CCP 7.1.8.A.a - Elamite Calendar A

Catalogue information
British Museum
NinevehNineveh (Kuyunjik)
AfO 24 101

Frahm & Jiménez, 2015E. Frahm and Jiménez, E. , Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation. The Commentary on Enūma eliš I–VII and a Commentary on Elamite Month Names, Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel, vol. 4, pp. 293-343, 2015.: 334-343

Reiner, 1973E. Reiner, Inscription from a Royal Elamite Tomb, Archiv für Orientforschung, vol. 24, pp. 87-102, 1973.: 101-102



Base text: 
Elamite Calendar
Commentary no: 
Tablet information
Fragment (left-hand side completely preserved)
obv 3, rev 17
5,71 × 6,66 cm
Late 8th / Early 7th cent (mostly Kalḫu, Nabû-zuqup-kēnu)
[Nabû-nāṣir] s. Ea-pattāni

Basello, 2002G. P. Basello, Babylonia and Elam, the Evidence of the Calendars, in Ideologies as Intercultural Phenomena. Proceedings of the Third Annual Symposium of the Assyrian and Babylonian Intellectual Heritage Project. Held in Chicago, USA, October 27-31, 2000, A. Panaino and Pettinato, G. , Eds. Università di Bologna, 2002, pp. 13-36.
[On the Elamite month names in Assyrian and Babylonian sources.]
: 13-36

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 139, 153, 267

Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.: 159 (r 1, r 4, r 6–7), 160 (7, 9, 16), 167 (2), 159–160 (r 8–10), 167, 226 (r 3)

Hunger, 1968H. Hunger, Babylonische und assyrische Kolophone. Neukirchener Verlag, 1968.
: 127 no. 439

Reiner, 1973E. Reiner, Inscription from a Royal Elamite Tomb, Archiv für Orientforschung, vol. 24, pp. 87-102, 1973.
: 101-102

Vallat, 1985F. Vallat, Hutelutuš-inšušinak et la famille royale élamite, Revue d'Assyriologie, vol. 79, pp. 43-50, 1985.: 45-46

Jiménez, 03/2015 (Transliteration)
Jiménez, 03/2015 (Translation)
Jiménez, 03/2015 (Introduction)
Frazer, 03/2015 (Introduction Correction)
Veldhuis, 03/2015 (Lemmatization Correction)
Gabbay, 03/2015 (Correction [translation r 7])
By Enrique Jiménez | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Jiménez, E., 2015, “Commentary on Elamite Calendar (CCP 7.1.8.A.a),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed July 13, 2024, at DOI: 10079/sj3txp6
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

This small tablet found in Nineveh contains a unique commentary on the Elamite names of the months. It is uncertain whether the text is a text commentary or an independent etymological treatise. If it is a text commentary, it is probably a commentary on an astrological text, since Elamite month names feature occasionally in Standard Babylonian astrological texts. It seems more likely, however, that it is an independent treatise, since it lists the twelve months in chronological order.

The tablet preserves a colophon, according to which it was copied from a writing-board, whose original was from Assur. The colophon also mentions that the tablet was owned by a son of Ea-pattāni. A son of this scribe, a certain Nabû-nāṣir, is in fact known as the scribe of the Vorlage of one of the few known tablets by Nabû-zuqup-kēnu written in Babylonian script, K.75 (CCP 3.1.5.A ).


The obverse of the tablet is mostly lost. The reverse explains the Elamite names of the 8th to 12th months. The explanations refer mostly to mythological events, which are said to have occurred in the month in question, and are etymologically related to the month’s name. For instance, the Elamnite month name Tamḫīri is equated with the Babylonian month name Ṭebētu (X), and the equation is justified “because (aššu) in Ṭebētu [Dumuzi] rises and the people of the land [bring] offerings (maḫḫuru) to him”: the “offerings” (maḫḫuru) in the explanation thus provide a mythological etymology for the month name Tamḫīri.

The explanations are introduced by means of the technical term aššu, “because of.” The commentary contains an explicit quotation of a passage from Lugale, but the passage in question is not preserved in any of the poem’s known manuscripts.


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AfO 24, 101[via ccpo]

o 1o 1

itiBAR.SAG.SAG itiBÁR.ZAG.GAR [x x x x x x x (x)]

(o 1) The month Barsagsag means Nisannu (I month), [because ...]. The month Šabāṭi means Nisannu (I month), [because ...]. Because [...].

o 22

itiša-ba-ṭi itiBÁR.ZAG.GAR [x x x x x x x (x)]

o 33

MU? x x x x [x x x x x x x x x x x (x)]

(rest of obverse missing)
b.e. 1b.e. 1

itiše-bu-ti itiAPIN.DU₈.A [x x x (x x)]

(b.e. 1) The month Šebūti means Araḫsamnu (VIII month), [...].

r 1r 1

itiAB.SÍN-URU₄ši itiGAN.GAN.[È] áš-šú AB.[SÍN? še-er-ʾu]

(r 1) The month Šerʾi-erēši (wr. AB.SÍN-URU₄-ši) means Kislīmu (IX month), because AB.[SÍN means "furrow" (šerʾu) (?), as in] "the farmer (errēšu) of pure plow, who [...]," which is said in Lugale ud melembi nergal.

r 22

   er-re-šu gišAPIN šá tu-lu-[x x x (x x)]

r 33

   ša ina lìb-bi lugal-e ud me-lem₄-bi nir-ŋál [qa-bu-ú]1

r 44

ititam-ḫi-ri itiAB.BA.È áš-šú ina itiAB.BA.È [x x x (x x)]

(r 4) The month Tamḫīri means Ṭebētu (X month), because in Ṭebētu [...] rises and the people of the land [bring] offerings (maḫḫuru) to him.

r 55

   i-lam-ma UN-MEŠ KUR maḫ-ḫu-ru ana IGI-šú x x [x x (x)]

r 66

itisi-li-li-ti itiZÍZ.A.AN si-li-li-[ti x (x)]

(r 6) The month Sililīti means Šabāṭu (XI month), (it is called) Sililīti [(...)] because in Šabāṭu the betrothal of the gods [takes place].

r 77

   áš-šú ina itiZÍZ.A.AN ḫa-šá-da-nu šá DINGIR-MEŠ [GARnu(u-ni)]2

r 88

itiḪUL.DÚB.E itiŠE.KIN.TAR ḪUL* [lem-nu DÚB na-pa-ṣu]

(r 8) The month Ḫuldube means Addaru (XII month), HUL [means "evil" and DÚB means "to crush" (?)], because in Addaru Marduk crushed his enemies [...] and took kingship.

r 99

   áš-šú ina itiŠE.KIN.TAR dAMAR.UTU lem-nu-[ti-šú x x x]

r 1010

   ú-nap-pi-ṣu LUGALta [il-qu-ú]3

r 1111

TA lìb-bi gišle-u₅-[um GABA.RI]

(r 11) From a writing board [whose original] was from Aššur. [Written by Nabû-nāṣir], son of Ea-pattāni, [...].

r 1212

KUR a-šur₄ki AN-[x mdAG-ÙRIir]

r 1313

AMAR mdé-a-pat-ta-[ni x x x]

1As already noted by Reiner, ll. 2-3 contain an explicit reference from an as yet unrecovered passage from Lugale. Compare Lugale 707 (ŋeš-apin hé-ŋál pa bí-in-è-a-aš).

2As noted by Reiner AfO 24 (1973) p. 102b, the "marriage of the gods" referred to is the marriage of Nabû and Tašmētu, see SAA 13 78 r 16-17. The rationale behind the explanation remains obscure.

3Compare šarru ḪUL-MEŠ-šú unappaṣ, "the kind will crush his enemies," as an apodosis in K.3780 i 3 and parallels (CAD N/1 287-288).

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum