Schmidt, Klaus, and Mirko Wittwar.  Göbekli Tepe: A Stone Age Sanctuar in South-Eastern Anatolia.  Berlin, Germany: Ex Oriente e.V., 2012. (GT.)

 

Further Inanna research: 5000-4900, Inanna in Uruk, Mesopotamia. (RGS.)

 

Further Lilith research: 2400, Lilith and Eve. (RGS.)

 

Further Asherah research,: 2000, Asherah. (RGS.)

 

Further Abraham and Sarah research: 1800, Re-Visioning Goddess Sarah and Abraham. (RGS.)

 

Further tree, baetyl, and pillar culture * research: 7250-6150, Çatal Hüyük, Anatolia (Central Turkey); 7100-6300, Cathedra Goddess of the Beasts; 4000-3000, Egypt, Africa, and Cathedra Goddesses; 2613-2494, Hathor’s Dendera (Denderah) Temple, Egypt; 2000, Asherah; 1800, Re-Visioning Goddess Sarah and Abraham; 1479-1425, Tuthmosis III, Egyptian King; 800, Tanit (Also Taanit, Ta’anit, Tannit, or Tannin); 800-700, Kuntillet Ajrud and Khirbet El-Qom; and 100 Mecca, the Ka’aba and Sacred Stones. (RGS.) (Also, CE entry: 16th Century, Kabbalah.) (RG.)

* Schmidt, Klaus, and Mirko Wittwar.  Göbekli Tepe: A Stone Age Sanctuary

in South-Eastern Anatolia.  Berlin, Germany: Ex Oriente e.V., 2012. (GT.)

 

Further Eden and the Tree-of-Life research: 3000, Earliest Menorah Finds; 2400, Lilith and Eve; 2200, Bethel, Almond City; 2000, Asherah; and 1500, Lachish Ewer, Triangle, and Menorah. (RGS.) (Also see CE entry: 16th Century, Kabbalah.) (RG.)

 

Further Mamre research: 1800, Goddess Sarah and Abraham. (RGS.)

BIBLIOGRAPHIC CONCIDERATIONSDATIONS

For considerations on the temple city of Ur and challenges of the Babylonian women and girls:

Diakonoff, I. M.  “Women in Old Babylonia not under Patriarchal

Authority.”  Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 29.3 (Oct. 1986): 225-238. (WOB.)

 


 

To compare various time – lines plus creation myths that are gender

– inclusive:

Bakan, David.  And They Took Themselves Wives.  San Francisco, CA:

Harper & Row: 1979. (ATT.)

Bird, Phyllis A.  Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities: Women and

Gender in Ancient Israel.  Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1997. (MPMI.)

Callahan, Tim.  Secret Origins of the Bible.  Altadena, CA: Millennium

Press, 2002. 30-55. (SOTB.)

Gage, Matilda Joslyn. Ed. Sally Roesch Wagner.  Woman, Church, and

State: A Historical Account of the Status of Woman through the Christian Ages, with Reminiscences of the Matriarchate.  1893. Modern Reader's Edition. Aberdeen, SD: Sky Carrier Press, 1998. (WCS.)

George, Arthur L., and Elena George.  The Mythology of Eden.

Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books, 2014. (TMOE.)

Graham, Lloyd.  Deceptions and Myths of the Bible.  New York, NY:

Carol Pub. Group, 1997. (DMB.)

 

(Continued) To compare various time – lines plus creation myths that are gender – inclusive:

Kien, Jenny.  Reinstating the Divine Woman in Judaism.  Parkland, FL:

Universal Publishers, 2000. (RDW.)

Philpot, J. H.  The Sacred Tree: or, the Tree in Religion and Myth.

 London England: Macmillan, 1897. (ST.)

Shryock, Andrew, Daniel L. Smail, and Timothy K. Earle.  Deep History:

The Architecture of Past and Present.  Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2011. (DH.)

Stanton, Elizabeth C.  The Woman's Bible.  Seattle, WA: Coalition Task

Force on Women and Religion, 1974. (TWB.)

Taussig, Hal.  A New Testament: A Reinvented Bible for the Twenty First

Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. (NNT.)

Teubal, Savina J.  Sarah the Priestess: The First Matriarch of Genesis.

Athens, OH: First Swallow Press, 1984. (STP.)

_____.  Ancient Sisterhood: The Lost Traditions of Hagar and Sarah.

Athens, OH: Swallow Press, 1990. xxv. (ASLT.)

Thompson, William Irving.  The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light:

Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture.  London, England: Rider/Hutchinson, 1981. (TFB.)

White, Lynn Jr.  “The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis.”  Science

155. 3767 (Mar. 10, 1967): 1203-1207. (HRE.)

