CDLI Literary 000380, ex. 020 (P346217)

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. [...] dumu-ni {d}suen-ra mu-un-na-ni-ib-gi4-gi4
 en: Enlil was replying to his son Suen
2. [...]-x x-bi a-sze-ra gi er2-ra ba-am3-mu2
 en: In the ... of of the windswept city(?), the reed of mourning grows in lamentation
3. [...]-bi# a-sze-ra gi er2-ra ba-am-mu2
 en: In the ..., the reed of mourning grows in lamentation
4. [...]-x-bi a-sze-ra u4 mi-ni-ib-zal-zal-e
 en: In the ..., he spends time in lamentation
5. [...]-gu10# dumu-gir15 ni2-za he2-me-en er2-ra-na-bi-me-en
 en: My son, if you yourself are a native son, then it is you who is the one whose tears (they are)
6. [{d}]nanna# dumu-gir15 ni2-za he2-me-en er2-ra-na-bi-me-en
 en: Nanna, if you yourself are a native son, then it is you who is the one whose tears (they are)
7. di#-til-la inim pu-uh2-ru-ma-ka szu gi4-gi4 nu-gal2
 en: There is no revocation of a final verdict, the word of the assembly
8. inim du11-ga an {d}en-lil2-la2-ka szu bala-e nu-zu
 en: The uttered word of An and Enlil knows no change
9. uri2{ki} nam-lugal ha-ba-szum2 bala da-ri2 la-ba-an-szum2
 en: If Ur was given kingship, ... did not give an eternal term of office
10. u4 ul kalam ki gar-ra-ta za3 ug lu-a-sze3
 en: From the distant day when the land was founded to the (current) limit of teeming people
11. bala nam-lugal-la sag-bi-sze3 e3 a-ba-a igi im-mi-in-duh-a
 en: Who has seen a reign of kingship taking precedence (forever)
12. nam-lugal-bi bala-bi ba-gid2-e-de3 sza3 kuszx(SAG)-u3#-de3
 en: In order to lengthen the term of kingship(?), in order to take counsel (to that effect?)
13. {d}nanna-gu10 na-an-kuszx(SAG)-kuszx(SAG)-u3-de3 iri#{ki}-zux(SU) e3-bar-ra-ab
 en: My Nanna, do not become exhausted (doing this), leave your city
14. u4-ba lugal-gu10 dumu-gir15-ra UR5#-ra-ni ba-an-til
 en: At that time, my king, the native son, quit/killed his liver/lungs
15. en {d}dil-im2-babbar dumu-gir15-ra sza3 hul-lu im#-ma-an-dim2
 en: Lord Dilimbabbar “fashioned a destroyed/evil heart”
16. {d}nanna lu2 iri{ki}-ni ki ag2#-ga2 iri#{ki}-ni ba-ra-e3
 en: Nanna, who loved his city, left his city
17. {d}nin-gal-e gir5# iri{ki}-ni-ta ki kur2-sze3 du-u3-de3
 en: Ningal, in order to go (as a) stranger(?) of her city to a strange place
18. SZE3 ul4-ul4-la-bi ba-ra-an-SAR#? iri#{ki#}-ta ba-ra-e3
 en: Hurriedly she got dressed/braided a rope (for escape?) and left the city
19. uri2{ki}-ma {d}a-nun-na-bi bar#?-ra#? ba-sug2-ge-esz
 en: The Anuna of Ur stood outside
20. uri2{ki} izi ni2-bi x x DU#? x-a ba-a-te
 en: In Ur fire(?) that ... by itself was extinguished(?)
21. uri2{ki}-ma gesz-bi tur5#-ra#-am3 gi#-bi# tur5#-ra-am3
 en: In Ur its trees were sick, its reeds were sick
22. bad3#-bi en-na! nigin2-na-a-bi-da a-nir ba#-da-sa2
 en: A lament was competing with the wall up to its circuit (in terms of completeness)
23. u4#-szu2#-usz-e {gesz}tukul-e# igi-bi-sze3 sag i3-sag3-sag3-ge
 en: Daily weapons were smashing heads before it
24. uri2{ki}-ma {uruda}ha-zi-in gal-gal-e igi-bi-sze3 u4-sar i3-ak-e
 en: In Ur great hazin axes were sharpened before it
25. {gesz}gid2-da a2 me3-ke4 si# bi2-ib2-sa2-sa2-e-ne
