In the London;s British Museum there exists a carving of unknown antiquity. It was acquired from a dealer in looted archaeology artifacts back in 1924. The purchaser made no inquiries as to which site it had come from. Various efforts to date it precisely have pretty much failed. It is believed traces of a red paint that once covered the carving are at least 1,500 years old. It is most probable the carving dates to the early Mesopotamian era around the time of Sargon, or even earlier..
Pre WW2 efforts to sell the carving to the British Museum were not successful and eventually a man named Burney purchased it. Since then it has been called the Burney Relief. The carving bounced around awhile before finally being purchased after all by the British Museum in 2003 for a half million Euro dollars.
Scholars agree that Inanna, the daughter of the Anunnakai known as Enki, was merged in the time of Sargon with a contemporary known as Ishtar. King Sargon maintained they were both the same individual. This would of course tie into Dr. Stitchin's translations of things allegedly related to humans by Enki found on earlier tablets from Sumer, especially as pertaining to Mardok's attacks on the Bakar Valley and elsewhere.
Ancient paleolithic (approximately 20,000 B.C.) symbols of an ancient bird goddess usually depict owls (later associated in Greek tales with Aphrodite). The Burney carving is unique in several ways. First of all the ancient god carvings, this female humanoid is the only one pictured in the nude. Her image is found on only two other known carvings, none surviving with as much detail, but found and documented during digs of ancient sites.
The Sumer word for owl is Ninna. In Sumer tablets Inanna is also called Nin-ninna (translation: divine owl lady). "The ancient texts also give the Akkadian word kilili for Nin-ninna, and this name was one shared by Innana and Ishtar."
A scholar, Rafael Patai, speculated in 1990 that possibly kilili is the original derivation of Lilith, who, much later, in biblical times, is called 'night-owl or screech-owl'. In the Sumerian poem Gilgamesh and the Huluppu Tree, a she-demon named Lilith built her house in the Huluppu tree on the banks of the Euphrates before being routed by Gilgamesh.
The similarity of the female pictured in the carving to what the later Greek civilization called an Houri is also noted by many. Another factor contributing to uniqueness is the mix of artist styles in the carving. The owls are stylistic depictions similar to those found in the area. But the woman is much more detailed and obviously a model participated in the effort. Her horned head piece is typical of those shown as being worn by those the early Sumer people called Anunnakai (Translation: visitors from the sky).
To me unquestionably this is a carving of Inanna. I can also accept King Sargon's contention Inanna and Ishtar were just two different names of the same entity. However the connection between the Goddess Ishtar and the much later Hebrew and Biblical era Lillith is new to me. What do you think?
For more about the Burney Relief
British Museum: Queen of the Night (aka, The Burney Relief)