ancient Sumerian love poems delight in physical reality

High-definition video, powerful mobile phones, artificial-intelligence-driven chatbots, and virtual reality are changing human understanding of communicating in love. Writing, an enormously important and influential communication technology invented only about five thousand years ago, arguably initiated this cultural change. Ancient Sumerian love poems from about four thousand years ago suggest that women and men once loved each other with great appreciation for physical reality, both human and environmental. As powerful communication technologies have developed, communicating in love has become less physically grounded.

Ancient Sumerian love poems in some ways indicate amazing continuity in expression. These poems use repetition with variation much like thirteenth-century Galician-Portuguese “songs about a beloved man {cantigas d’amigo}.” In the biblical Song of Songs / Song of Solomon, the bridegroom tells his bride that she is sweet and that “honey and milk are under your tongue {דְּבַשׁ וְחָלָב תַּחַת לְשׁוֹנֵךְ}.”[1] In a Sumerian love poem from about 4000 years ago, a woman’s voice implores:

Man, let me do the sweetest things to you.
My precious sweet, let me bring you to the honey.
In the bedchamber made as soft as thick honey,
let us enjoy your allure, the sweet thing.

Oh that we could handle your sweet place,
oh that I could grasp your place that is sweet as honey.

{ mu-ti-in aj2-ze2-ze2-ba du5-mu-u8-ak
ze2-ba kal-la-ju10 lal3-e da-aj2-e-ga
e2! ki-nu2-a lal3 hab2 dug4-ga-ba
hi-li aj2-ze2-ba-zu ga-ba-hul2-hul2-le-en-de3-en

ki ze2-ba-zu nu-uc-mu-e-a-ak-a
ki lal3-gin7 ze2-ba-zu cu nu-uc-mu-e-tag-ge }[2]

Here the man is the woman’s “precious sweet,” his genitals are the “sweet place,” and sexual intercourse is “the sweet thing.” Sweetness is associated specifically with honey. That’s an enduring metaphor. In a recent Arabic novel, a woman encouraged her beloved man to reach out and touch her honey. Terms of endearment such as “sweetie” and “honey-buns” were once explicitly sexual.

Babylonian goddess (Burney Relief)

Women in ancient Sumerian poems figure their vulvas as beautiful and urge men to have sex with them. In doing so, they use figural language with concrete references:

— “This vulva …,
like a horn, …
a great wagon, this moored Boat of Heaven …
clothed in beauty like the new crescent moon,
this waste land abandoned in the desert …
this field of ducks where my ducks sit,
this high, well-watered field of mine,
my own vulva, the maiden’s, a well-watered, opened-up mound:
who will be its plowman?
My vulva, the lady’s, the moist and well-watered ground:
who will put an ox there?”
— “Lady, the king will plow it for you.
Dumuzid the king will plow it for you.”
— “Plow in my vulva, man of my heart!”

{ gal4-la ĝar-ra? ne-en GAG X […]
si-gin7 ĝišmar gal-e /keše2\ […]
ma2 an-na ne-en eš2 la2 […]
ud-sakar gibil-gin7 ḫi-li /gur3\-[ru-ĝu10]
kislaḫ ne-en edin-na šub?-[…]
a-šag4? uzmušen ne-en uzmušen dur2-[ra]-/ĝu10\
a-šag4 an-na ne-en a ma-ra-ĝu10
ma-a gal4-la-ĝu10 du6 du8-du8-a a ma-«a»-ra
ki-sikil-ĝen a-ba-a ur11-ru-a-bi
gal4-la-ĝu10 ki duru5 a ma-ra
ga-ša-an-ĝen gud a-ba-a bi2-ib2-gub-be2
in-nin9 lugal-e ḫa-ra-an-ur11-ru
[gal4-la]-ĝa2 ur11-ru mu-lu ša3-ab-ĝa2-kam }[3]

The speaking woman has a strong sense of physical self. She relates her physical self to the physical world — from the moon in the sky to ducks in water and a field for planting. In another Sumerian love poem, a woman insists on her physical primacy in relation to other places with similar shapes and physical characteristics:

Do not dig a canal. Let me be your canal!
Do not plow a field. Let me be your field!
Farmer, do not search for a wet place, my precious sweet.
Let this be your wet place, …
Let this be your furrow, …,
Let this be your desire!

