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Nintu, mother goddess, Mesopotamian (Sumerian and Babylonian-Akkadian), broke off, according to legend, fourteen pieces of primordial clay to form the womb deities, seven on the left and seven in the right with a brick between them, who produced the first seven pairs of human embryos. She is closely identified with the goddess Ninhursaga and may have become Belet Ili (mistress of the gods) when, at Enki's suggestion, the gods slew one of themselves and used his flesh and blood, mixed with clay, to create humankind. A.G.H.
Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 186