CDLI Literary 000380, ex. 015 (P346209)

Literary tablet excavated in Ur (mod. Tell Muqayyar), dated to the Old Babylonian (ca. 1900-1600 BC) period and now kept in British Museum, London, UK

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Chemical Data

Seal Chemistry


Museum Collection(s)

British Museum, London, UK

Museum Number

BM —


Old Babylonian (ca. 1900-1600 BC)


Ur (mod. Tell Muqayyar)

Artifact Type




Genre / Subgenre(s)

Literary (ETCSL 2.02.03 Lament for Sumer and Ur (witness))






1. u4# szu# bala# ke3#-de3# [...]-lam#?-e-de3
 en: In order to overturn the day, in order to destroy the plans
2. u4#-de3 mar-rux(TE)-gin7# [...] x-gu7-e
 en: The storm ravages like a stormwind
3. me ki#-en-gi-ra# szu# bala# ke3-de3#
 en: In order to overturn the cosmic powers of Sumer
4. bala# sa6-ga e2#-ba# gi4-gi4-de3
 en: In order to confine the good reign in its house
5. iri# gul#-gul-u3-de3 e2 gul-gul-u3-de3
 en: In order to destroy the city, in order to destroy the temple
6. tur3 gul-gul-u3-de3 amasz tab-tab-be2-de3
 en: In order to destroy the cattlepen, in order to flatten the sheepfold
7. gu4-bi tur3-bi-a nu-gub-bu-de3
 en: So that the ox does not does not stand in its cattlepen
8. udu-bi amasz-bi-a nu-dagal-e-de3#
 en: So that the sheep does not expand (in number?) in its sheepfold
9. i7-bi a mun4-na tum3-u3-de3#
 en: So that the canal irrigates with (only) brackish water
10. GAN2-ne2 zi-de3 {u2}hirim mu2-mu2-de3
 en: So that hirin grass grows in the fertile field
11. edin-e u2 a-nir mu2-mu2-de3
 en: So that the “lamentation plant” grows in the plain
12. ama dumu-ni-ir ki nu-kinx(UR4)-kinx(UR4)-de3
 en: So that the mother does not seek the whereabouts of her child
13. ad-da a dam-gu10 nu-di-de3
 en: So that the father does not say “ah, my wife”
14. dam banda3 ur2-ra nu-hul2-le-de3
 en: So that the junior spouse does not delight in (his) lap
15. TUR-TUR dub3-ba nu-bulug3-ge26-e-de3
 en: So that the little ones do not grow on the knee
16. emeda{+da}-e u5-a nu-di-de3
 en: So that the nursemaid does not sign a lullaby
17. nam-lugal-la ki#-tusz-bi kur2#-ru-de3
 en: So that the dwelling of kingship is changed
18. esz-bar# kinx(UR4)-ga2 [...]-e-de3
 en: In order to paralyze/actively diminish(?) decision making
19. nam#-lugal# kalam-ma kar#?-kar#?-re#?-e#-[de3]
 en: In order to take away the kingship of the land
20. igi#-bi ki!-szar2-ra ga2-ga2#-[de3]
 en: So that it (the destructive storm) sets its gaze on the entire world
21. inim du11-ga an {d}en#-lil2-ta gesz-hur ha-lam-e-[de3]
 en: So that it ruins the plans according to the command of An and Enlil
22. u4 an-ne2# kur-kur-ra sag-ki ba-da-an-gid2-da-a#-[ba]
 en: It was the time when An frowned upon the lands
23. {d}en-lil2-le igi-ni ki kur2-ra ba-an-gar-ra-a-ba
 en: It was the (time) that Enlil set his gaze on another place
24. {d}nin-tur5-re nig2-dim2-dim2-ma-ni za3 bi2-in-tag-ga-a-ba
 en: It was the (time) that Nintur rejected her creations
25. {d}en-ki-ke4 {i7}idigna {i7}buranun-na szu!? bi2-in-bala-a-ba
 en: It was the (time) that Enki changed (the course of) the Tigris and Euphrates
26. ki-en-gi-ra me-bi ha-lam-e-de3 gesz-hur-bi kur2-ru-de3
 en: In order to destroy the me of Sumer, in order to alter its plans
27. uri2{ki}-ma me nam-lugal-la bala-bi su3-su3-u4-de3
 en: In order to obfuscate the me and the reign of kingship in Ur
