Gilg. OB VA+BM

SEAL no. 1534

  • BM 96974 obv. (British Museum)BM 96974 obv. (British Museum)
  • BM 96974 rev. (British Museum)BM 96974 rev. (British Museum)
  • VAT 4105 obv. (Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin)VAT 4105 obv. (Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin)
  • VAT 4105 rev. (Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin)VAT 4105 rev. (Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin)
  • VAT 4105 edge (Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin)VAT 4105 edge (Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin)
Copy / Photo
pl. 17-19
Tablet Siglum
VAT 4105 + BM 96974
British Museum, London
Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin
Genre / Classification
Epics, Gilgameš

col. i

1'       [x x x] ri-mi ti-ša-nu⌉ [x x] x x x

2'       [il-ta-b]a-aš ma-aš-ki-šu-nu i-ik-ka-al ši-ra-am

3'       [ú-har-r]i? bu-ra-tim dGIŠ ša la ib-ši-a ma-ti-i-ma

4'       [?]-ti-i-ma me-e i-re-ed-de ša-ri

5'       dŠamšu(UTU)šu i-ta-šu-uš i-da-aq-qú-ús-su

6'       iz/is-za/sà-qar-am a-na dGIŠ

7'       dGIŠ e-eš ta-da-al

8'       ba-la-ṭám ša ta-sa-ah-hu-ru la tu-ut-ta

9'       dGIŠ a-na ša-a-šum iz/is-za/sà-qar a-na qú-ra-di-im dŠamši(UTUši)

10'     iš-tu e-li ṣe-ri-im a-ta-al-lu-ki da-li-im

11'     i-na li-ib-bu er-ṣe-tim sa-ka-pu-um ma-DU(ṭù?)du-ú

12'     at-ti-il-lam-ma ka-lu ša-na-tim

13'     ⌈i-na-ia ša-am-ša-am! li-iṭ!(IB)-ṭú-la-a-ma na-wi-ir-tam lu-uš-bi

14'     re-qé-e-et ek-le-tum ki ma-ṣi na-wi-ir-tum

15'     ma-ti-[ma] mi-tum li-mu-ra-am ša-ru-ru dŠamši(UTUši)

(There follows a gap of about 30 lines)


col. ii

0'       [ib-ri ša a-ra-am-mu-šu da-an-ni-iš]

1'       ⌈it-ti-ia it-ta-al-la-ku ka-lu mar-ṣ[a-a-tim]

2'       En-ki-du10 ša a-ra-am-mu-šu da-an-ni-iš

3'       it-ti-ia it-ta-al-la-ku ka-lu mar-ṣa-a-tim

4'       il-li-ik-ma a-na ši-ma-tu a-wi-lu-tim

5'       ur-ri ù mu‑ši e-li-šu ab-ki

6'       ú-ul ad-di-iš-šu a-na qé-bé-ri-im

7'       ib-ri-ma-an i-ta-ab-bi-a-am a-na ri-ig-mi-ia

8'       se-bé-et UD-mi-im ù se-bé mu-ši-a-tim

9'       a-di tu-ul-tum im-qú-tam i-na ap-pí-šu

10'     iš-tu wa-ar-ki-šu ú-ul ú-ta ba-la-ṭám 

11'     at-ta-na-ag-gi-iš ki-ma ha-bi-lim qá-ba-al-tu ṣe-ri

12'     i-na-an-na sa-bi-tum a-ta-mar pa-ni-ki

13'     mu-tam ša a-ta-na-ad-da-ru a-ia a-mu-ur

14'     sa-bi-tum a-na ša-a-šum iz/is-za/sà-qar-am a-na dGIŠ


col. iii

1       dGIŠ e-eš ta-da-a-al

2       ba-la-ṭám ša ta-sa-ah-hu-ru la tu-ut-ta

3       i-nu-ma ilū(DINGIRmeš) ib-nu-ú a-wi-lu-tam

4       mu-tam iš-ku-nu a-na a-wi-lu-tim

5       ba-la-ṭám i-na qá-ti-šu-nu iṣ-ṣa-ab-tu

6       at-ta dGIŠ lu ma-li ka-ra-aš-ka

7       ur-ri ù mu-ši hi-ta-ad-dú at-ta

8       UD-mi-ša-am šu-ku-un hi-du-tam

9       ur-ri ù mu-ši su-ur ù me-li-il

10     lu ub-bu-bu ṣú-ba!(KU)-tu-ka

11     qá-qá-ad-ka lu me-si me-e lu ra-am-ka-ta

12     ṣú-ub-bi ṣe-eh-ra-am ṣa-bi-tu qá-ti-ka

13     mar-hi-tum li-ih-ta-ad-da-a-am i-na su-ni-ka

14     an-na-ma ši-i[m-ti a-wi-lu-tim?]

15     ⌈ša ba-al-ṭú x […]

16     dGIŠ a-na ša-a-š[i-im iz/is-za/sà-qar-am a-na sa-bi-tim]

17     mi-nam sa-bi-ti ta-ta-wi-i⌉ [x (x) x x]

18     a-na ib-ri-ia li-ib-bi ma-r[u-uṣ x x x]

19     mi-nam sa-bi-ti ta-ta-wi-i x [(x) x x]

20     a-na En-ki-du10 li-ib-bi ma-ru-u[ x x x]

21     wa-aš-ba-ti-i-ma sa-bi-ti i-na sa-pa-[an-nu tiʾāmtim(A.AB.BA)?]

22     am-ra-ti-i-ma li-ib-ba-ki ka-l[a x (x) x x]

23     ki-ib-sa-am ku-ul-li-mi [x (x) x]

24     šum-ma na-ṭú tiʾāmtam(A.AB.BA) [lu-bi-ir]

25     sa-bi-tum a-na ša-a-šum iz/is-za/-qar-a[m a-na dGIŠ]

26     ú-ul ib-ši dGIŠ ša ki-ma ka-ta x [x x x]

27     a-li-i[k? x x x] ma-a[n-nu-um x x]

28     ⌈ma-[am-ma? …] x […]


col. iv

1       šu-nu-ti uh-ta-ap-pí-a-am i-na uz-zi-šu

2       i-tu-ra-am-ma iz-za-az e-li-šu

3       Su!-ur-su-na-b[u] i-na-aṭ-ṭá-lam i-ni-šu

4       Su-ur-su-na-bu a-na ša-a-šum iz/is-za/-qar-am a-na dGIŠ

5       ma-an-nu-um šu-um-ka qí-bi-a-am ia-ši-im

6       a-na-ku Su!-ur-su-na-bu ša Ú-ta-na-iš-tim ru-ú-qí-im

7       dGIŠ a-na ša-a-šum iz/is-za/-qar-am a-na Su-ur-su-na-bu

8       dGIŠ šu-mi a-na-ku

9       ša al-li-kam iš-tu Uruk!ki!(DI) É-an-ni!

10     ša ás-hu-ra-am ša-di-i

11     ur-ha-am re-qé-e-tam wa-ṣa-ú dŠamši(UTUši)

12     i-na-an-na Su-ur-su-na-bu a-ta-mar pa-ni-ka

13     ku-ul-li-ma-an-ni ú-ta-na-iš-tim re-qá-am

14     Su-ur-su-na-bu a-na ša-a-šum iz/is-za/-qar-am a-na d⌉GIŠ

15     Missing.

16     [… Ú-ta-na-iš-tim] ⌈re-qá-am

17     [x x (x) x ta-ra-a]k-ka-ba-am eleppam(MÁ)

18     [x x (x) x]a šu(-)iš-hi-ṭá-am lu-ṭe4-eh-hi ka-ta

19     [uš-bu]-⌈ú-ma uš-ta-ad-da-nu ki-la-al-la-an

20     ⌈ù?⌉ a-wa-tam i-qá-ab-bi šu-a-ši-im

21     [S]u-ur-su-na-bu a-na ša-a-šum iz/is-za/-qar-am a-na dGIŠ

22     šu-ut ab-nim-ma dGIŠ mu-še-bi-ru-ú-ia

23     aš-šum la a-la-ap-pa-tu me-e mu-tim

24     i-na uz-zi-ka tu-úh-te-ep-pí-šu-nu-ti

25     [š]u-ut ab-nim []-šum šu-bu-ri-im šu-nu it-ti-ia

26     [li-q]é-e-ma dG[IŠ] ha-ṣí-na-am i-na qá-ti-ka

27     [pa-r]i-si ša ṣú-up-pa-a 5 šu-ši ik-sa-am

28     [x x x] x-k/qum-ma šu-ku-un ṣe-re-e-ti[m]

29     […] ⌈i-na  x (x) x tim?⌉[x (x)]


col. i

1'       [...] wild bulls, the aurochs of [...,]

2'       [he] clothed himself in their skins, eating their flesh,

3'       Gilgameš [dug] wells that never existed before,

4'       [he] drank the water as he chased the winds.

5'       Šamaš became worried, so he bent down to him,

6'       he spoke to Gilgameš:

7'       “O Gilgameš, where are you wandering?

8'      You cannot find the life that you seek.”

9'       Gilgameš spoke to him, to the hero Šamaš:

10'     “After roaming, wandering through the wild,

11'     within the Netherworld there will be enough rest.

12'     I shall lie asleep down all the years,

13'     but now let my eyes look on the sun so I am sated with light.

14'     Is the darkness far, how much light is there?

15'     When may a dead man see the rays of the sun?

Lacuna. When the text resumes Gilgameš is speaking to the ale-wife:


col. ii

0'       [My friend, whom I love deeply,]

1'      who with me went through every danger,

2'       Enkidu, whom I love deeply,

3'       who with me went through every danger:

4'       he went to the destiny of mankind.

5''       I wept over him day and night.

6'       I did not give him up for burial –

7′       Would that my friend rise up at my cry –

8'       for seven days and seven nights,

9'      until a maggot dropped from his nostril.

10'     After he was gone I did not find life.

11′     I wandered about like a bandit through the midst of the wild.

12'     Now, ale-wife, I have seen your face,

13'    but I would not see death, that I ever fear.”

14'     The ale-wife spoke to him, to Gilgameš:


col. iii

1       “O Gilgameš, where are you wandering?

2       You cannot find the life that you seek:

3       when the gods created mankind,

4       for mankind they established death,

5       life they kept for themselves.

6       You, Gilgameš, let your belly be full,

7       keep enjoying yourself, day and night.

8       Every day make merry,

9       dance and play day and night.

10     Let your clothes be clean!

11     Let your hand be washed, may you be bathed in water.

12     Gaze on the little one who holds your hand!

13     Let a wife keep enjoying herself in your lap. Let a wife ever rejoice in your lap?

14     Such is the destiny [of mortal men],

15     that one who lives [...]”

16     Gilgameš [spoke] to her, [to the ale-wife:]

17     “Why, O ale-wife, do you talk [...?]

18     My heart is sick for my friend [...]

19     Why, O ale-wife, do you talk [...?]

20     My heart is sick for my Enkidu [...]

21     You dwell, O ale-wife, on the shore [of the ocean,]

22     you are familiar with all [...]

23     Show me the way [to ...!]

24     If it can be done [I will cross] the ocean!”

25     The ale-wife spoke to him, [to Gilgameš:]

26     “There was not, Gilgameš, one like you [...]

27     One who travels [...] who [...?]

28     Nobody [...]”

Lacuna. When the text resumes Gilgameš has fallen on the Stone Ones:


col. iv

1       He smashed them in his fury.

2       He came back to stand over him,

3       as Sursunabu looked him in the eye.

4       Sursunabu spoke to him, to Gilgameš:

5       “What is your name? Tell me!

6       I am Sursunabu, of Ūta-naʾištim, the Distant.”

7       G. spoke to him, to Sursunabu:

8       “Gilgameš is my name,

9       who came from Uruk-Eanna,

10     who came around the mountains,

11     a road so distant where the sun rises.

12     Now, Sursunabu, I have seen your face,

13     show me Ūta-naʾištim, the Far-Away!”

14     Sursunabu spoke to him, to Gilgameš:

15     “[...]

16     [to reach Ūta-naʾištim the] Far-Away,

17     [... you] must travel by boat,

18     [...] ..., I will take you near to (him).”

19     [They sat] down, talking it over between the two of them

20     and (Sursunabu) saying a word to him.

21     Sursunabu spoke to him, to Gilgameš:

22     The Stone Ones, Gilgameš, were what enabled me to cross,

23     because I must not touch the Waters of Death.

24     In your fury you have smashed them.

25     The Stone Ones were with me to take me across.

26     [Take] up, Gilgameš, the axe in your hand,

27     cut me three hundred [punting]-poles, each sixty cubits.