ENTRY 72 GODDESS SITES AND ARTIFACT IMAGE COLLECTIONS

GSA TEXT REFERENCES

IMAGE: ZIGGURAT TEMPLE: UR, MESOPOTAMIA.

PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION: TEMPLE OF UR, INANNA’S PRIMARY TEMPLE CITY, MESOPOTAMIA.

PHOTO NOTE: FOR IMAGES OF INANNA’S UR TEMPLE:

RESOURCE: (MUSEUM ART RESOURCE.)

RESOURCE: (BRITISH MUSEUM: LONDON, ENGLAND.)

RESOURCE: (ARCHAEOLOGY, ARCHITECTURE & ART.)

 

IMAGE: OWL PENDANT GRAVE FIND: UR, MESOPOTAMIA, 2600-2500 BCE

PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION: ILLUSTRATION OF OWL PENDANT, GRAVE FIND FROM INANNA’S ZIGGURAT TEMPLE AT UR, MESOPOTAMIA. (MES: 48.)

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SHOT ON LOCATION: BRITISH MUSEUM: LONDON, ENGLAND.

NOTE 1: ALSO NOTE AN ALL BUT IDENTICAL OWL PENDANT FROM INCA, MIRROR IMAGE OF GRAVE FIND FROM INANNA’S UR TEMPLE, MESOPOTAMIA.

 

IMAGE: OWL PENDANT: INCA, PERU.

OWL PENDANT, FROM INCA, PERU, 16 TH CENTURY BCE. ALL BUT IDENTICAL TO OWL PENDANT FROM GRAVE FIND FROM INANNA’S UR TEMPLE, MESOPOTAMIA.

SHOT ON LOCATION: IMAGE IN PROCESS FROM THE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: NEW YORK, NY.

 

IMAGE: TREE – OF – LIFE WITH ISIS/HATHOR NURSING TUTHMOSIS III: VALLEY OF THE KINGS, EGYPT.

PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION: TUTHMOSIS III (THUTMOSIS) NURSING FROM ISIS/ HATHOR/HATSHEPSUT’S TREE (TREE – OF – LIFE), VALLEY OF THE KINGS, EGYPT.

CO_EGY_S34_R4_SL3_S239d.jpg

ON LOCATION: VALLEY OF THE KINGS: EGYPT.

NOTE 1:

AN ICONOGRAPHIC INTERPRETATION OF ISIS/HATHOR NURSING TUTHMOSIS III INDICATES HIEROS GAMOS. ADDITIONALLY, E. O. JAMES SUGGESTS THAT THE TREE WAS THE GODDESS EMBODYING THE FEMALE PRINCIPLE OF SHE WHO GIVES LIFE, TAKES IT AWAY, AND RETURNS IT AGAIN (TOL; RGS).

NOTE 2: “THE HIEROS GAMOS FROM WHENCE A ROYAL SOVEREIGN GETS HIS [HER/ POWER AND THIS IS THE GODDESS HERSELF (APL: 2-23-1999).”

NOTE 3: FIELDWORK PROJECT 1989.

 

TREE – OF – LIFE: SPAIN.

PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION: TREE – OF – LIFE: SPAIN.

CO_SPA_S4_R1_SL3_S21

SHOT ON LOCATION: SOUTHERN SPAIN.

NOTE 1: “THE SACRED QUALITY OF TREES LIES IN THE FACT OF THEIR EMBODIMENT OF THE LIFE PRINCIPLE (TTM: 95-96; ATLM: 15-16).” (ST: 111; RAB: 238; SOTB: 430; RDW: 146-8, 160; STP: 91-93; CDBL: 130-1; MTPC: 6-7; STCC.)

NOTE 2: [GODDESS] ASHERAH WAS ALWAYS A LIVING TREE, OR GROVE, AS HER LIVINGNESS WAS INTEGRAL TO HER RE-CREATRIX, LIFE GIVING FERTILITY ATTRIBUTES (AMST: 42; RGS). (SOURCE: RGS.)

NOTE 3: ASHERIM, * ICONIC REPRESENTATIONS OF ASHERAH.

NOTE 4: * FURTHER INTERPRETATIONS OF THE ASHERIM INCLUDE, (AH: 385-408,

PLUS 1 KINGS 15:13 AND 2 KINGS 21:7.)

NOTE 5: FIELDWORK PROJECT 2002.

 

IMAGE: TREE – OF – LIFE ALTAR: TARXIEN, MALTA.

PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION: PITTED DECORATED ALTAR INCLUDING A TREE – OF – LIFE GROWING OUT OF OR EMERGING FROM AN ICONIC OWL.

CO_MAL_S3_R3_SL3_S36.

SHOT ON LOCATION: TARXIEN, MALTA.

