Origin/Historian/Author: Sumer, Late Dynastic Period
Source: Sumerian Liturgical Texts, Stephen Langdon, 1917

This old Sumerian text was first recorded sometime during the Late Dynastic Period. It is one of a three part series that features creation, the establishment of Paradise (or Sumer), and lastly the flood. The first column is so heavily fragmented that it is completely illegible. Column 2 is also quite fragmented, although we are able to decipher some of what was recorded. The 3rd and final column being mostly complete, offers enough information for us to determine what this tablet refers to, the establishment of Sumerian Civilization, or rebuilding it after the flood.

Although much of the information was lost due to deterioration of the tablet itself, we are still able to chronologically place this epic to have occurred after the creation of heaven, earth, and man. A handful of ancient-prehistoric cultures are also identified, who some mentioned we know to have existed around 3000 BCE or perhaps even before. They are featured here as trading partners who offer tribute to the most northern Sumerian city at the time, Nippur.

The text features Enki, described as the lord of heaven and earth, and much like in other early Sumerian creation texts, has the ability to decree fates and destinies. Fates and Destinies in later traditions were something exclusive only to Enlil. So it is not unreasonable to assume that this mention of Enki is a reference to Marduk after attaining the Tablet of Destinies, the title Lord of the Earth, and creating Heaven, as all three are referenced in the Enuma Elish. Column III, lines 16 – 19, tell us that Enlil is the son of the high priest, and the high priest is the Lord of the Apsu. If we consider the Assyrian tradition and version of the Enuma Elish, this is telling us Lahmu is Lord of the Apsu, and his son Marduk took the title of Enki, as well as Enlil. Yet if we refer to the Babylonian tradition, we encounter conflicting genealogies and timelines.

Full Text Below


1. ….. its brilliant ….. let him behold.
2. Magan and. ….. Dilmun
3. ….. may be looked upon.
4. May Dilmun …..
5. May Magan the limits of heaven reach.
6. The ….. of Meluhha
7. ………………………
8. [The tribute?] of the foreign lands unto Nippur may he bring.
9. Unto ….. who has no house
10. …..
11. For him [who from the palace of his land] had gone forth,
12. ….. he established faithfully for them.
13. The ….. who exalts the pure decrees.
14. ….. treads.
15. ….. is glorified.
16. ….. possesses the far famed decrees.
17. ….. lord of heaven and earth …..
18. The ….. who went forth
19. The …..
20. The ….. of Eridu ….. .
21. The [inhabitants] of Sumer
22. ….. said to him.
23. …..


1. …..
2. For the high-priest upon a ship …..
3. Ligirsig[1] …..
4. To the high-priest a splendid scepter …..
5. Lahama[2] in the abyss a flood …..
6. Their wail woefully(?) like the birds of heaven …..
7. The king, who stands aloft, father Enki, the Land [ ….. ]
8. For him who from the palace of his Land had gone forth,
9. Surpassing abundance in heaven and earth he made.
10. Enki issued a decree.
11. “Sumer, the great mountain, land of Heaven and Earth,
12. Bearing a sheen of splendor, from sunrise to sunset teaching the Land decrees,
13. Far famed are thy decrees and unchangeable,
14. Thy heart is profound; man has not discovered it.
15. As a true form (designed by) earth and heaven thou wast created, like heaven intangible.
16. Offspring of a king, clad upon by a true form.
17. Offspring of a high-priest whose head is crowned.
18. Thy high-priest is the lord of the deep, the divine king who within the sanctuary of heaven dwells.
19. Thy king is the great mountain father Enlil.
20. Like a wall he turns back for thee the wicked ones(?), father of all lands.
21. The Anunnaki, the great gods,
22. Within thee Kenurra inhabited.
23. In thy great dark chambers they feed.
24. The house(s) of Sumer, thy stable(s) let be built, and may thy cattle be many.
25. May thy sheepfold(s) be built and thy sheep be fat.

[1] God/Lord of the Flood
[2] Lahama is the female principle of Lahmu; here Lahmu and Lahama are father~mother names of Anu, or emanations of the first principle Heaven. As emanations of Heaven they probably represent the ocean and belong to the order of the gods. In CT. 17, 42, 14-24 Lahmu is described as a sea-serpent and identified with Ea; cf. Rm. 279. 1-12. The paragraph 25-40 probably describes Labamu or Damkina; she has the body of a fish and scales like a [serpent?l. Lahmu and Lahamu are the first emanations who are called gods, Creat. 1 10. They are the fathers of the gods 111 68 and counsel them against Tiamat 111 125. On the other hand, the female Lahamu belongs to the dragons of chaos, I 121: I1 27; 111 31, 89. In our passage Lahama was thought to represent the ocean, but is clearly Damkina.