28. dumu nun-na e2-kisz-nu-gal2-na szu pe-el-la2 di-de3
 en: In order to defile the princely son in his Ekišnugal temple
29. [{d}]nanna ug3 u8?-gin7 lu-a-na igi-te-en-bi si-il-le-de3
 en: In order to tear apart the “mesh” of the people teeming/pastured like ewes(?) of Nanna
30. uri2{ki} esz3 nindaba gal-gal-la nindaba-bi kur2-ru-de3
 en: In order to change the nindaba offering of Ur, the shrine of great nindaba offerings
31. ug3-bi ki-tusz-bi nu-tusz-u3-de3 ki-erim2-e szum2-mu-de3
 en: So that its people do no dwell in their dwelling, so that they are given into enemy territory
32. szimaszgi?{ki} elam{ki} lu2 ha-lam-ma ki-tusz-bi tusz-u3-de3
 en: So that Šimašgi and Elam, the destructive people, dwell in their dwellings
33. sipa-bi e2-gal-la ni2-te-na lu2-erim2-e dab5-be2-de3
 en: So that the enemy seizes their shepherd in his very own palace
34. i-bi2-{d}suen kur elam{ki}-ma-sze3 gesz-bur-re tum2-u3-de3
 en: So that Ibbi-Sîn is brought to the land of Elam in a {geš}bur trap/restraint
35. isz za-bu gaba a-ab-ba-ka-ta za3 an-sza4-an{ki#}-sze3
 en: From the sand dunes of Zabu on the shore of the sea to the border of Anšan
36. sim{muszen} e2-bi-a ba-ra-an-dal-a-gin7 uru17-ni-sze3 nu-gur-re-dam#?
 en: Like a swallow that has flown from(!?) its house (= nest), he is not to return to his city
37. {i7}idigna {i7}buranun-na gu2 min4{min}-a-bi u2 hul mu2-mu2-de3
 en: So that malevolent plants grow on both banks of the Tigris and Euphrates
38. kaskal-e giri3 nu-ga2-ga2-de3# har-ra-an nu-kinx(UR4)-kinx(UR4)-de3
 en: So that no one sets foot on the road, so that no one seeks the path
1. uru17 a2-dam ki gar-gar-ra-ba du6-du6-ra szid-de3
 en: In order to break up the founded city and (outlying) settlements into ruin mounds
2. ug3 sag-gig2 lu-lu-a-ba {gesz}hasz#-e ke3-de3
 en: In order to smite the teeming black-headed people with the haš weapon
3. GAN2-ne2 zi-de3 {gesz}al nu-ru#-gu2#-de3 numun ki nu-tag-ge-de3
 en: So that the hoe does not penetrate the fertile field, so that the seed is not planted
4. e-el-lu szir3 gu4 sub2-sub2-ba edin-na# nu-di-de3
 en: So that the e'ellu, the song of the going oxen, is not sung in the plain
5. e2-tur3-ra i3 ga-ar3-ra nu-ke3-de3 x szu ha-lam-e-de3
 en: So that butter and cheese(?) are not made in the cattlepen, so that ... is destroyed
6. sipa-de3 {gesz}ukur-ra amasz ku3-ga szu nu-ni10-ni10-de3
 en: So that the shepherd does not circle around (herding) within the corral and the holy sheepfold
7. i-lu-lam-ma dun5-dun5 {dug}szakir3-ra amasz-a nu-di-de3
 en: So that the ilulama song, the churning of the churn, is not sung in the sheepfold
8. edin-na masz2-ansze tur-re-de3 nig2-zi-gal2 til-le-de3
 en: In order to diminish the herd, in order to finish the wild animals
9. nig2-ur2-limmu2 {d#}szakkan-ke4 szurim ki nu-tag-ge-de3
 en: So that the dung/bedding of the quadrupeds of Sumuqan does not touch the ground
10. ambar-re szu ki-in-dar di-de3 numun nu-tuku-tuku-de3
 en: So that in the marshes (wet land) is turned into cracked land, so that they do not acquire seeds
11. gesz-gi gi sag hul mu2-mu2-de3 hab2-ba usz-u3-de3
 en: So that the “evil-headed” reed grows in the wetlands, so that (the wetlands) die with a stench(?)
12. pu2 {gesz}kiri6 u2 gibil-la2 nu-me-a ni2-ba szu2-szu2-u3-de3
 en: So that the irrigated orchard with no new growth covers itself over
13. uri2{ki} am gal u3-na gub-ba ni2-bi-ta nir-gal2
 en: Urim, the great wild bull standing wildly, noble in and of itself
14. iri numun nam-en nam-lugal-la ki sikil-la du3-a#
 en: The city where the seed of the en-ship and kingship is planted in a pure place
15. gu4-gin7 saman ul4-la-bi szub-bu-de3 gu2 ki-sze3 la2#-e-de3
 en: In order to fell it quickly with a tethering rope like a bull, in order to bring its neck to the ground
16. an {d}en#-lil2# {d}en-ki {d}nin-hur-sag-ga2-ke4 nam-bi ba-an-tar-re-esz
 en: An, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursag decreed its fate
17. nam-tar-[...] nu#-kur2-ru-dam a-ba szu mi-ni-ib2-bala-e
 en: That determined fate is something that cannot be changed--who can alter it?
18. inim du11-[... {d}]en-lil2-kam sag a-ba mu-un-ga2-ga2
 en: It is the command of An and Enlil--who could confront it?
19. an-ne2 ki-[...]-tusz#-ba bi2-in-hu-luh ug3-e ni2 bi2-in-te
 en: An terrified within the dwelling of Sumer, the people were frightened
20. {d}en-lil2-[...] gig#-ga mu-un-zal iri#-a# me# bi2-ib-gar
 en: Enlil made a painful day elapse, silence befell the city
21. {d}nin-tur5-re ama5# kalam-ma-ke4 {gesz}ig-szu-ur2 im-mi-in-gub
 en: Nintur set (open?) the bolt (in the street) at the women's quarters of the land
22. {d}en-ki-ke4 {i7}idigna {i7}buranun-na a im-ma-da-an-kesz2
 en: Enki bound up the water away from the Tigris and Euphrates
23. {d}utu nig2-si-sa2 inim gin6-na ka-ta ba-da#-an#-kar
 en: Utu took away justice and the true word from the mouth (of anyone that would speak it)
24. {d}inanna-ke4 me3 szen-szen-na# ki-bala-e ba#-an-szum2
 en: Inanna gave the battle and combat (to the enemy) in the rebel land
25. {d}nin-gir2-su-ke4 ki-en-gi ga-gin7# ur-e ba#-ni-in-de2
 en: Ningirsu poured out Sumer like milk among the dogs
26. kalam-ma ga#-ba-ra-hum im-ma-an-szub nig2 lu2 nu-zu-a
 en: Rebellion fell upon the land, it was something no one knew
27. nig2 igi nu-gal2-la inim nu-gal2-la nig2 szu nu-te-ge26#-dam
 en: It was something unseen (before), and (for which) there was no word, something not to be accepted(?)
28. kur-kur-re e2# ni2-ta-bi-a szu suh3-a ba-ab-du11
 en: The lands were confused in their very own temples(!?)
29. iri{ki}-ba dingir iri{ki}-bi-e-ne bar-ta ba-sugx(DU)-ge-esz
 en: In the city, the gods of that city stood outside
30. nam-lu2-lux(URU) e2#? ni2-te-bi-a zi gig# mu#-un-pa-an-pa-an
 en: Humanity breathed painfully in their very own homes(?)
31. u4-de3 szu-ne-ne ba-du3-du3 u4 nu-mu-un#-szi-ib2-gur-re
 en: The storm bound their hands, the storm will not return them
32. u4 gi4-a mu-un-na-tuku-am3 u4 dur2-bi-sze3# nu-um-DU
 en: The storm acquired blocking(?) for them(?), it did not go(?) towards their (sturdy) bottom(?)
33. {d}en#-lil2 sipa sag-gig2-ga-ke4 a-na bi2-in-ak-a-bi
 en: This is what Enlil, the shepherd of the black-headed people, did
34. {d}en#-lil2-le e2 zi gul-gul-lu-de3 lu2 zi tur-re-de3
 en: Enlil, in order for Enlil to destroy the true temple and diminish the true man
35. dumu lu2# zi#-da#?-ke4#? dumu# sag#-e igi hul#-bi dim2-me-de3
 en: In order to exert the evil eye upon the son of the true man, the eldest son
36. u4#-ba# {d#}[...] gu#-ti-um!{ki} kur-ta im-ta-an-e11
 en: At that time Enlil brought down Gutium from the mountain
  single ruling
37. x x [...]
 en: ...

Consult previous versions and their differences
Consult sign list of Old Babylonian (ca. 1900-1600 BC)
Consult word list of Old Babylonian (ca. 1900-1600 BC)

  • Artifact type: Tablet
  • Material: Clay
  • Measurements (mm):
  • Weight:
  • Artifact Preservation:
  • Condition Description:
  • Join Information:
  • Seal no.:
  • Seal information:
  • Artifact comments:

  • Genre(s): Literary (ETCSL 2.02.03 Lament for Sumer and Ur (witness))
  • Language(s): Sumerian

  • history: UET 6, 0124

    [Gadd1963] Gadd, Cyril J., and Aaron Shaffer. 1963, 1966.

  • history: Lamentation over Sumer and Ur, p.31

    [Michalowski1989LamentationSumer] Michalowski, Piotr. 1989. The Lamentation over the Destruction of Sumer and Ur. Vol. 1. Mesopotamian Civilizations. Winona Lake, Ind : Eisenbrauns.

  • Composite No.:
  • Museum No.: BM —
  • Accession No.:

  • Provenience: Ur (mod. Tell Muqayyar)
  • Elevation:
  • Stratigraphic Level:
  • Excavation No: U 16900e
  • Findspot Square:
  • Findspot Comments:

Created Creator Type Authors Project Reviewer Status Action
2024-07-12 at 18:14:13 Firth, Richard Artifact, Other Entity Firth, Richard Firth, Richard approved View
2023-06-15 at 20:34:30 Rattenborg, Rune Artifact Rattenborg, Rune Geomapping Landscapes of Writing Rattenborg, Rune approved View
2019-06-11 at 10:20:27 Englund, Robert K. Atf Englund, Robert K. CDLI approved View
2019-06-01 at 14:34:09 Englund, Robert K. Atf Peterson, Jeremiah CDLI approved View
2019-05-29 at 21:01:58 Englund, Robert K. Atf Englund, Robert K. CDLI approved View
2006-11-02 at 00:00:00 CDLI Artifact Foxvog, Daniel A.; Guerra, Dylan; Peterson, Jeremiah; Veldhuis, Niek; Wolfe, Jared N. CDLI approved View

This artifact is a witness to the following composite(s):

Composite Score
CDLI Literary 000380 (Lament for Sumer and Ur) composite (P469682) View the score

General Notes: -
CDLI Notes: -
Cite this Artifact
“CDLI Literary 000380, Ex. 015 Artifact Entry.” (2006) 2024. Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). July 12, 2024.
CDLI Literary 000380, ex. 015 artifact entry (No. P346209). (2024, July 12). Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). (Original work published 2006)
CDLI Literary 000380, ex. 015 artifact entry (2024) Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). Available at: (Accessed: July 19, 2024).
	note = {[Online; accessed 2024-07-19]},
	year = {2024},
	month = {jul 12},
	title = {CDLI {Literary} 000380, ex. 015 artifact entry},
	url = {},
	howpublished = {},

DA  - 2024/7/12/
PY  - 2024
ID  - P346209
LB  - CDLI:P346209
M1  - 2024/7/19/
TI  - CDLI Literary 000380, ex. 015 artifact entry
UR  -
ER  - 
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