NOTE 1: “THE SACRED QUALITY OF TREES LIES IN THE FACT OF THEIR EMBODIMENT OF THE LIFE PRINCIPLE (TTM: 95-96; ATLM: 15-16).” (SOURCE: ENTRY ABOVE.)

NOTE 2: FIELDWORK PROJECT 1980’S.

 

IMAGE: TREE – OF – LIFE MOTIF: CYPRUS, GREECE.

PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION: TREE – OF – LIFE (TANNIT–LIKE VULVIC TRIANGLE BASE) WITH SPHINXES. MOTIF: A MEMORIAL LIMESTONE STELE THAT INCLUDES PHOENICIAN INFLUENCES. LOCATION IS GOLGI OR IDALION, CYPRUS.

CU_CYP_S5_R3_SL5_S20.

SHOT ON LOCATION: METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: NEW YORK, NY.

NOTE 1: STYLIZED ‘TREE – OF – LIFE’ ORIGINATED FROM THE BRONZE AGE AND HAS “CONNOTATIONS OF FERTILITY AND THE RENOVATION OF NATURE.” (SIGNAGE, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NY.)

NOTE 2: TREE – OF – LIFE REPRESENTS COMPOSITE DEITIES TANIT/ASHERAH.

NOTE 3: “THE SACRED QUALITY OF TREES LIES IN THE FACT OF THEIR EMBODIMENT OF THE LIFE PRINCIPLE (TTM: 95-96; ATLM: 15-16).” (SOURCE: ENTRY ABOVE.)

NOTE 4: FIELDWORK PROJECT 1993-2002.

 

IMAGE: MOTIF OF ASHERAH’S LIVING TREE: URUK, SUMER.

PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION: ASHERAH, A LIVING TREE–OF-LIFE, URUK.

CU_NEA_S7_R4_SL3_S7.jpg

SHOT ON LOCATION: BRITISH MUSEUM: LONDON, ENGLAND.

NOTE 1: “THE SACRED QUALITY OF TREES LIES IN THE FACT OF THEIR EMBODIMENT OF THE LIFE PRINCIPLE (TTM: 95-96; ATLM: 15-16). (ST: 111; RAB: 238; SOTB: 430; RDW: 146-8, 160; STP: 91-93; CDBL: 130-1; MTPC: 6-7; STCC).”

NOTE 2: “[GODDESS] ASHERAH WAS ALWAYS A LIVING TREE, OR GROVE, AS HER LIVINGNESS WAS INTEGRAL TO HER RE-CREATRIX, LIFE GIVING FERTILITY ATTRIBUTES (AMST: 42; RGS).” (SOURCE: RGS.)

NOTE 3: ASHERIM, * ICONIC REPRESENTATIONS OF ASHERAH.

NOTE 4: * FOR FURTHER INTERPRETATIONS OF THE ASHERIM,

AH: 385-408, PLUS 1 KINGS 15:13 AND 2 KINGS 21:7.

NOTE 5: FIELDWORK PROJECT 1998-2002.

 

IMAGE: TREE – OF – LIFE AND SPREAD EAGLE (ANZU?): NIMRUD, ASSYRIA.

PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION ASSYRIAN TREE – OF – LIFE WITH PROTECTIVE

WINGED SUN DISK AND SPREAD EAGLE (ANZU) OR GENII OVERHEAD, NIMRUD NORTH PALACE.

CU_NEA_S9B_R2_SL5_S20.jpg

SHOT ON LOCATION: BRITISH MUSEUM: LONDON, ENGLAND.

NOTE 1:

ASHERAH’S ICONOGRAPHY IS ALL FORMS OF THE TREE MANIFESTED IN RITUAL GROVES, TREES, MAY POLES, TEMPLE PILLARS, PRIMEVAL FORESTS, AND GODDESS PILLAR FIGURES WITH FULL NOURISHING BREASTS (AMST: 42-44; AH: 398; COA; APL; RGS).

NOTE 2: ASHERIM, ICONIC REPRESENTATIONS OF ASHERAH.

NOTE 3: * FOR FURTHER INTERPRETATIONS OF THE ASHERIM, SEE

AH: 385-408, PLUS 1 KINGS 15:13 AND 2 KINGS 21:7.)

NOTE 4: TREE – OF – LIFE REPRESENTS COMPOSITE DEITIES TANIT/ASHERAH.

NOTE 5: “THE SACRED QUALITY OF TREES LIES IN THE FACT OF THEIR EMBODIMENT OF THE LIFE PRINCIPLE (TTM: 95-96; ATLM: 15-16).” (SOURCE: ENTRY ABOVE.)

NOTE 6: ALSO ABOVE THE TREE – OF – LIFE  SUGGESTS A SPREAD WINGED URAEUS?  RGS).