 en: They were setting the spears, the arms of battle, in order
26. {gesz}pana gal-gal {gesz}illar {kusz}gur21{+ur3}-ra tesz2 im-da-gu7-e
 en: Great bows, throw sticks, and shields were consuming together
27. {gesz}ti zu-ke4 muru9 szeg3-gin7 bar-ba am3-mi-ib2-si
 en: Barbed(?) arrows filled its outside like a rainstorm
28. na4 gal-gal-e ni2-bi-a pu-u4-pa-ad im-mi-ib2-za
 en: Great stones made a thudding pudpad noise by themselves
29. u4-szu2-usz uru17{ki}-ta tu15 hul-e mu-un-da-an-gi4-gi4
 en: Daily an evil wind returns among the city
1. uri2{ki}-ma usu-bi-ta nir-gal2 gab2-gaz-e ba-a-gub
 en: In Ur the noble one, divested of his(?) strength, stood among the murderer(s)
2. ug3 lu2-erim2 a2 bi2-ib2-gar {gesz}tukul-e ba-sug2-ge-esz
 en: The enemy defeated the people, (those who?) stood among the weapons
3. uru17{ki} {gesz}tukul-e sag nu-szum2-ma-szum2-ma-am3 sza3-gar-e ba-e-tusz!?
 en: (In?) the city the ones who did not advance against the weapons dwelled/sat in hunger
4. sza3-gar-e iri{ki} a-gin7 ba-e-si ga2-la nu-um-ta-dag-ge
 en: Starvation thus filled the city, it was not ceasing
5. sza3-gar-e igi-bi im-gurum-me-e sa-bi im-lug-gu2-ne
 en: In hunger they were bowing their heads and twisting their muscles
6. ug3-bi a-nigin2-na ba-e-si zi HAR i-ak-e
 en: Its people filled the ponds, they were ...
7. lugal-bi e2 ni2-te-na-ka zi gig mu-un-pa-an-pa-an
 en: Its king breathed painfully in his own(?) house
8. nam-lu2-lux(URU)-bi szu-bi ba-e-szub {gesz}tukul ki bi2-ib2-tag
 en: Its humanity dropped their hands, (their) weapons touched the ground
9. szu-bi gu2-bi-sze3 ba-szi-ib-de5-de5 er2 mu-un-szesz2-szesz2-ne
 en: They gathered/clasped their hands to their necks(?), they were weeping
10. tesz2-bi-a ad mi-ni-ib-gi4-gi4 inim im-szar2-szar2-e-ne
 en: Together they advised, they discussed
11. me-li-e-a du11-ga-me nam-mu tah-me nam-mu
 en: Alas, what is it that we will say, what is it that we will add?
12. en3-sze3-am3 ka garasz2-a-ka im-til-la-de3-en-de3-en
 en: How long until we are to be finished in the mouth of catastrophe?
13. uri2{ki}-ma sza3-bi nam-usz2-am3 bar-bi nam-usz2-am3
 en: The inside of Ur is death, the outside is death
14. sza3-bi-a nig2 sza3-gar-ra-ka im-mi-ni-ib-til-e-de3-<en-de3-en>
 en: (How long until) we are to be finished within that of starvation inside (the city)?
15. bar-bi-a {gesz}tukul elam{ki}-ma-ka i-im-til-e-de3-en-de3-en
 en: (How long until) we are to be finished among the weapon(s) of Elam outside (the city)?
16. uri2{ki}-ma lu2-erim2-e im-ma-gub ga!?-nam-ba-til-e-de3-<en>-de3-en
 en: The enemy stands in Ur, we must come to an end(?)
17. zi-bi murgu2-bi-sze3 i3-ak-e gu3 tesz2-a bi2-ib2-si-ge-esz
 en: Acting on behalf of their life and their back(?) they spoke together
18. abul-la-bi {gesz}si-gar bi2-in-duh-duh-usz# {gesz}ig-bi u4 bi2-gub-bu
 en: They opened the bolt of the gate, the storm was making its door stand (in the street)
19. elam{ki}-e a mah e3-a-gin7 giri3 im-ma-ni-ib2-gar
 en: Elam set foot there like a great onrushing flood
20. uri2{ki}-ma {gesz}tukul-e {dug}sahar2-gin7 sag gaz i3-ak-e
 en: In Ur (they) were crushing their heads with weapons like a porous pot(?)
21. lu2-kar-ra-bi dub3 nu-um-zil-e bad3 za3-ga im-tab
 en: (They) could not sprint away(?) as fugitives, (they) were seized(?) within the wall's limits
22. ku6 a-nigin2-na# lug-ga-gin7 zi-bi in-tum3-tum3-mu
 en: Like fish living in a pond, they were seeking refuge
23. e2-kisz-nu-gal2 {d}nanna-ka lu2-erim2-e ba-e-tusz
 en: The enemy dwelled in the Ekišnugal temple of Nanna
24. ku3? {d}nig2-gur11?-dugud-gal2-la-a{muszen} im-zi-ir-zi-re-ne
 en: They were breaking the holy “having heavy possessions” bird(!?)
25. alan |AN.ZAG|-gi4 si-a-bi!? gu2-gur5-ru ba-ni-in-ak-asz
 en: They cut down the statue that occupied(?) the uzga shrine
26. {d#}nin-e2-i3-gar9 agrig mah erimx(|IRIxKAR2|)-ma szu bi2-in-dag
 en: Nine'igara, the supreme steward, abandoned the storehouse(!?)
27. [{gesz}]gu-za-bi igi-bi-ta ba-e-szu2 sahar-ra ba-da-tusz
 en: Its throne was covered over from the front(?), she(?) could(?) (only) sit in the dust (instead?)
28. [...] mah-bi si-musz3-bi-ta ba-an-dab5-be2-esz si-bi ba-ra-an-ku5
 en: They seized the great(?) cows at/by(?) their ... horns, ... cut their horns off
29. [...] du7#-du7-e udu u2 gu7-gin7 {gesz}tukul-e ba-an-sag3-sag3
 en: ... smote goring bulls with the weapon like (they were) grazing sheep
30. [{gesz}]geszimmar-gin7 gu2-gur7-ru ba-ab-du11 tesz2-bi ba-ra-an-kad4
 en: ... was cut down and bound together like a date palm
31. {gesz#}geszimmar uruda kal-ga a2 nam-ur-sag-ga2
 en: The date palm (of? like?) strong copper, the arm of heroism
32. {u2#}numun2-gin7 ba-bur12 {u2}numun2 ba-zi2 ur2-ba ti mi-ni-ib-bala
 en: It was torn out like a rush, it was cut like a rush, it was turned sideways(?) in its roots
33. sag# sahar-ra ki ba-ni-ib-us2 lu2 zi-zi# la-ba-tuku
 en: Its top was lodged in the ground, a person to raise it was not available
34. {gesz#}ze2#-na-bi gu2 ba-an-[...]-gur5#-usz sag szu bi2-in-hu-hu-az!?
 en: ... trimmed its midribs and set its top on fire
35. [...]-a2#? zu2-lum-ma-bi pu2 du7-du7 ba-<<x>>-ra-an-BU-BU-de3-esz
 en: ... its spadix with ripe dates, ... the well
36. [...]-zi# x ku3#-ge mu2-a szu ba-e-lal-lal
 en: The gizi reed that grew in the holy ... were actively diminished(?)
  double ruling
37. ($ blank space $) 1(disz) szu-szi n x x x
 en: (Total:) Sixty+ (lines ...)

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, 0132

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

  • history: Lamentation over Sumer and Ur, p.33

    [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 16900h
  • 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 10:26:24 Englund, Robert K. Atf Englund, Robert K. 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. 020 Artifact Entry.” (2006) 2024. Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). July 12, 2024.
CDLI Literary 000380, ex. 020 artifact entry (No. P346217). (2024, July 12). Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). (Original work published 2006)
CDLI Literary 000380, ex. 020 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. 020 artifact entry},
	url = {},
	howpublished = {},

DA  - 2024/7/12/
PY  - 2024
ID  - P346217
LB  - CDLI:P346217
M1  - 2024/7/19/
TI  - CDLI Literary 000380, ex. 020 artifact entry
UR  -
ER  - 
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