{ id2 na-an-ba-al-le id2-zu ḫe2-me-en
a-šag4 na-an-ur11-ru a-šag4-zu ḫe2-me-en
mu-un-gar3 ki duru5 na-an-kiĝ2-kiĝ2-e
[ze2]-/ba\ kal-la-ĝu10 ki duru5-zu ḫe2-am3
[X (X)]-e ab-sin2-zu ḫe2-am3
X tur-tur-me aš2-zu ḫe2-am3 }[4]

Integrating herself into her particular circumstances, a barmaid associated her vulva with beer’s sweetness:

The beer of my …, Il-ummiya, the barmaid, is sweet!
And her vulva is sweet like her beer — and her beer is sweet!
And her vulva is sweet like her mouth — and her beer is sweet!

{ AN X X X-ju10 sa3-bi-tum-ma kac-a-ni ze2-ba-am3
kac-a-ni-gin7 gal4-la-ni ze2-ba-am3 kac-a-ni ze2-ba-am3
ka-ga14-a-ni-gin7 gal4-la-ni ze2-ba-am3 kac-a-ni ze2-ba-am3 }[5]

The speaking women in these ancient Sumerian love poems understand their sexuality to be an aspect of their physical selves in the physical world that they inhabit. While they understand their bodies to be things, they are not merely things. They are things filled with desire and delight. They express their feelings in relation to well-recognized reality.[6]

man making offering to Inanna on Warka Vase

Women in ancient Sumerian love poems understand communication in love to be coupling of bodies as well as connecting conceptual persons. In a woman-voiced poem of sexual intercourse, concrete figures for the woman’s body combine closely with concrete figures for the man’s body:

Vigorously it sprouted, vigorously it sprouted — it is well-watered lettuce.
In my shaded desert garden, richly flourishing, my mother’s darling did it,
its barley stalk full of allure in its furrow — it is well-watered lettuce.
He did it, a true apple tree bearing fruit at the top — it is a well-watered lettuce!

The honey man, the honey man, he will make me sweet.
My lord, the sweet man, the godly one, my mother’s darling,
his hands are honey, his feet are honey, he will make me sweet.
All of his limbs are honey, and he will make me sweet.

Inside up to my navel, suddenly altogether sweet, my mother’s darling,
my beautiful thighs with his raised arms — it is well-watered lettuce!

{ ba-lam ba-lam-lam ḫi-izsar-am3 a ba-an-dug4
ĝiškiri6 ĝi6-edin-na gu2 ĝar-ĝar-ra-na sag9-ga ama-na-ĝu10
še ab-sin2-ba ḫi-li-a sag9-ĝu10 ḫi-izsar-am3 a ba-an-dug4
ĝišḫašḫur aĝ2 saĝ-ĝa2 gurun il2-la-ĝu10 ḫi-izsar-am3 a ba-an-dug4

lu2-lal3-e lu2-lal3-e me-e mu-ku7-ku7-de3-en
en-ĝu10 lu2-lal3-e dim3-me-er-ra sag9-ga ama-na-ĝu10
šu-ni lal3-e /me\-ri-ni lal3-e ĝe26-e mu-un-ku7-ku7-de3-[en]
a2-šu-ĝiri3-ni lal3 ku7-ku7-dam ĝe26-e mu-un-ku7-ku7-[de3-en]

en3-dur šu-niĝin2 tukum ku7-ku7-ĝu10 /sag9\-[ga ama-na-ĝu10]
/ḫaš4\ sag9-sag9 a2 buluĝ5 e-ru-ĝu10 ḫi-izsar-am3 [a ba-an-dug4] }[7]

That which sprouted could be a plant metaphor for the man’s penis or for the woman’s swelling vulva. Lettuce refers to the woman’s pubic hair or labia, while the “shaded desert garden” is more generally her vulva. Literary scholars differ about whether the “barley stalk full of allure” refers to the man’s penis or the woman’s clitoris.[8] The “apple tree bearing fruit at the top” is the man’s penis. It has watered well the woman’s lettuce in the sense of ejaculating abundantly. Amid all these highly physical agricultural metaphors is the woman’s praise for the man: “my mother’s darling.” That’s highly complex relational appreciation of her beloved man. So too is “the godly one.” Surely no non-human animal in copulating thinks of its counterpart so complexly.[9]

cuneiform text of A balbale to Inana for Šu-Suen (Šu-Suen B)

Intense competition in modern, high-status communication markets has lead to belief in the social construction of reality. Such belief has now advanced in important ways to the individual construction of reality, with mandated social support.[10] Artists have problematized this development as the “cinema effect.” An alternate development might be called the “gardening effect.” It’s apparent in Sumerian love poetry written about four thousand years — texts that are among the earliest written literary texts. Human bodies are as real as lettuce and apple trees. That sense of reality makes communicating in love as sweet as honey.

