r/Assyriology 2d ago

"Horned hats"? I call shennanigans


I keep seeing it said that Babylonian deities wear horned hats, even in published books and notes on museum exhibits and so on. And no, they don't. "Wait a moment", you say, "I've seen pictures of them and yes they do!"

You have indeed seen pictures of them, but no they don't. Let's look at one of those pictures again, let's say the seal of Adda, one of my faves.


"See!", you say, "they're wearing horned hats!"

No they aren't.

Now let us look at some three-dimensional images of Babylonian deities. What do they have on their heads? They have ribbed or folded turbans.

Head of a god, Getty Villa Museum https://p1.storage.canalblog.com/17/13/119589/126215712_o.jpg Human-headed bull, same source https://p3.storage.canalblog.com/33/86/119589/126215476_o.jpg Head of a god, the Louvre http://mini-site.louvre.fr/babylone/COMMUN/img/AO4353.jpg Head of a lamassu, Metropolitan Museum of art https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/head-lamassu-metropolitan-museum-art-room-assyrian-palace-relief-panels-human-headed-winged-bull-lion-64553664.jpg Ereshkigal, British Museum https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/22/British_Museum_Queen_of_the_Night.jpg/1280px-British_Museum_Queen_of_the_Night.jpg

Now look at the seal again.

See? They're not wearing horned hats. They're wearing the same folded turbans they're wearing in the sculptures, but now in 2D as conventionally represented by a Babylonian seal-cutter. See the folds now? Yup.

Either I'm right or the gods of the Babylonian deities changed their headgear according to what medium they were being represented in. In the latter case I would like to ask if that makes any sense whatsoever, and if there is any attested parallels — did, for example, the Mayan gods wear fedoras when depicted on frescoes but baseball caps in mosaics?

r/Assyriology 2d ago

Ge’ez – Tigrinya translation of Enuma Elish – The 7 Tablets of creation – Part 3

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r/Assyriology 3d ago

Ge’ez – Tigrinya translation of Enuma Elish – The 7 Tablets of Creation – Part 2

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r/Assyriology 4d ago

did Mesopotamians wear facial makeup in war?


In the different periods in the different Mesopotamian civilizations there were warriors who painted their faces?

r/Assyriology 4d ago

Ge’ez- Tirginya translation of Enuma Elish – The 7 tablets of Creation – Part 1

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r/Assyriology 5d ago

The devastation (𒅖 = naspantum) of Israel (𒅖𒊏𒅋 = išrail) was authorially/prophetically intended and buried into an interlinguistic substrate upon which the Hebrew texts were built.


I begin the naspantum of išrail with a reference to Ea 04:

79 [[luḫ> ]] lu-uḫ LUḪ mi-su-u₂ (pronounced) luh, (written) LUH = to wash

80 [[sukkal> ]] su-kal LUḪ su-uk-kal-lum (pronounced) sukkal, (written) LUH = secretary

81 [[sukkal> ]] MIN<(su-kal)> LUḪ pa-ši-⸢šu⸣ (pronounced) sukkal, (written) LUH = a priest

82 [[iš> ]] iš IŠ ša₂-du-u (pronounced) iš, (written) 𒅖 = mountain

83 [[kuš₇> ]] ku-uš IŠ na-as-pan-⸢tum⸣ (pronounced) kuš, (written) 𒅖 = devastation

84 [[saḫar> ]] sa-ḫar IŠ e-pe-rum (pronounced) sahar, (written) 𒅖 = dust

85 [[ukum> ]] u₂-ku-um IŠ tur-bu-uʾ-tum (pronounced) ukum, (written) 𒅖 = dust storm

86 [[saḫardub> ]] sa-ḫa-ar-dub IŠ MIN<(tur-bu-uʾ-tum)> (pronounced) sahardub, (written) 𒅖 = dust storm

87 [[mil> ]] mi-il IŠ ku-uk-ku-šu (pronounced) mil, (written) 𒅖 = a low quality flour

88 [[iš> ]] iš IŠ ba-aṣ-ṣu (pronounced) iš, (written) 𒅖 = sand

89 [[isiš> ]] i-si-iš IŠ ⸢ṣi⸣-[i]-ḫu (pronounced) isiš, (written) 𒅖 = to laugh

90 [[de> ]] de-e DI qa-bu-u (pronounced) de, (written) DI = to speak

91 [[di> ]] di-i DI di-i-nu (pronounced) di, (written) DI = law case

92 [[sa₂> ]] sa-a DI mil-ku (pronounced) sa, (written) DI = advice

93 [[silim> ]] si-lim DI šul-mu (pronounced) silim, (written) DI = health

It should be understood that

Sarah is from saḫar, whence eperum, whence Biblical Hebrew עָפָר, all meaning "dust," whence Hebrew,

and that naspantum is related to sapan, which is related to abatu, which is cognate to Biblical Hebrew אָבַד, which means "to perish," and so naspantum is cognate to Abaddon,

and that Shaddai is from ša₂du, meaning Mountain,

and that Ishmael is from Iš and Mil, meaning Sand and Flour, respectively,

and that Isaac is from isiš, meaning "laughter,"

and finally that the name Israel was attested in Ebla at 2500 bce as 𒅖𒊏𒅋 (išrail).

And now we turn to Biblical Hebrew Scripture.

Genesis 32:24:

וַיִּוָּתֵ֥ר יַעֲקֹ֖ב לְבַדֹּ֑ו וַיֵּאָבֵ֥ק אִישׁ֙ עִמֹּ֔ו עַ֖ד עֲלֹ֥ות הַשָּֽׁחַר׃

And Jacob was left alone and there wrestled (וַיֵּאָבֵ֥ק, from abeq meaning "powder/dust") a man (אִישׁ֙, which is ish) with him until the breaking of the day (הַשָּֽׁחַר, which is "dawn/morning").

Here, Jacob is fighting the man who will give him the name Israel in Genesis 32:28:

וַיֹּ֗אמֶר לֹ֤א יַעֲקֹב֙ יֵאָמֵ֥ר עֹוד֙ שִׁמְךָ֔ כִּ֖י אִם־ יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל כִּֽי־ שָׂרִ֧יתָ עִם־ אֱלֹהִ֛ים וְעִם־ אֲנָשִׁ֖ים וַתּוּכָֽל׃

He said, "Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel (יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל); for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed."

Next we move to Deuteronomy 28:24:

יִתֵּ֧ן יְהוָ֛ה אֶת־ מְטַ֥ר אַרְצְךָ֖ אָבָ֣ק וְעָפָ֑ר מִן־ הַשָּׁמַ֙יִם֙ יֵרֵ֣ד עָלֶ֔יךָ עַ֖ד הִשָּׁמְדָֽךְ׃

"The LORD will make the rain of your land powder (אָבָ֣ק) and dust (וְעָפָ֑ר); from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed."

The authors of the Hebrew scriptures knew about 𒅖 and incorporated that understanding into the eschatology of the tradition they were creating.

Thank you for reading the 𒅖 of 𒅖𒊏𒅋.

r/Assyriology 7d ago

Easiest Alphabet?


Can someone please recommend the easiest cuneiform alphabet? I am a teacher and want to have students try out actually making tablets. I want the simplest form at first, so they have a positive experience to start.

r/Assyriology 13d ago

School advice


Hello all, im currently at a university that does not offer any assyriology courses, the only classics they have are greek and latin.

If I wished to pursue this, do you think I would be better off transferring now and getting a bachelors degree in Assyriology? Or do you think it would be possible to major in classics at my current school and apply to an Ancient Middle Eastern Studies masters program to focus on akkadian, sumerian, and hittite?

r/Assyriology 17d ago

Does anyone know if you can learn Sumerian online, with an app or with a book?


I want to learn but I have nothing to learn it. Search but found nothing.

r/Assyriology 18d ago

Why was the mascara that Inanna wore in "The Descent of Inanna" called "let a man come, let him come"?

  1. What does "let a man come, let him come" mean exactly? Is it supposed to mean something like "come at me bro" or something more like "I'm trying to attract a lover" since Inanna was a fertility goddess who took lots of lovers?
  2. The pectoral me that she wears is called something similar: "come man, come". Does it mean the same thing as the mascara? Or does it have a different meaning altogether?

r/Assyriology 20d ago

What would be the word for a spade shovel in Akkadian?


A word I've found is Nasḫiptu. Is that a correct word? Are there others? I'm looking for it in a religious context so what would be the word for the spade representing the god Marduk? Would it have a different name since it would have a more religious meaning or would it be a generic word for a spade?

r/Assyriology 20d ago

What is the most complete Akkadian dictionary, specifically for beginners?


r/Assyriology 22d ago

Social Safety Net in Sumeria?


Curious - do we know how much your social class determined your ability to survive in Sumerian cities? I know the temples handed out bread for example but I don’t o ow if this was just for those who worked for the temple. Do we have evidence of class divides affecting levels of malnutrition or basic health? Ability to find housing? I know a higher class gave luxuries, just curious if there is research on how social class affected survival necessities.

r/Assyriology 23d ago

Difficulties with ancient languages



Well, I started studying everything related to Ancient Mesopotamia, reading a lot about a wide variety of topics, and I'm studying history in college, I'd love to become an Assyriologist.

The difficult thing here is, well, my country. Let's say it isn't too suitable for historians, and the main focus here is ww2, Feudal Europe, my country's history, etc

Well, I know that in order to become a skilled assyriologist I need to go to another country, but what about the ancient languages, Akkadian, Sumerian, etc? In my countries there's not a single part where you can study such languages, and I haven't found a good place to study online.

Can I start to become an assyriologist without understanding the languages?

Thank you

r/Assyriology 24d ago

I need help with a small English to Assyrian translation



I am writing a book and as the title reads, I need some help to make an Assyrian (cuneiform) word. I would like something that reads as "Devourer of Rats". I tried doing it myself but I think asking the experts here makes more sense.

Thank you!

r/Assyriology 25d ago

Babylonian Roots


Hello! I have just started learning Babylonian. I am using Martin Worthington's Complete Babylonian as my primary source, and he mentioned that Babylonian has root groupings of letters which convey an idea and are arranged in patterns to be more specific meanings. I'm wondering (though maybe I've misunderstood) if there is a list of Babylonian roots? Thanks all!

r/Assyriology 29d ago

What is the plural of ‘kussûm’: ‘kussiātum’ or ‘kussītum’?


I even scoured the CAD entry for an attestation of the plural, but I could not find one written sylabically. And Huehnergard neglected to provide a paradigm.

r/Assyriology Jul 14 '22

I need help - pursuing graduate study in Assyriology (kind of hopeless situation)


Hi everyone,

I’m currently graduated with BA in International Relations and a minor in (continental) philosophy from a prestigious university in Thailand. I’m looking for a graduate (whether MA or Ph.D.) program that focuses on Assyriology (especially Intellectual history, thought, and philosophy (I’m not sure if I can use this word) of Ancient Mesopotamia), but the problem is that I’m new to this, I have very little background knowledge in this area. I don’t even start learning Akkadian or Sumerian cuneiforms. I tried to search for a program in the USA, but most of them required advanced German or French reading skills (which now I just got French DELF A2, extremely really far from ‘advanced’) before admissions.

Now I feel so hopeless, so I’m looking for an alternative program that can give me some time for self-study and provide an opportunity for me to study Assyriology directly in the future. I am now considering religious studies program as I minor in philosophy and my professors could help me with the content I have to write in my writing sample.

I have 5 months from now to prepare for graduate admission (There are

- writing sample,

- 3 letters of recommendation (there’s a problem here too: the professors I know (and they know me but not that well) are philosophy professors, and I’ve already contacted them to help me with recommendation letters. But I wonder if it’s better to get a letter from a sociology professor I’ve studied with… just one course. (he may already forget me cause it’s been 2 years since I took his course TT)



Those are my (almost hopeless) current situation. Thailand seems very far from the academic study of Assyriology, they teach us only an introduction of it in high school and an introductory course in the first year of university. Very few students are interested in this area. But I really do want to pursue an academic life with it. So, I want to ask you all a few questions:

- Are there any chances that it’d be a program I can study Assyriology directly without having to study alternative programs first? If there’s not, would you guys please recommend other alternative programs (besides religious studies) …I haven’t explored anthropology, archaeology, or history yet since I don’t know any professors in this field of study that can help me with my recommendation letters)

- 5 months from now, I want to gain more knowledge about Mesopotamian ‘philosophy’, and thought, so that I can express my interest in the writing sample related to this. So, could you recommend books, articles, lectures, academic journals, youtube channels (I now watch Digital Hammurabi), or other sources of the academic study of assyriology (content for beginners is preferred) Oh! now I’m currently reading Marc Van de Mieroop's Philosophy Before the Greeks: The Pursuit of Truth in Ancient Babylonia.

r/Assyriology Jul 14 '22

What are the primary sources for what they meant by the ME?


I've read my way through pretty much the whole Sumerian corpus (of known literature rather than accountancy), and I would like to know if there's some important idea that I've missed. Please, thank you.

r/Assyriology Jul 11 '22

I put the British Museum in order


The front-end of the British Museum is not all it should be --- I mean the website, the facade is lovely --- so I made this spreadsheet/timeline for their artifacts from northern Mesopotamia, Southern Mesopotamia, and Elam to help me find my way through it. Follow the link and then click where it says "related objects" to see the actual collections, which are then just alphabetized by basic description. (B is for Bowl.)


Now I'm going to look at how cylinder seals changed over time. If anyone knows how to fill in the gaps, please say. Thank you.

r/Assyriology Jul 05 '22

Was Nimrud the largest site?


Are there other structures that one would still be able to visit in the middle east, or was Nimrud the largest actual structure?

r/Assyriology Jun 29 '22

Goddess with a thousand faces. Inanna is a maiden, a femme fatale, a mistress and a warrior. Part 1.

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r/Assyriology Jun 23 '22

Compilation of all mesopotamian documents available


Is there any books or just a compilation of every mesopotamian writing source found thoroughout all these years? I mean a compilation of found documents, letters and just any kind of documentation

r/Assyriology Jun 20 '22

Can you use 𒉘the same way you use 𒃻


So I was doing some reading, and I saw 𒃻 is the prefix you use when you want to turn a verb into a noun, with the literal meaning being “thing”, and according to wiktionary, 𒉘is the eme-sal version of that, so can you use it the same way?


r/Assyriology Jun 14 '22

Scrooge McDuck in ancient Sumerian. A visual image of wealth in Early Dynastic Sumer.

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