28     [...] ..., and equip them with bosses,

29     [...] in ... [...]”

Remainder lost.

Word Translation Semantic Line
abnum (NA4) stone, rock Materials iv 22, 25
appum nose, tip, crown (of tree) Body/Body parts ii 9'
būrtum cistern, well, fish pond, source (of river), hole, pit Fabricated objects i 3'
Eanna TN Locations/Buildings iv 9?
eleppum ((giš)MÁ) ship, boat iv 17
Enkidu PN PN ii 2', iii 20
erṣetum (KI) earth, land, netherworld Nature/Cosmological phenomena i 11'
Gilgameš PN i 3', i 6', i 7', i 9', ii 14', iii 1, iii 6, iii 16, iii 21, [iii 25], iii 26, iv 4, iv 7, iv 8, iv 14, iv 21, iv 22, iv 26
ḫābilum II trapper ii 11'
ḫaṣṣinnum axe iv 26
īnum (IGI) eye Body/Body parts i 13', iv 3
karšum stomach, interior, womb; mind, understanding Body/Body parts iii 6
kibsum track, footprint, way Body/Body parts,Nature/Cosmological phenomena iii 23
marḫītum mate, wife, spouse iii 13
maškum skin, hide, leather Materials i 2'
mû I (A(.MEŠ)) water Food/Drink,Nature/Cosmological phenomena i 4', iii 11, iv 23
mušītum night(-time) Abstract concepts,Time concepts ii 8'
mūšum (GI6) night(-time) Abstract concepts,Time concepts ii 5', iii 7', 9'
nawirtum brightness, light i 13', 14'
pānum I (IGI) front, face, earlier times Abstract concepts,Body/Body parts ii 12', iv 12
parīsum rudder, boat-pole iv 27
qaqqadum (SAG; SAG.KI) head, capital Body/Body parts iii 11
qātum (ŠU) hand Body/Body parts iii 5, 12, iv 26
qurādum hero, warrior Human activities/actions,Social status/Groups/Professions i 9'
rīmum (AM) wild bull Fauna (wild) i 1'
sābītum ale-wife, female brewer Social status/Groups/Professions ii 12', 14', [iii 16], iii 17, 19, 21, 25
šadûm I (KUR; ḪUR.SAG) mountain, open country Nature/Cosmological phenomena iv 10
Šamaš, šamšum (dUtu) DN, sun Deities/Divine sphere i 5', 9', 13', 15', iv 11
šārum (IM) wind, breath Nature/Cosmological phenomena i 4'
šarūrum brilliance, ray i 15'
ṣeḫrum I ((LÚ).TUR) little, young, junior-; small, child, servant, baby Qualities/Attributes,Social status/Groups/Professions iii 12
ṣertum nipple, teat, udder Body/Body parts iv 28
ṣērum (EDIN) back, upperside, steppe, open country, towards Abstract concepts,Body/Body parts,Locations/Buildings,Nature/Cosmological phenomena i 10', ii 11'
šīrum (UZU) flesh, body; entrails; kinsman, blood relative, meat; ominous sign Body/Body parts,Kinship terms i 2'
ṣubātum textile, garment Fabricated objects iii 10
sūnum loin, lap Body/Body parts iii 13
Sursunabu PN iv 3, 4, 6, 7, 12, 14, 21
tiāmtum, tâmtum (A.AB.BA) sea, lake Nature/Cosmological phenomena iii 21, 24
tišānum mountain-dwelling ovid, goat (mountain) Fauna (wild) i 1'
tûltum worm, leech ii 9'
ūmum I (UD) day, daily Abstract concepts,Nature/Cosmological phenomena,Time concepts ii 8'
urḫum way, path Locations/Buildings iv 11
urrum daytime, morning, daybreak Time concepts ii 5', iii 7', 9'
Uruk GN GN iv 9
Utana’ištum PN iv 6, 13, [iv 16]
Signs in text
Words in text
Sumerograms in text
% of Sum. in text
Lines in text
Average signs per line in text
SD of signs per line
Revision History
Hess, Christian W.
Streck, Michael P.
Translation and commentary
Hess, Christian W.
Wasserman, Nathan
Photography, web-imaging
Streck, Michael P.