CCP 7.2.u24 - Uncertain

Catalogue information
British Museum
BM 38121
80-11-12, 2
5R 39 4


Base text: 
Tablet information
Complete tablet
obv 11, rev 5
Neo/Late Babylonian, specifics unknown

CAD N/2 52a[On line 7-8: on obv. 7-8: dúr-bi éš-gar / ki-is-kir-rum e-lu-u / sim-mil-tum šá nam-ṣa-bi]

CAD Š/2 17b, R 236a[On line 17: Transcription, ēma ireddû rēšāšu šá-qa-a]

CAD Š/2 133b[On line 5 and 12: LÍL.LÁ : šá-a-ri and EL = šá-a-rum]

CAD A/1 300b[On line 4: SAR = ḫa-ma-ṭum šá a-la-ku]

CAD Ḫ 12a[SAR = ḫa-ba-tum šá a-la-ku]

CAD A/2 358a[é.dInnin.ta è // dINNIN šá ul-tu LÍL ú-še-eṣ-ṣu-u]

Borger, 1967R. Borger, Handbuch der Keilschriftliteratur. Band I. Repertorium der sumerischen und akkadischen Texte. de Gruyter, 1967.
[n4) Kommentar.]
: 407

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 260 and fn. 1242

Landsberger, 1958bB. Landsberger, ḪAR-ra = ḫubullu. Tablets V-VII. Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1958.
[On line 7-9: giš.šéš.gar = kiskirru elû = simmiltum ša nanṣabi, with the further explanation ŠU = elû (this equation in the commentary proves that the sign is ŠU, not dúr)]
: 100 fn

Jiménez, 11/2014 (Unpublised Transliteration)
Jiménez, 11/2014 (Translation)
Jiménez, 11/2014 (Introduction)
Jiménez, 11/2014 (Lemmatization)
Veldhuis, 11/2014 (Lemmatization Correction)
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
By Enrique Jiménez | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Jiménez, E., 2014, “Commentary on Uncertain (CCP 7.2.u24),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed May 24, 2024, at DOI: 10079/gf1vhwj
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

This tablet belongs to the 80-11-12 consignment, a collection believed to have originated mostly in Babylon. It contains a tabular commentary on an unknown Sumerian text, perhaps an incantation or a lexical text. The obverse, which consists only of 12 lines, offers Akkadian translations both of obscure (such as lines 3 and 7-8) and of rather common (such as line 10) Sumerian expressions. The translations draw from the lexical tradition, and lists such as Aa, Nabnītu, or Antagal are cited. The equations do not limit themselves to explaining the base text: they also try to prove some other minor points. For instance, line 11 provides en passant a fanciful etymology of the word "witness" (šību), which is explained as ši-bu, i.e., igi.gíd, a phrase which in Izi B i 9 is equated with amāru, "to see" (a witness' quintessential action). This might also be the case of lines 2 and 6, but their situation is not so certain.


The reverse of the tablet contains text extracts, perhaps to illustrate the equations of the obverse. The first one is a Sumerian line, líl dinnin-ta è, which is said to refer to the goddess Kilīli and immediately translated into Akkadian as "Ištar, who saves from the ghost."1 The line may represent an explanation of the previous equation, munus líl = šāru.

Collation of the following lines has shown that the one but last is a quotation from the Great Gula Hymn 123:2 ana bēli ša ilī ašarēdi erreddi, "I have been led to the lord of the gods, the foremost." The last line is no doubt quoted from some other poem (note its metrical structure, ēma / ireddû // rēšāšu / šaqâ), as yet unidentifiable. It is uncertain why these lines are quoted: the leitmotiv in them seems to be the verb redû, which however does not appear in the obverse of the tablet.

  • 1. The sign líl, translated here as "ghost," could also be taken as é and understood as "house," following e.g. CAD A/2 358a.
  • 2. Edited by W. G. Lambert, The Gula Hymn of Bulluṭsa-rabi, Orientalia Nova Series, vol. 363, pp. 105-132, 1967. P. 124

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(Base textCommentaryQuotations from other texts)


5R 39, 004




ta (?) means “to help.”


a : ba-nu-ú : si-a : ma-lu-u1

a means “to create;” si-a means “to fill.”


kud : na-ka-su

kud means “to cut.”



ḫa-ba-tu₄ šá a-la-ku2

sar means “to wander,” said of walking.




líl-la means “wind” (šāru).


a : me-e : sar : ḫa-ba-tu₄3

(In šāru) (?), a means “water;” sar means “to wander,” said of walking.


dúr-bi éš-ŋar

ki-is-kir- e-lu-u4

dúr-bi éš-gar means “top board of a brick mold.”


sim-mil-tu₄ šá nam-ṣa-bi

(alternatively, it means) “staircase,” of a drain pipe.




éš means “high.”


igi : ma-ḫar

ab-ba : ši-i-bi

igi means “in front of;” abba means “witness” (šību)


igi gíd


(because the signs ši-bu, read as) igi-gíd, mean “to see.”


munus? líl


munus-líl (i.e., a demoness) means “wind.”


líl dinana-ta è : <<x>> 8

(As in?) líl d.innin-ta è,



(i.e.), Kilīli,


dINNIN šá ul-tu LÍL ú-še-eṣ-ṣu-u

(which means) “Ištar, who saves from the ghost.

(5 lines blank)

a-na be-lu₄ šá DINGIR-MEŠ a-šá-red er*-red*-du9

“I have been led to the lord of the gods, the foremost.”


e-ma i-red-du re-šá-a-šú šá-qa-a

“Wherever he goes, his head is exalted.”

1Cp. Aa I/1 104 (MSL 14 204): a-a A = banû.

2CAD A/1 300b understands the equation as SAR = ḫa-ma-ṭum šá a-la-ku, but CAD Ḫ 12a reads the verb as ḫa-ba-tum. The sign on the tablet looks rather BA than MA. Moreover the equation SAR = ḫa-ba-tum šá a-la-[ki] is attested in Antagal A 114 (MSL 17 185 [in Assyrian script]) and in the Aa commentary AO 3555 (CCP 6.1.39) rev 19 (MSL 14 504).

3A and SAR are perhaps not part of the base text, but a speculative etymology of šāru, "wind."

4The equation is apparently taken from Nabnītu XXV (L) 166 (MSL 16 228): gišDÚR.BI.ÉŠ.GAR : ki-is-kir-rum MIN<(e-lu-u)> [EJ]. {ŋeš}dur₂-bi eš-ŋar and {ŋeš}bar-bi eš-ŋar appear in OB Nippur Ura 1 513-514. The words are also attested in CUSAS 3, 635 (Ur III Garšana), where they clearly refer to parts of the loom (or necessities for weaving) and are spelled dur₂-bi eš₂-ŋar and bar-bi eš₂-ŋar. The Emar lexical tradition has replaced these two items by dur₂ an-ta and dur₂ ki-ta: upper board and lower board (compare the Nabnitu entry). This is confusing, dur₂-bi meaning "(the cloth's) bottom" and bar-bi "(the cloth's) outside." That this becomes "upper and lower board" may be related to the change from a horizontal to a vertical loom - but what these words mean is still unclear to me. The expression eš₂ ŋar means "to set out with a rope" as in preparations for building - and may have something to do with attaching the warp to something. That Nippur Ura 1 spells this with eš (rather than eš₂) is, again, quite confusing (but I believe there is only one source). Waetzoldt in CUSAS 6, 411 reads {ŋiš}KU-bi in his discussion of CUSAS 3, 635, but in the light of the OB Ea version JCS 4, 75-76 (dcclt/P292604) du-ur KU ki-is-ki-ir-rum the reading dur₂ is certain (Waetzoldt does not consider the lexical material in this article) [NV].

5The first sign looks rather like ŠU (see Landsberger's comments in MSL 6 100 fn), but cp. e-eš = e-li-um in Aa II/4 184 (MSL 14 285).

6IGI.GÍD = amāru is attested in Izi B i 9. See also DT 47 10' (CCP 3.1.58.F.c): GÍDna-ma-ruGÍDa-ma-ru. It probably represents an attempt at etymologizing on the word "witness" (š̄ībi) from the previous line (IGI.GÍD = ši-bu), rather than an explanation of the base text.

7The reading of the first word was proposed by E. Frahm (privatim).

8The first sign could also be read as É.

9Quotation from the Great Gula Hymn: see the introduction.

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum