These precious stones inscribed with cuneiform are in the Louvre’s collection.

The first is an agate bead from around 2000 BCE, inscribed in Sumerian:

To divine Nanna, his master,
Ibbi-Sin, god of his country,
strong king, king of Ur, king of the four regions,
has, for his life, dedicated this bead.

The second is chalcedony from around 1300 BCE, inscribed in Akkadian:

Nazi-Maruttash, king of the universe,
son of Kuri-Galzu, king of Babylon.
The one who destroys my inscribed name:
may Shamash and Adad destroy his name


Queen Puabi’s Headdress and Beaded Cape
Early Dynastic III, 2550-2450 B.C.E.
Royal Cemetery, Ur (modern day Iraq).

“Queen Puabi’s headdress, beaded cape and jewelry, all ca. 2550 BCE (includes comb, hair rings, wreaths, hair ribbons, and earrings) of gold, lapis lazuli, and carnelian, was excavated in the early 1930s by a joint Penn Museum/British Museum team, at the ancient Mesopotamian Royal Cemetery of Ur, in what is now Iraq. The Queen went to her final resting place accompanied by several hundred female attendants, several guards, and a rich cache of objects. Puabi’s headdress included a frontlet with beads and pendant gold rings, two wreaths with poplar leaves, a wreath with willow leaves and inlaid rosettes, and a string of lapis lazuli beads. The comb would have been inserted in her hair at the back, leaving the flowers floating over her head. Her beaded cape and jewelry includes pins of gold and lapis lazuli, a gold, lapis lazuli and carnelian garter, lapis lazuli and carnelian cuff, and gold finger rings. Queen Puabi’s reconstructed headdress and cape are on view in the Penn Museum’s exhibition Iraq’s Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur’s Royal Cemetery.”

Puabi (Akkadian: “Word of my father”), also called Shubad due to a misinterpretation by Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, was an important person in the Sumerian city of Ur, during the First Dynasty of Ur (c. 2600 BC). Commonly labeled as a “queen”, her status is somewhat in dispute. Several cylinder seals in her tomb identify her by the title “nin” or “eresh”, a Sumerian word which can denote a queen or a priestess. The fact that Puabi, herself a Semitic Akkadian, was an important figure among Sumerians, indicates a high degree of cultural exchange and influence between the ancient Sumerians and their Semitic neighbors.

© Penn Museum & Wikipedia


Originally posted by loveisitspecial


Sumerian goddess of war, sex, love, justice, beauty, combat, fertility, desire, pleasure, political power, abundance, and the Morning Star

Inanna (known as Ishtar in Akkad) was known as the Queen of Heaven and Earth and the Morning Star. She is by far the most complex of all Mesopotamian deities, displaying contradictory, even paradoxical traits. In Sumerian poetry, she is often portrayed as a seductive young woman and other times as an ambitious, power-hungry goddess seeking to expand her influence. She is the patroness of sex workers and is the mother of sacred prostitution. In addition to sex-workers, Inanna was also seen as the goddess of taverns and alcohol, as she adores indulgence in the senses. As Ishtar, she is more war-like and was described in her myths as killing each of her lovers. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, she attempted to slay the hero Gilgamesh after he rejected her, for he feared for his life.

The Mesopotamians viewed Inanna as a main source of light, as she represented not only the planet Venus, but Sirius and the Moon as well, even being the cause of the full moon. When she died in the Underworld, all life and love faded and the whole world went dark without her. 

Besides the shepherd god Dumuzi, the other many acclaimed lovers of Inanna is even the King of the Gods, Anu, with whom she mothered the war god Shara. She is also said to have had the war god Zababa as a lover. It is quite likely that Inanna was written to be paired with Dumuzi in order for the Sumerians to help explain the process of fertility and growth (Inanna) assisting agriculture (Dumuzi). Another believed divine lover of Inanna is the Sun god, Utu, whom she is described as mating with in order to represent the period of 70 days in which Sirius and the Sun are united in the Sky.

Inanna is equally fond of making war as she is of making love: “Battle is a feast to her”. In battle, she is full of blood-lust and strikes her enemies down with ease, reveling in her power and destruction. The warlike aspect of the goddess tends to be expressed in politically charged contexts in which the goddess is praised in connection with royal power and military might. She was especially beloved by the Assyrians, who elevated her to become the highest deity in their pantheon, ranking above their own national god Ashur. Inanna-Ištar is alluded to in the Torah and she was eventually renamed as the Phoenician goddess Astoreth, who later became the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

Her most famous myth, Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld, features Inanna attempting to conquer her sister Ereshkigal’s domain, Kur (the Sumerian Underworld). When she arrives at the Underworld’s gates, Inanna demands to be let in. Ereshkigal senses her plan and turns her Eye of Death upon her sister, killing her instantly. But after three days, Inanna is revived and life flourishes again. This myth is interpreted as being a metaphor for Inanna’s enlightenment, of dying and being reborn. Thus, she returns stronger than ever. 

Another myth depicts Inanna outwitting Enki, the god of trickery himself, in order to steal the mes, which represented all positive and negative aspects of civilization (making her the new keeper of the cosmic laws). In another story, she takes over the Eanna temple from Anu, the god of the heavens. Inanna was also the enforcer of divine justice and was said to have destroyed the mountain Ebih for having challenged her authority, though some theorize that the word mountain could have also been translated as dragon. In many of her hymns, Inanna is even compared to dragons- laying waste to the lands, raining down fire, and freezing the blood of her enemies with war-cries, completely unstoppable. The priestess Enheduanna loved the goddess Inanna so deeply, that she wrote many hymns of her and even described Anu, the King of the Gods, as trembling at the sight of the almighty Inanna, obeying her commands, and viewing her as the pinnacle of divine authority. It is very fitting that it is she who is named the Queen of Heaven.  

In my personal experiences with this goddess, she often either appears as a tall, slender young woman with very long wavy black hair, red eyes, and wearing a low-cut deep red dress adorned in golden jewelry or as a naked woman covered in blood. She is incredibly beautiful and terrifying all at once, but she is benevolent and wise. Inanna is a withdrawn deity who tends to keep to herself but her voice burns with raw power that can send chills down one’s spine. Though she has a more gentle side as a goddess of light and life. 

She brings the scent of fire, roses, and myrrh and holds herself high, but expects her followers to do the same, despite her beautiful terror that could bring even entire armies to their knees. Inanna is indeed quite vain, power-hungry, courageous, and sadistic, but she is also deeply compassionate, wise, and empowering. Her softer side is deeply romantic, she adores luxury, artwork, and poetry and is fiercely loyal to those she loves. On the other hand, Inanna hates injustices with a fierce passion and will always defend those who are mistreated while also ensuring the destruction of their assailants. If you ever need someone to show you your strength or to simply offer comfort, Inanna will be there for you as she supports all who are in need (this also includes those who transition genders). 

| Symbolism of Inanna - historical & personal |

  • Lions
  • The Morning Star
  • Swords
  • Dragons
  • Doves
  • Snakes
  • Scorpions
  • Rosettes
  • The Eight-Pointed Star
  • Pomegranates
  • Stars
  • Fire
  • Red roses
  • Mirrors

| Some of her epithets |

  • Queen of Heaven
  • Queen of Earth
  • The Morning and Evening Star
  • Mother of All
  • Foremost in Battle
  • Destroyer of Foreign Lands
  • The Lady of a Myriad Offices
  • Holy Priestess of Heaven
  • The Heroic Champion
  • Lover and Beloved United as One
  • Triumphant Femininity
  • Law-Giver
  • Lady of the Womb
  • Young Sovereign
  • Joyous Bride
  • Maker of Kings
  • Fierce Protector 
  • Shaman Who Transcends Death
  • She Who is Like a Dragon

| Offerings |

Red fruits, honey, chocolates, chili peppers, red wine, champagne, ale, whiskey, rum, beer, pomegranate juice, rose tea, sweet coffee, aphrodisiacs, cream and sugar, Middle Eastern foods, red roses, black dahlias, red lingerie, sex toys, orgasms, blood, menstrual blood, golden jewelry, garnet, rubies, diamonds, cigars, bones, lava rocks, obsidian, onyx, bloodstone, red aura quartz, myrrh, dragon’s blood incense, opium incense, seductive perfume, pictures of stars, crocodile teeth, snakeskin, sand, red candles, mirrors, black pearls, lotion, make-up products, swords, daggers, ashes, dove feathers/skulls, artwork, poetry, prose, imagery of the planet Venus, and imagery or statues of lions/dragons/snakes

So I stumbled onto the Etsy shop of this academic who–in real life–is an expert on cuneiform–and on the side, makes little trinkets with Sumerian on them and OH MAN THIS SHOP HAS MADE MY ENTIRE WEEK

For the price of about thirty bucks, you too can have a clay necklace that says “Like a farting butt, the mouth brings forth too many words” in the oldest written language on earth

Or a necklace that declares “I have ferocious features that exude sexiness”

Or be the ultimate hipster and anti-capitalist before capitalism even existed with “Wanting more riches when already wealthy offends the gods” 

Sumerian erotic poetry? Got it. Sumerian drinking songs? Yep. A little something for everyone on your Akitu gift list.


The Epic Of Gilgamesh In Sumerian

The EPIC OF GILGAMESH is the earliest great work of literature that we know of, and was first written down by the Sumerians around 2100 B.C.

Ancient Sumer was the land that lay between the two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, in Mesopotamia. The language that the Sumerians spoke was unrelated to the Semitic languages of their neighbors the Akkadians and Babylonians, and it was written in a syllabary (a kind of alphabet) called “cuneiform”. By 2000 B.C., the language of Sumer had almost completely died out and was used only by scholars (like Latin is today). No one knows how it was pronounced because it has not been heard in 4000 years.

What you hear in this video are a few of the opening lines of part of the epic poem, accompanied only by a long-neck, three-string, Sumerian lute known as a “ngish-gu-di”. The instrument is tuned to G - G - D, and although it is similar to other long neck lutes still in use today (the tar, the setar, the saz, etc.) the modern instruments are low tension and strung with fine steel wire. The ancient long neck lutes (such as the Egyptian “nefer”) were strung with gut and behaved slightly differently. The short-neck lute known as the “oud” is strung with gut/nylon, and its sound has much in common with the ancient long-neck lute although the oud is not a fretted instrument and its strings are much shorter (about 25 inches or 63 cm) as compared to 32 inches (82 cm) on a long-neck instrument.

For anyone interested in these lutes, I highly recommend THE ARCHAEOMUSICOLOGY OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST by Professor Richard Dumbrill.

The location for this performance is the courtyard of Nebuchadnezzar’s palace in Babylon. The piece is four minutes long and is intended only as a taste of what the music of ancient Sumer might have sounded like.

“The Sumerians” by Grendel Dark

Perfume Associations with Ancient Languages

Latin: (amber, leather, rose) Must de Cartier by Cartier, Egoïste by Chanel

Egyptian: (myrrh, cinnamon, neroli, musk) Iceni by Boadicea the Victorious

Ancient Greek: (honey, grape, mimosa) Botrytis by Ginestet, L’Abeille de Guerlain by Guerlain

Old Norse: (birch, sandalwood, bergamot) Eau d’Hermès by Hermes

Sanskrit: (incense, vanilla, spices, rose) Shalimar Indes & Merveilles by Guerlain

Mayan: (agarwood, balsam, tonka bean) Baz by The Spirit of Dubai

Old Church Slavonic: (beeswax, incense, saffron) Sideris by Maria Candida Gentile

Sumerian: (musk, lily, vanilla) Un Lys by Serge Lutens

Old English: (rose, pine tree, incense) Ecstasy by Tiziana Terenzi


Ancient Civilizations: Lost and Found Entry

Character concepts i made for Artstation’s “Ancient Civilizations” challenge . It was a really fun contest and timing was essential.
I chose Sumerian Civilization as my subject and picked demons gods and demigods from that civilization and reimagined them.

Yigit Koroglu

A Sumerian dirty joke (SP 2.100/ IM 058659)

gala-e bìd-da-ni ḫa-ba-an-da-zé-er èm ga-ša-an-an-na ga-ša-an-mu ba-ra-zi-zi-dè-en-e-še

“When the kalûm-priest wiped his anus, (he said) ‘I must not excite that which belongs to my lady lnanna!”’

A kalûm-priest was one of the gender-bending priests devoted to the goddess Inanna/Ishtar.  (See my discussion here.)  This saying is probably a dirty joke about a eunuch’s options for sexual pleasure.  It’s also a pun!  The cuneiform sign for the kalûm-priest was a combination of two signs: MALE/PENIS + BOTTOM/ANUS.

The joke comes from the Sumerian Proverbs, a collection of popular sayings that scribes used to practice their cuneiform writing.  This round tablet is the product of a student scribe, written sometime in the early second millennium BCE; the translation is Gordon’s (1959).


Exceedingly Rare Sumerian Green Chalcedony Cylinder Seal of King Kurigalzu II, Kassite, 14th Century BC

A chrome chalcedony cylinder seal with seated profile figure and Sumerian cuneiform inscription in eight columns; depicting a seated bearded divine figure facing left, holding a trident, three right-facing locusts above; the eight lines of scholarly Sumerian cuneiform text with a prayer to Ninurta for the prosperity of Kurigalzu’s reign. The seal fitted with an antique gold pin passed through the original longitudinal perforation and a loop to enable it to be worn as a pendant. Translation (by Professor Lambert) for each column:

(1) dkur-da-ru gada gìr / ‘Ninurta, powerful lord’
(2) saĝ kal šà-aš-DU / 'special chief, foremost’
(3) ururu mah an-ta-ğál / 'the lofty city (?) being in heaven’
(4) ur-saĝ dili-ni rib-ba / 'champion on his own standing out’
(5) [diğir] ní-su-ši ri-a / 'the god moving with a halo of terror’
(6) ku-ri-gal-zu / ’(on) Kurigalzu’
(7) nun nì tuku-tuku-zu / 'the prince who reveres you’
(8) bala šà dùg-ga ğar-bi / 'place a reign of sweet heart’.

The extremely rare green variety of chalcedony was only known to the ancients and the Romans, until circa 3rd century AD, when it disappears from history. It is only known from small worked pieces such as beads and intaglios. The source has been recently discovered as being from northern Turkey (Anatolia). The color derives from the presence of chromium.

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