CDLI Literary 000379, ex. 023 (P346223)

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 2.02.02 Lament for Ur (witness))






1. u4-ba u4 uru17 ba-da-an-gar iri-bi du6-du6-da
 en: At that time(!) the storm was placed together with the city, the city was ruin heaps
2. a-a {d}nanna uru17#-bi du6-du6-da ba-da-an-gar ug3 sze am3-sza4
 en: Father Nanna, the city has been placed into ruins, and the people wailed
3. u4# ka-na-ag2 ba-da-an-kar ug3 sze am3-sza4
 en: The storm deprived the land of ..., and the people wailed
4. ka-na-ag2-e szika ku5-da nu-me-a sug!-ge4 bi2-in-gu7 ug3 sze am3-sza4
 en: The land was devastated (until) there was not even a broken sherd (left), and the people wailed
5. badx(EZEN)-bi gu2-giri16 im-mi-in-gar ug3 sze am3-sza4
 en: A breach was made in the wall, and the people wailed
6. abul mah-ba giri3 gal2-la-ba adda im-mi-in-gar-gar-re
 en: At the great gate where there was a path, it was piling up corpses
7. sila dagal ezem-gin7 du3-a-ba sag numun-e-esz ba-ab-gar
 en: In the broad lane prepared as if for a festival, head(s) were placed as seeds
8. e-sir2-e-sir2-ra giri3 gal2-la-ba adda im-mi-in-gar-gar-re
 en: In the streets, where there were paths, it was piling up corpses
9. eszemen ezem gal2 ug3 zarx(SUG)?-re-esz mu-un-sal
 en: In the playground, where there was a festival, it spread out people (as) sheaves
10. u3-mun kalam-ma alal an-na-ke4 sur-sur ba-gar-gar
 en: Ditches/burial pits were put down (for) the blood of land like (it would be done for?) the drainpipe of heaven(?)
11. adda-ba i3-udu u4-de3# gal2-la-ba ni2-bi mu-un-zal-le-esz
 en: (That of) the corpses, (like) sheep fat in sunlight, dissolved by themselves
12. lu2 {uruda}ha-zi-in-e i-im-til-la-gin7 sag TUG2 la-ba-an-ak#-[...]
 en: Like a man ended by a hazin axe, one was not (bothering to) “clothe his head"/wearing a turban (as a bandage?)
13. masz-nita gesz-bur2 dab5-ba-gin7 ka# sahar-ra bi2-in-us2#
 en: Like a goat buck caught by a snare, (one) lodged his mouth in the dirt
14. lu2 {gesz}mitum-e i-im-til-la-gin7# {tug2#}nig2-la2# [...]-bi2#-in-la2
 en: And therefore(?) like a man ended by the mitum weapon, one did not (bother to) wear bandages
15. e-gi4-in-zu! ki ha-ri-isz-tum ama#-ba#? [...] mud2#-ba mu-un-sze21-sze21
 en: As if lying in the birthing place of their mother, one laid in his(!) blood
16. lu2 gesztin nag nu-me-esz gu2 za3-ga bi2-ib2-lax(ME)-esz
 en: Those who had not drunk wine nonetheless hung their necks down (lit. on the shoulder) (as if drunk)
17. {gesz}tukul-e gub-ba {gesz}tukul-e bi2-in-gaz2#
 en: Those who served with weaponry(?) were slaughtered by weaponry
18. lu2-kar-ra-bi u4 im-ma-an-de6 ug3-e sze am3-sza4
 en: The storm took away(?) fugitive men and gazelles (alike?), and the people wailed
19. uri2{ki}-ma si-ga kal-ga-bi sza3-gar-re ba-til
 en: In Urim the weak and strong alike came to an end out of hunger
20. um-ma ab#-ba e2-ta nu-e3 izi mu-ni-in-si-ge5-esz
 en: The elder women and men who did not leave the house were set on fire
21. di4-di4#-la2# ur2 ama-bi ne-a ku6-sze6 a ba-ab-de6
 en: Water brought away(?) the tiny ones ... the lap of the mother like(!) fish
22. emeda{+da#} lirum kal-ga# lirum-ba ba-an-du8-du8
 en: The strong grasp of the wetnurse, (this) grasp was loosened
23. dim2-ma kalam-ma u2-gu ba-an-de2 ug3-e sze am3-sza4
 en: The allegiance/sense of the land was forgotten, and the people wailed
24. erim3-ma kalam-ma u2-gu ba-an-de2 ug3-e sze am3-sza4
 en: The treasury of the land was forgotten, and the people wailed
25. ama dumu-ni-ir irix(ERIM3)?-ni ba-ra#-e3 ug3-e sze am3-sza4
 en: The mother left her city(!?) for (to the detriment of?) her son, and the people wailed
26. ad-da dumu-ni?-ta!? ba!-da-an-gur? ug3-e sze am3-sza4
 en: The father turned away from his son, and the people wailed
27. iri{ki}-a dam ba-szub dumu ba-szub nig2-gur11! ba-birx(HAR)-birx(HAR)-re
 en: In the city the spouse was abandoned, the child was abandoned, possessions were scattered
28. sag-gig2-ga ki-sag-gal2-la-na im-me-de3-re7{+re}-esz
 en: The blackheaded people went into ...'s solemn place
29. nin-bi muszen ni2 te-a-gin7 uru17{ki}-ni ba-ra-e3
 en: The lady left her city like a frightened bird
30. {d}nin-gal muszen# ni2# te#-a#-gin7 uru17{ki}-ni ba-ra-e3
 en: Ningal left her city like a frightened bird
31. nig2-gur11 x-[... ma]-al#-ma-al-la sug!-ge4 hu-mu-da-ab-gux(KA)
 en: And therefore(?) the possessions ... amassed(?) (there) were annihilated
32. erimx(URU2)-ma [...] x-ab-du12-du12 ni2 im-ma-lah5
 en: In the treasury(?) (which) had possessed ... plundered itself(?)
33. a2-nigin2-na {d#?}gibil6# lu2 sikil-ke4 kin2-ga2 al-du3-du3
 en: (Even) in the ponds, Gibil, the purifier, was performing(?) work
34. hur-sag sukud#?-[...] szu#? nu-te-ge26-e en e2-kisz-nu-gal2-la-ke4
 en: The high mountain range which no hand approaches, oh lord(?) of the Ekišnugal temple
35. e2 zi-de3 {uruda}ha-zi-in gal-gal-e tesz2-bi i3-gu7-e
 en: The true temple, the great hazin axes were consuming as if in a pack
36. szimaszgi{ki} elam{ki} lu2 ha-lam-ma uszu3 kin2 ba-da-ak-ak
 en: (The troops of) Šimašgi and Elam, the destructive ones, were treating it as if it was worth thirty shekels(!?)
37. e2 zi-de3 uru17 {gesz}al-e ba-ab-ra-a-gin7 ug3-e sze am3-sza4
 en: When(?) the pickaxes struck the true temple and city, the people wailed
38. uru17# du6-du6-da mu-un-ga2-ga2-e-ne ug3-e sze am3-sza4
 en: They were making the city into ruin heaps, and the people wailed
1. nin-bi a uru17-gu10 im-me a e2-gu10 im-me
 en: Its lady was crying “Alas, my city,” she was crying “Alas, my temple”
2. {d}nin-gal a uru2-gu10 im-me a e2-gu10# im#-me!?
 en: Ningal was crying “Alas, my city,” she was crying “Alas, my temple”
3. {lu2}nu-nuz-e u4 uru17 ba-da-gul u4 e2 ba-da-gul
 en: The woman, the storm destroyed (her) city, the storm destroyed her temple
4. {d#}[...] esz3# uri2{ki}-ma ba-da-gul-la ug3 ba-da-bir-birx(HAR)-re
 en: Nanna(?), shrine Urim is destroyed, and the people are scattering
5. ki-ru-gu2 6(disz)-kam-ma
 en: It is the 6th kirugu
6. tur3-a-na amasz-a-na nu-nuz-e gu3 gig-ga mu-ni-ib2-be2 iri u4-de3 am3-gul-e
 en: In her cattlepen, in her sheepfold, the woman shouts bitterly, the storm is destoying the city
7. gesz-gi4-gal2-bi-im
 en: It is its gešgigal “response”
8. ama {d}nin-gal uru17{ki}-ni lu2-erim2-gin7 bar-ta ba-ra-gub
 en: Mother Ningal stands apart from her city like an enemy
9. {lu2}nu-nuz-e na-ag2 uru17 hul-a-na gig-ga-bi im-me
 en: The woman cries bitterly about the fate of her destroyed city
10. {d}nin-gal-e na-ag2 e2 hul-a-na gig-ga-bi im-me
 en: Ningal cries bitterly about the fate of her destroyed temple
11. an-ne2 uru17 na-ag2 ha-ba-de3-ku5 uru17{ki}-gu10 hu-mu-da-gul
 en: An must curse (my) city, my city must be destroyed
12. {d}en-lil2-le e2-gu10 asz2!(TUG2) he2-bi2-ib-bala-e {gesz}al ha-ba-ISZ-ra
 en: Enlil must curse my temple, the pickaxe must strike(!)
13. sig-ta du-ga2 izi ba-ni-szub uru17{ki}-gu10 hu-mu-da-gul
 en: He (must) cast fire upon my ... coming from the lowland, my city must be destroyed
14. {d}en-lil2-le igi-nim-ma-ni u3-bu-bu-ul ha-ba-ni-tag!?
 en: Enlil must touch down lightning flame upon his(!?) highland
15. [...] bar-ra uru17 bar hu-mu-da-gul a uru17-gu10 ga-am3-du11
 en: At the outskirts of the city, the outer city must be destroyed, and I shall say “Alas, my city”
16. uru2#? sza3-ba uru2 sza3-ab hu-mu-da-gul a uru2-gu10 ga-am3-du11
 en: In the middle of the city, the inner city must be destroyed, and I shall say “Alas, my city”
17. e2# uru2#? bar-ra-gu10 ba-gulx(GIR4)-gul-e a uru2-gu10 ga-am3-du11
 en: My temple (in) the outskirts of the city is being destroyed, and I shall say “Alas, my city”
18. [...] uru17? sza3-ba-gu10 ba-gul-gulx(GIR4)-e a uru2-gu10 ga-am3-du11
 en: My temple (in) the middle of the city is being destroyed, and I shall say “Alas, my city”
19. x-gu10 u8 zi-gin7 ba-ra-ma-lug sipa zi-bi ba-ra-gub
 en: Therefore, the city is not pastured for me like a fertile ewe, its true shepherd is not present
20. uri2{ki} ud5 zi-gin7 ba-ra-ma-lug gab2-bar-bi ba-ra-gub
 en: Therefore, Urim is not pastured for me like a fertile she-goat, its herder is not present
21. gu4-gu10 tur3-bi-a ba-ra-an-gub mu-nu10#-bi ba-ra-gub
 en: My ox does not stand in the cattlepen, its herder is not present
22. e-ze2-gu10 amasz#-bi#-a# ba#-ra#-an#-dur2-ru-un# [...]-bi ba-ra-gub
 en: My sheep do not dwell in their sheepfold, their herder is not present
23. i7 uru2{ki}-ke4 sahar ha-ba-ab-gur4-gur4 e2# [...] x ha#?-ba-ab-tum3
 en: The canal of the city thickens with silt and produces(?) fox dens(?)
24. sza3-ba a zal-le ba-ra-mu-un-de6 mu#-[...] ba#-ra-gub
 en: In its course it does not bring flowing water, its canal inspector is not present
25. GAN2 uru2-ga2-ke4 sze ba-ra-mu-un-gal2 mu-gar3-bi ba-ra-gub
 en: In the fields of my city, grain is not present, its farmer is not present
26. GAN2-gu10 GAN2 {gesz}al ri-a-gin7 mul-GAN2-mul{sar} ha-ba-mu2
 en: (In?) my field, like a field that the pickax has struck (to destroy it and render it unusable!?), (only) the “star of the field(?)” plant grows
27. pu2 {gesz}kiri6 lal3 gesztin du8-a-ba {gesz}AD2 kur-ra ha-ba-mu2
 en: In the irrigated orchards that heap up(?) syrup and wine, the thornbush of the mountain grows grows
28. edin giri17-zal-bi SI-A-ba gir4-gin7 ba-ur5-ur5
 en: In the steppe whose “joy” was surpassing/filled it(?), (it was) emitting (a baking scent?) like an oven(?)
29. mu-un-gur11-gu10 buru4{muszen} dugud zi-ga-gin7 dal-dal-bi ha-ba-ab-[...] mu-un-gur11-gu10 ga-am3-du11
 en: My possessions are taken away flying like a flock of crows taking flight, I must cry “My possessions!”
30. mu-un-gur11-gu10 sig-ta di-ga2 sig-sze3 ha-ba-ab-de6 mu-un-gur11-gu10 ga-am3-du11
 en: My possessions coming from the lowland are brought back to the lowland, I must cry “My possessions!”
31. mu-un-gur11-gu10 igi-nim-ta di-ga2 igi-nim-sze3 ha-ba-ab#-de6 mu-un-gur11-gu10 ga-am3-du11
 en: My possessions coming from the highland are brought back to the highland, I must cry “My possessions!”
32. ku3 {na4}za-gin3-gu10-ta ba-e-bir-bir-re mu-un#-gur11-gu10 ga-am3-du11
 en: (The storm?) scatters me away from(?) my precious metal and lapis, I must cry “My possessions!”
33. gil-sa-gu10 sug-ge4 hu-mu-un-da-gu7 mu-un-gur11-gu10 ga-am3-du11
 en: My treasure is annihilated, I must cry “My possessions!”
34. ku3-gu10 lu2 ku3 nu-zu-ne szu-bi ba-ni-in-si mu-un-gu7
 en: People who know nothing(?) of precious metal fill the hand with my precious metal and consume it
35. {na4}za-gin3-gu10 lu2 {na4}za-gin3 nu-zu-ne gu2-bi ha-ma-da-ab-si
 en: People who know nothing(?) of lapis load their necks with my lapis
36. {iti}gur10-{d}inanna u4 1(u) 4(disz)-kam
 en: It is the month of Gur-Inanna, the 14th day
1. mu-x-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 2.02.02 Lament for Ur (witness))
  • Language(s): Sumerian

  • history: UET 6, 0138

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

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

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

Created Creator Type Authors Project Reviewer Status Action
2023-06-15 at 20:34:30 Rattenborg, Rune Artifact Rattenborg, Rune Geomapping Landscapes of Writing Rattenborg, Rune approved View
2019-06-11 at 15:37:49 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 000379 (Lament for Ur) composite (P469681) View the score

General Notes: -
CDLI Notes: -
Cite this Artifact
“CDLI Literary 000379, Ex. 023 Artifact Entry.” (2006) 2023. Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). June 15, 2023.
CDLI Literary 000379, ex. 023 artifact entry (No. P346223). (2023, June 15). Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). (Original work published 2006)
CDLI Literary 000379, ex. 023 artifact entry (2023) Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). Available at: (Accessed: June 18, 2024).
	note = {[Online; accessed 2024-06-18]},
	year = {2023},
	month = {jun 15},
	title = {CDLI {Literary} 000379, ex. 023 artifact entry},
	url = {},
	howpublished = {},

DA  - 2023/6/15/
PY  - 2023
ID  - P346223
LB  - CDLI:P346223
M1  - 2024/6/18/
TI  - CDLI Literary 000379, ex. 023 artifact entry
UR  -
ER  - 
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