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[1] Song of Songs 4:11. The woman says of her beloved man, “his fruit was sweet to my taste {וּפִרְיוֹ מָתוֹק לְחִכִּֽי }.” Song of Songs 2:3. On the cultural context of the Song of Songs, Nissinen (2016) and Gault (2019).

[2] A balbale to Inana for Šu-Suen (Šu-Suen B) (t. vv. 9-12, 26-27, cuneiform transliteration (composite text) of Ni 2461 (Istanbul Archaeological Museum) via the Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, second edition (ETCSL), English translation (modified insubstantially) from Reid & Wagensonner (2017) p. 253, Table 2, Manuscript A. Another manuscript of this song exists on BM 103163 (British Museum). For photo, transliteration, and translation, id. These verses are similar in both manuscripts. Here’s Pascal Attinger’s literature review and French translation for Šu-Suen B. Subsequent such documents, if available in Attinger’s corpus, are linked to the “t” identifier, e.g. t.

Šu-Suen was the King of Ur (Third Dynasty of Ur) and King of Sumer and Akkad in ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) from about 2037 BGC to 2028 BGC (middle chronology). Šu-Suen is also written as Shu-Suen and Shu-Sin. Inana / Inanna, later known as Ishtar, was an ancient Mesopotamian goddess. A balbale is a form of ancient Sumerian poetry.

A recently published fragment of Sumerian erotic poetry includes the verse:

May he … honey on your vulva

{ […] gal4 -˹la˺ -za ˹lal3˺ šu ha-ba-ni -[…] }

Peterson (2010), N 2085, v. 14, pp. 254-5, with commentary, id. p. 256. This verse emphasizes that the honey metaphor could be very physically specific.

Difficulty in deciphering the Sumerian language is apparent in translations of the last two verses of Šu-Suen B. ETCSL has:

Touch me like a cover does a measuring cup.
Adorn (?) me like the cover on a cup of wood shavings (?).

{ tug2 ĝišba-an-na-gin7 šu de6-ma-ni
tug2 ĝišba-an sum-ki-na-gin7 šu gun3-gun3-ma-ni }

Šu-Suen B, vv. 28-29, sourced as previously. Jacobsen’s translation seems plausible related, and certainly brings out the physicality of Sumerian love poetry:

O squeeze it in there for me! as one would flour into the measuring cup!
O pound and pound it in there for me! as one would flour into the old dry measuring cup!

Jacobsen (1987) p. 89. For both cuneiform sources, Reid & Wagensonner provides a different reading of the sources and a much different translation:

Carrying to me like an elegant leash,
Adorn (?) me like an elegant . . . leash.

{ ˹eš2˺-g̃ešba an-na-gen7 ˹šu˺ de6 -ma-ni
2g̃ešba°-an° se3°-ki°-na°-gen7° ˹šu˺ }

Šu-Suen B, vv. 28-29, from Reid & Wagensonner (2017) pp. 253-4. What these verses mean is far from clear.

The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL) is a magnificent scholarly contribution to learning world-wide. For an associated book providing an informative introduction and selection of the poems in English translation, Black, Cunningham & Robson (2004). For alternate translations of selections of Sumerian love poems, Kramer (1963), Alster (1985), Alster (1993), Jacobsen (1987), and Sefati (1998). Because Sumerian was deciphered only in the twentieth century, understanding of the texts has improved considerably over time.

[3] A balbale (?) to Inana (Dumuzid-Inana P) (t.4.08.16), vv. 18-31, transliteration via ETCSL, English translation (modified slightly) from Sefati (1998), pp. 218-235, via ETCSL. Rubio stated:

Sefati’s choice of words is frequently too tame and delicate, losing most of the erotic flavor of these texts. For instance, gal4 is systematically translated as “nakedness,” instead of “vulva.” The use of an abstract noun (“nakedness”) does not transmit the essential meaning of the word in Sumerian, as one can see in Šu-Sin A 20-21, where a more accurate and evocative translation would read:

Like her beer, her vulva is sweet, how sweet is her beer!
Like her mouth, her vulva is sweet, how sweet is her beer!

