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Sumerian literary texts


Admission requirements

Sumerian texts: Gudea


The Old-Babylonian period has yielded many thousands of clay tablets and fragments that contain parts of Sumerian literary texts. They have allowed us to reconstruct hundreds of myths, stories, hymns, riddles, proverb collections, and the like. During this course we will read a small selection from this rich tradition and look into the methods that Sumerologists use to reconstruct these texts.

Course objectives

After this course you can:

  • transliterate Sumerian literary texts written in the Old Babylonian cuneiform script,

  • apply the standard methods of textual criticism that Sumerologists use to reconstruct such texts,

  • identify differences between the Old Babylonian and older Sumerian dialects,

  • critically use a variety of lexicographical resources, and

  • translate Sumerian literary texts.


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 40 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

  • cooperating on textual reconstruction

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 on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Bram Jagersma


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