NOTE 7: FIELDWORK PROJECT 1998-2002.

 

IMAGE: TREE – OF – LIFE: PAMUKKALE, (ANATOLIA) TURKEY.

PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION: TREE – OF – LIFE GROWING/LIVING IN A SACRED THERMAL POOL AT THE TURIZM HOTEL, PAMUKKALE, (ANATOLIA) TURKEY.

CO_TUR_S110_R2_SL1_SBi235

SHOT ON LOCATION: PAMUKKALE, (ANATOLIA) TURKEY.

NOTE 1: ASHERIM, * ICONIC REPRESENTATIONS OF ASHERAH.

NOTE 2: “ASHERAH WAS ANY SACRED TREE (AMST: 44): [SHE] WAS ALWAYS A LIVING TREE, OR GROVE, AS HER LIVINGNESS WAS INTEGRAL TO HER RE-CREATRIX, LIFE GIVING FERTILITY ATTRIBUTES (AMST: 42; RGS).” (SOURCE: RGS.)

NOTE 3: * FOR FURTHER INTERPRETATIONS OF THE ASHERIM, SEE AH: 385-408,

PLUS 1 KINGS 15:13 AND 2 KINGS 21:7.

NOTE 4: “THE SACRED QUALITY OF TREES LIES IN THE FACT OF THEIR EMBODIMENT OF THE LIFE PRINCIPLE (TTM: 95-96; ATLM: 15-16).” (SOURCE: ENTRY ABOVE.)

NOTE 5: FIELDWORK PROJECT 1986.

 

IMAGE: TREE – OF – LIFE MOTIF AND AMENEINET WITH HIS MOTHER: DEIR EL-BAHARI, EGYPT.

PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION: TREE – OF – LIFE MOTIF, AMENEINET WITH HIS MOTHER, DEIR EL-BAHARI, EGYPT.

CO_EGY_S43_R2_SL3_S410a.jpg

SHOT ON LOCATION: MUSEUM OF EGYPTIAN ANTIQUITIES: CAIRO, EGYPT.

NOTE 1: “ASHERAH WAS ANY SACRED TREE (AMST: 44): [SHE] WAS ALWAYS A LIVING TREE, OR GROVE, AS HER LIVINGNESS WAS INTEGRAL TO HER RE-CREATRIX, LIFE GIVING FERTILITY ATTRIBUTES (AMST: 42; RGS).” (SOURCE: RGS.)

NOTE 2: ASHERIM, * CULTIC REPRESENTATIONS OF ASHERAH.

NOTE 3: * FOR FURTHER INTERPRETATIONS OF THE ASHERIM, SEE AH: 385-408,

PLUS 1 KINGS 15:13 AND 2 KINGS 21:7.)

NOTE 4: “THE SACRED QUALITY OF TREES LIES IN THE FACT OF THEIR EMBODIMENT OF THE LIFE PRINCIPLE (TTM: 95-96; ATLM: 15-16).” (SOURCE: ENTRY ABOVE.)

NOTE 5: FIELDWORK PROJECT 1985-1989.

 

IMAGE: TREE – OF – LIFE: KONYA, (ANATOLIA) TURKEY.

PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION: TREES OF LIFE ON PATHWAY IN CEMETERY ADJACENT TO MEVLANA MAUSOLEUM, KONYA, TURKEY.

CO_TUR_S72_R4_SL2_S950

SHOT ON LOCATION: KONYA, TURKEY

NOTE 1: “ASHERAH WAS ANY SACRED TREE (AMST: 44): [SHE] WAS ALWAYS A LIVING TREE, OR GROVE, AS HER LIVINGNESS WAS INTEGRAL TO HER RE-CREATRIX, LIFE GIVING FERTILITY ATTRIBUTES (AMST: 42; RGS).” (SOURCE: RGS.)

NOTE 2: ASHERIM, * ICONOGRAPHICAL REPRESENTATIONS OF ASHERAH.

NOTE 3: * FOR FURTHER INTERPRETATIONS OF THE ASHERIM, SEE AH: 385-408, PLUS 1 KINGS 15:13 AND 2 KINGS 21:7.

NOTE 4: “THE SACRED QUALITY OF TREES LIES IN THE FACT OF THEIR EMBODIMENT OF THE LIFE PRINCIPLE (TTM: 95-96; ATLM: 15-16).” (SOURCE: ENTRY ABOVE.)

NOTE 5: FIELDWORK PROJECT 1986.

ReGenesis

ENCYCLOPEDIA

GSA "Goddess, Sites and Artifacts Collection "  curated by Eahr BA Joan 

CO_TUR_S72_R4_SL2_S950