Jacobsen’s always beautiful translations exhibit a similar discomfort with anatomy, since he translates here “private parts.”

Rubio (2001) p. 271. I’ve adjusted Sefati’s translation to account for Rubio’s criticism. For Jacobsen’s translation, Jacobsen (1987) p. 96.

In an Old Babylonian poem (dated 2000 to 1600 BCE), a woman praises her vulva with agricultural metaphors and complains about her elderly husband’s impotence:

My lord! Fine is my vegetable bed, my shining horn, my market square, and
multicoloured is my roasted barley. But he has had no luck there.

{ u₃-mu-un-ĝu₁₀ ⸢al-sa₆⸣ [sa]r-ĝu₁₀ si-mul šakanka-ĝu₁₀
al-gunu₃ še ⸢sa⸣-a-ĝu₁₀ diĝir la-ba-ni-in-tuku }

Sumerian tale “The Old Man and the Young Girl,” Sumerian transliteration and English translation (modified slightly) from Matuszak (2022) pp. 200-1. On Sumerian figures for women’s bodies, Couto-Ferreira (2017). In this situation, the elderly husband laments:

My mongoose, which used to eat even malodorous things, now does not even stretch its neck to the jar of clarified butter.

{ dnin-ka₅ niĝ₂ ḫab₂-ba gu₇-gu₇-ĝu₁₀ dug i₃-nun-na-še₃ gu₂ nu-mu-un-ši-ib-⸢la₂⸣-e }

“The Old Man and the Young Girl,” v. 37, sourced as previously. This line refers to erectile dysfunction. Id. p. 209, commentary on v. 37. Men’s impotence has long been recognized as an epic disaster.

[4] A balbale to Inana as Nanaya (Inana H) (t.4.07.8) vv. 21-26, transliteration and English translation (modified insubstantially) from ETCSL.

Women in ancient Sumerian love poems both delighted in their sexual bodies and in pleasing men. Inanna gushed to her sister Bau:

See now, my breasts stand out.
See now, hair has grown on my vulva,
signifying my development to a man’s embrace. Let us be very glad!
Dance, dance!
O Bau, let us be very glad about my vulva!
Dance, dance!
Later on it will delight him, delight him!

{ i-da-lam gaba-ĝu10 ba-gub-gub
i-da-lam gal4-la-ĝa2 siki ba-an-mu2
ur2 mu-tin-na-še3 di-di-de3 ba-ba ga-ba-ḫul2-ḫul2-le-en-de3-en
gu4-ud-an-ze2-en gu4-ud-an-ze2-en
dba-u2 gal4-la-ĝa2-ke4-eš ga-ba-ḫul2-ḫul2-le-en-de3-en
gu4-ud-an-ze2-en gu4-ud-an-ze2-en
eĝer-bi in-na-sag9 in-na-sag9 }

A balbale to Inana (Dumuzid-Inana C) (t.4.08.03), vv. 42-48, transliteration and English translation (modified slightly) from ETCSL. For an alternate translation, Alster (1985) pp. 150-2. Bau / Baba was a goddess who had as her husband the god Ninurta / Ningirsu.

Sumerian men, not surprisingly, worked long and hard for appreciative Sumerian women. One ancient Sumerian love poem records a man’s astonishing sexual feat:

When my sweet and precious, my heart, had lain down too,
each of them in turn kissing with the tongue, each in turn,
then my brother of the beautiful eyes did it fifty times with her.
Such a man became silent. He held himself close to her.
He filled her up, making her whole body shake.
With my brother laying his hands on her hips,
my sweet and precious passed the time.

{ ze2-ba kal-la-ju10 ca3-ab-ju10 a-ba-nu2
dili-dili-ta eme ak dili-dili-ta
cec i-bi2 sag9-sag9-ju10 50-am3 mu-un-ak
lu2 sig9-ga-gin7 mu-na-de3-gub
ki-ta tuku4-e-da si-a mu-na-ni-in-jar
cec-ju10 ib2-ba-na cu gub-bu-de3
ze2-ba kal-la-ju10 ud mu-un-di-ni-ib-zal-e }

A balbale to Inana (Dumuzid-Inana D) (c.4.08.04) vv. 12-18, transliteration from ETCSL, English translation from ETCSL, with changes based on Pascal Attinger’s French translation. For a similar translation, Alster (1993) p. 23. In eighth-century Europe, Roland’s peer Oliver sexually served a woman only a reported thirty times in one night.

[5] A balbale to Bau for Šu-Suen (Šu-Suen A) (t. vv. 19-21, transliteration from ETCSL, English translation (modified slightly) from Jacobsen (1987) p. 96. The surprising appearance of a barmaid in this poem has generated considerable scholarly discussion. For recent analysis, Widell (2011) pp. 292-4.

In a dramatic dialogue nominally between Inanna and Dumuzid, a woman who is perhaps a barmaid urges her beloved man to swear an oath:

You are to place your right hand on my vulva
while your left hand rests on my head.
Bringing your mouth close to my mouth
and taking my lips in your mouth,
thus you shall take an oath for me.
My brother of the beautiful eyes, this is the oath of women.

{ cu zid-da-zu gal4-la-ja2 de3-em-mar
gab2-bu-zu saj-ju10-uc im-ci-ri
ka-zu ka-ja2 um-me-te
cu-um-du-um-ju10 ka-za u3-ba-e-ni-dab5
za-e ur5-ta na-aj2-erim2 ma-kud-de3-en
ur5-ra-am3 mu? munus-e-ne-kam cec i-bi2 sag9-sag9-ju10 }

A balbale to Inana (Dumuzid-Inana B) (t.4.08.02), vv. 21-26, transliteration and English translation (modified slightly) from ETCSL. For an alternate English translation, Jacobsen (1987) pp. 97-8, which entitles this poem “Tavern Sketch.”

[6] Poem titles of the form “balbale to Inana” are from modern editors. Typically the cuneiform text merely indicates at its end: “balbale of Inanna {bal-bal-e dinana-/kam\}.” That description could be a formal classification not necessarily implying that the woman speaking or addressed in the poem is Inanna.

Alster has identified secular Sumerian love songs. Alster (1985). The distinction between poetry of sacred marriage ritual and other love songs is far from clear:

Although a king’s name is mentioned in some love songs, his name may stand for any lover, and although the girl is called Inanna in most of the poems, one cannot automatically sum up the evidence and draw a picture of a deity on the basis of the texts, because in a given song her name may simply stand for any beloved girl.

Alster (1993) p. 16. Moreover, cultic love songs could easily have drawn upon non-cultic love songs. Id. The idea of sacred marriage ritual has functioned as a way to exoticize these texts within scholarly competition that favors claims such as historically identifying “the invention of romantic love.”

[7] The song of the lettuce: a balbale to Inana (Dumuzid-Inana E) (t.4.08.05), transliteration from ETCSL, English translation (modified slightly) from Jacobsen (1987) p. 94. For another poem in which Inanna rejoices in her well-watered lettuce, A balbale to Inana for Šu-Suen (Šu-Suen C) (t., transliteration and English translation at ETCSL. For an alternate English translation, Jacobsen (1987) p. 93.

On an apple tree bearing fruit as a metaphor for a sexually appealing man, Song of Songs 2:3. For comparative analysis noting similar references in Sumerian and Akkadian love poems, Gault (2019) pp. 89-97.

Philology’s penis problem is evident in translations of ancient Sumerian poetry. Consider these verses:

All alone the wise one, toward Nintur, the country’s mother,
Enki, the wise one, toward Nintur, the country’s mother,
was digging his phallus into the dykes,
plunging his phallus into the reedbeds.
The august one pulled his phallus aside
and cried out: “No man take me in the marsh.”

{ dili-ni ( TAR) jectug2-ge tuku-a dnin-tur5 ama kalam-ma-ce3
den-ki-ke4 jectug2-ge tuku-a dnin-tur5 <ama kalam-ma-ce3>
jic3-a-ni eg2-a ba-an-ci-in-dun-e
jic3-a-ni gi-a gir5-gir5-e ba-an-ci-gir5-gir5-e
jic3-a-ni bar-ce3 mah-he ca-ba-ra-an-zi-zi
gu3 bi2-in-de2 ambar-ra lu2 nu-mu-un-dab-be2 }

Enki and Ninḫursaĝa (t.1.1.1), vv. 63-68, transliteration and English translation from ETCSL. Similarly Jacobsen (1987) p. 191. Under the terminological influence of psychoanalysis, “phallus” is an abstract term associated with ideological disparagement of men, e.g. “rule of the phallus.” The world “penis” factually describes the relevant male organ. A good translation would have Enki engaging in the specific physical action of digging with his “penis,” not with his “phallus.” For an example of ignoring this issue, Leick (1994) pp. 31-2.

Inapposite use of the term “phallus” is an indicator of anti-men gender bias. Consider, for example, this analysis:

Just as the cuneiform sign for ‘vulva’ could stand for ‘woman’, the vulva is the epitome of a woman’s sexual identity. It seems to have predominantly positive associations; it is not feared or spoken of as shameful or contaminating. … While the phallus represented fertility, the vulva represented sexual potency and became the primary focus of Mesopotamian eroticism.

Leick (1994) p. 96. “Penis,” not the ideologically loaded term “phallus,” is coordinate to “vulva” as anatomical descriptions. Throughout history, women’s sexual organs have been more socially appreciated than men’s sexual organs. However, general disparagement of men through ideological constructions of patriarchy or “rule of the phallus” is a distinctively modern phenomenon.

[8] Clitoris: Leick (1994) pp. 122-3; Lowe (2015) p. 15 (“clear description of the clitoris”). Penis: Jacobsen (1987) p. 94, note referring to the “male member.”

[9] Cf. Lowe (2015), which interprets Inanna’s sexuality narrowly. Recent studies of sexuality in ancient Sumerian literature tend to marginalize concern about men through mythic views of men’s sexuality and profound misunderstanding of men’s gender position. See, e.g. id. and Asher-Greve (1997).

Ancient Sumerian literature includes a sense of men’s sexuality as passionate, fruitful, and caring. Water and semen are identical words in ancient Sumerian. Enki, the god of wisdom and water / semen, acted in this way:

After he had turned his gaze from there,
after Father Enki had lifted his eyes across the Euphrates,
he stood up full of lust like a rampant bull,
lifted his penis and ejaculated,
and filled the Tigris with flowing water.
He was like a wild cow mooing for its young in the wild grass, its scorpion-infested cow-pen.
The Tigris …… at his side like a rampant bull.
By lifting his penis, he brought a bridal gift.

{ ki-bi-ta igi-ni jar-ra-[ta]
gud du7-du7-gin7 u3-na mu-un-na-gub
jic3 im-zi-zi dub3 im-nir-/re\
id2idigna a zal-le im-ma-/an\-[si]
cilam u2-numun-na amac jiri2-tab-ba amar-bi gu3 di-/dam\
id2/idigna\ gud du7-gin7 a2-na mu-na-/ab\-[…]
jic3 im-zig3 nij2-mussa nam-de6 }

Enki and the world order (t.1.1.3), vv. 250-7, transliteration and English translation (modified insubstantially) from ETCSL. Enki cares for his wife through the bridal gift of his sexuality. Sensing the danger of scorpions, he cares for his young “like a wild cow mooing for its young in the wild grass.” Dumuzid, Enki’s son, was associated with good health in young animals. Jacobsen (1987) p. 5, n. 6.

[10] This is now dominant ideology within elite culture of European heritage. Lowe (2105) and Al-Aati (2023) exemplify young scholars indoctrinated to write in support of this dominant ideology.

[images] (1) Babylonian goddess (Burney Relief). Dated between 1800 and 1700 BGC. Preserved in the British Museum. Image via Wikimedia Commons. (2) Inanna receiving offering from a man. Carving on Warka Vase, made in Uruk (present-day Iraq) c. 3200-3000 BGC. Image thanks to Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) and Wikimedia Commons. (3) Cuneiform text of A balbale to Inana for Šu-Suen (Šu-Suen B), Ni 2461 (Istanbul Archaeological Museum). Source image via Wikimedia Commons.


Al-Aati, Nora Salem. 2023. Putting on a Show: A Re-Analysis of Gender and Performativity at the Royal Cemetery of Ur. Master of Arts Thesis, North Carolina State University.

Alster, Bendt. 1985. “Sumerian Love Songs.” Revue d’Assyriologie et d’Archéologie Orientale. 79(2): 127–59.

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