Inanna was the most important Sumerian goddess. She represented the force of sexual reproduction and was the daughter of the moon god Nanna.
Inanna bears some comparison with Persephone. She goes to the Underworld where she is detained because she is killed. After killing her, Ereshkigal hangs Inanna on the wall. Enki intervenes to save her life, which then results in stand-ins for Inanna, her husband Dumazi and his sister Geshtinanna, each spending half the year in the Underworld. The alternation causes the change in seasons.Budin argues that Ashtart is a syncretism of the Sumerian goddess Inanna and the Semitic god Athtar, whom she says are both Venus deities. Ishtar Budin says is gender ambiguous, sometimes depicted bearded and lacking the femininizing "t" at the end of its name.
"A Reconsideration of the Aphrodite-Ashtart Syncretism"
Stephanie L. Budin
Numen, Vol. 51, No. 2 (2004), pp. 95-145
Online Versions of Inanna or Ishtar
Inanna (Encyclopedia Mythica)
Inanna is a goddess of love, fertility, and war. She is also called Ninnanna, Ninsianna, and Inannu. She is the personification of the planet Venus and is portrayed as fickle towards men.
Inanna (Christopher Siren)
Nanna's daughter. Gilgamesh scorned her advances. She is also involved in a story of the underworld which she can only leave if someone stays in her place.