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Sumerian texts: Gudea


Admission requirements

Introduction to Sumerian


Gudea ruled the state of Lagash in southern Mesopotamia, the Sumerian heartland, around 2144-2124 BC. He left behind a large number of inscriptions, including two clay cylinders, which in about 1300 lines of literary Sumerian describe the construction and inauguration of the main temple in Lagash. Gudea’s Sumerian is considered to be the classic form of the language. In this course we will read selected passages from his inscriptions, study their language and script, and look into their cultural and historical background.

Course objectives

After this course you can

  • transliterate the cuneiform script of the Gudea inscriptions,

  • describe the make-up of composite cuneiform signs,

  • analyze the grammatical structure of complex Sumerian forms and clauses,

  • critically use the main Sumerian dictionary, and

  • translate Sumerian texts of intermediate difficulty.


The timetable

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours = 140 hours

  • 26 hours attending the seminars

  • 52 hours preparing the seminars

  • 32 hours preparing the mid-term assignment

  • 30 hours preparing for the written exam

Assessment method


Assessment will be in two parts:

  • a mid-term assignment of about 60 lines of Sumerian not treated during the seminars (30% of the final grade)

  • a written exam on the subject matter of the course (70% of the final grade)


The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


If the final grade is below 6.0, the written exam can be repeated.

Exam review

Students can view their marked examinations and request (additional) feedback for a period of 30 days after the publication of the grades.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • providing study materials and course information

  • uploading assignments and giving feedback on them

Reading list

The study materials will be provided through Blackboard at the beginning of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Dr. J.H.E. Krul


  • This course will be taught in Dutch if there are no foreign students participating in it.

  • This course is an Admission requirement for the course Sumerian Literary Texts