CCP 6.2.5 - Diri 5 (?)

Catalogue information
British Museum
BM 37240
Base text: 
Diri 5 (?)
Tablet information
1 (or >)
a: 14, b: 7
Neo/Late Babylonian, specifics unknown

Lambert, 2013W. G. Lambert, Babylonian Creation Myths. Eisenbrauns, 2013.
[23 In PBS V 106 IV 24–27 [= Diri V] (dup. BM 37240) É.KI.SÌ.GA (“house of offerings for the dead”) with the pronunciation [ (..)]ùr-ri is equated with qú-bu-rum and šu-ut-ta-tum; and with the pronunciation [(..)]x-lal with la-aḫ-tum and ḫa-áš-tum. Apart from laḫtum, which only occurs in lists, the other three Akk. terms have well known mortuary associations. The restoration ka-am-ṣ[i-ri]š is based on the term ganzir, ganṣir. To the passages given in CAD add: ana ga-an-ṣir (Reisner, SBH p. 146 V 31); ú-šá-aṣ-bit-su-nu-tú ga-an-ṣir (BM 76498 obv. 8); and the name of an underworld god dka-am-muš (CT 24 36 66).]

Wagensonner, 02/2021 (Transliteration)
Wagensonner, 02/2021 (Translation)
Wagensonner, 02/2021 (Introduction)
By Klaus Wagensonner | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Wagensonner, K., 2013, “Commentary on Diri 5 (?) (CCP 6.2.5),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed May 24, 2024, at DOI: 10079/2jm649n
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

This small fragment, which probably originates from Babylon, appears to contain entries of the fifth tablet of the supplemental syllabary Diri. Similar to the small fragment CCP 6.2.1, which likely is no commentary, but a manuscript of the first tablet of the series, this fragment could be “just” a manuscript as well. Due to its poor state of preservation only remnants of three subcolumns are extent; the first subcolumn containing the sign readings is broken off entirely. The remains of subcolumn 3 are meagre, but important to establish the identification of the respective entries. As a feature that is also present on CCP 6.2.1 and a few other manuscripts of Diri several Akkadian equivalents are grouped together in one line and separated by cola.

The reverse preserves the last entries of Diri V, namely entries 297-309/310. Thereafter, the scribe inserted a double ruling and had various entries followed, which do not belong to tablet VI, but appear much earlier on the tablet: entries 183-187. The same arrangement can be found on the Neo-Babylonian ms. H (BM 46822), a fragment of the bottom of col. iv, as well. The fragmentary tablet N 6616 + N 7476 contains extracts from various tablets of Diri. After Diri V this manuscript inserts the afore-mentioned gorup of entries, befor it continues with another part of Diri. The content of these entries is noteworthy and in fact they lie outside the realm of Diri. They represent proper Sumerian verbal forms and a noun phrase, which are literally translated in the Akkadian subcolumn. The double ruling in our fragment confirms that these entries ought to be interpreted separately.

The meagre remains on the fragment’s obverse could not be identified with absolute certainty. They preserve parts of subcolumns 3 and 4, i.e., the sign names and Akkadian equivalents. In what is preserved, it seems likely that these entries come from the beginning of Diri V, in particular entries 29-33. The first intelligible sign name ends in […]-ga-ak-ku, which possibly can be reconstructed to [ú-gu-la sag]-ga-ak-ku for entry 29 of Diri V. The sign name thereafter ends in […]-gu-nu-ú, which would resemble the sign usan in entry 30 of Diri V: [ú-gu-la gu]-ú?-gu-nu-ú. According to MSL 15, 168 this entry is followed by a small gap. The present text shows, however, that the logogram group pa.usan had various Akkadian equivalents, but too little is preserved. A further noteworthy sign name preserved on this little fragment ends in the element u2-du ma-ša2 i-gub, which seems to fit entry 31 dealing with the logogram group pa.dag.kisim₅+udu.máš. While the Diri-manuscript CBS 11141 provides the sign name u-gu-la á-maš-a-ku (i.e., dag.kisim₅+udu.máš = amaš), the present text seems to describe this complex graphemes accurately as [ú-gu-la da-ag šá ki]-si-me?-ku? ú-du ma-šá i-gub.

If these identifications are correct, then the fragment belongs to the first and last columns of a large multi-column tablet containing the whole list of Diri V. There would have been ample space for a colophon after the additional (proverb-like) entries mentioned above.

The fragment does not preserve any technical terminology characteristic for commentaries. Noteworthy is the sign name for the goddess Nisaba, which is written here in line r 3′ níta-ba-ku instead of more common ni-da-ba-ku.


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BM 037240

o (missing)
o 1'1'

[...] x [...]

o 2'2'



[ú?-gu?-la? sag?]-ga-ak-ku

d?[ŠU? ...]1

o 3'3'



[ú?-gu?-la? gu]-ú?-gu-nu-ú

re?-[ʾ-ú ...]2

o 4'4'

ka? [...]

o 5'5'

x [...]

o 6'6'



[...] du-ú

x [...]

o 7'7'



[MIN<(ú-gu-la)> da-ag šá] ki?-si?-me?-ku? ú-du ma-šá i-gub [...]3

o 8'8'



[...] x ud-da MIN<(i-gub)>


o 9'9'



[...] x x [...]

r (missing)
r 1'1'

É d?NIN?.[ŠUBUR : ...]

r 2'2'




r 3'3'



MIN<(e)> níta-ba-ku


r 4'4'



MIN<(e)> geš-ṭu MIN<(níta-ba-ku)>


r 5'5'


[É.KI.].GA :

MIN<(e)> ki-si-ga-ku

ŠU-u : -bu- : šu-[ut-ta-tu₄]6

r 6'6'


[É.KI..GA] MIN<(e)> MIN<(ki-si-ga-ku)>

la-aḫ-tu₄ : ḫa-[-tu₄]

r 7'7'



MIN<(e)> SAG ka-rak-ku

ṣi-bit-tu₄ : É [ṣi-bit-ti : É ma-aṣ-ṣar-ti?]7

r 8'8'



[MIN<(e])> a-a-ak-ku

ti-tur-ru : e-du-[ru (...)]

r 9'9'

kap-ri : ti-[tur-ru]

r 10'10'



r 11'11'


ul i-ma-al?-[li]

r 12'12'



r 13'13'


ul i-x8

r 14'14'

[níg-ga lugal]

[ma]-ak-[kur LUGAL]


1If the sign name and hence entry is correctly identified, this entry should deal with the logogram group PA.SAG as spelling for the god Hendursag. The small Assur manuscript VAT 12073 has only ŠU, but the remains in the present text support the divine classifier.

2The identification of the previous entry is also confirmed by the presence of the modification gunû in this entry corresponding to entry 30 of Diri. The sign name for USAN or GU₂g is attested in a MA Ea-manuscript from Assur (VAT 9532): gu-gu-[nu-u₂] (see the photo on the Digitale Keilschrift Bibliothek). According to MSL 15, 168 this entry is followed by a short break. The present text shows that the Akkadian subcolumn contained a number of equivalents for this logogram group.

3This entry seems to correspond to Diri V, 31-33. While the MB manuscript CBS 11141 uses the sign name ugula amašaku, the present text represents the complex logogram group accurately. The sign name for the complex grapheme DAG.|KISIM₅×UDU.MAŠ₂| is also attested in the NB Ea-manuscript A 2480: da-ag ša₂ ki-si-ma-ku u₂-da ma-[ša₂ i-gub].

4The sign remains in subcolumn 3 appear to belong to the compound logogram rather than a sign name, which would in this case be rather long.

5The sign name appears to contain a rather learned writing: nita₂-ba-ku for ni-da-ba-ku; for the latter see Gong 2000: 165.

6Both on the present text and ms. H (BM 46822), for which see the introduction, qubūru is preceded by ŠU-u, which is a technical remark in lexical texts that denotes that equivalent in subcolumn 4 is loaned from the compound logogram's reading; see for the suggestion ekurrû MSL XV, 179 s.v. 301a.

7The sign name is noteworthy: ka-rak-ku appears to render KAR₂ (i.e., GAN₂t), for which sign names usually provide the rendering ga-na te-nu-u₂. Diri VIB, 47 provides for the compound logogram LU₂×GAN₂t the sign name ša₂ lu-la-ku ga-na te-en-na i-gub. We therefore would expect in our text: MIN(e) ša₂ lu-la-ku ga-na te-en-na i-gub a-a-ak-ku. Ms. H (BM 46822) appears also to have ka#-rak-ku. It is therefore likely that the compound logogram in the break was rather E₂.LU₂/SAG.GAN₂t.

8The Akkadian verbal form should be ikâd, but the last sign does not support a suitable reading.

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum