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Ninurta’s Return
Poems in Posthuman Akkadian


Livestream from Todessa

Camera: Tman
Cast: Totleb & Co.
Editor: Todito
Soundmix: Todonsky Junior
Directed by: T.L.


written by General Totleben
© Ivan Stanev, executor testamentarius


Ninurta, Ningirsu, Sumer, Proto-Elamite, Pterotype, Transliteration, Barb Coma, DNA, Rebirth, Eschaton

Ninurta was a Sumerian and Akkadian god of hunting and war. He was worshipped in Babylonia and Assyria and in Lagash he was identified with the city god Ningirsu. In older transliteration the name is rendered Ninib and Ninip, and in early commentary he was sometimes portrayed as a solar deity, a god of victory and a god of Thunder and Lightning and the South Wind. Ninurta was also a god of wisdom patronizing scribal activities.

Proto-Elamite is the last un-deciphered writing system from the Ancient Near East with a substantial number of sources (more than 1600 published texts). It was used for a relatively short period around 3000 BC across what is today Iran. Proto-Elamite is a derived writing system originating from the Uruk invention of writing in southern Mesopotamia during the middle of the 4th millennium BC. Scribes in Susa in southwestern Iran took over a majority of the numerical signs as well as many of the numerical systems from the older proto-cuneiform system.

Cuneiform has a specific format for transliteration. Because of the script’s polyvalence, transliteration requires certain choices of the transliterating scholar, who must decide in the case of each sign which of its several possible meanings is intended in the original document. For example, the sign DINGIR in a Hittite text may represent either the Hittite syllable an or may be part of an Akkadian phrase, representing the syllable il, it may be a Sumerogram, representing the original Sumerian meaning, ‘god’ or the determinative for a deity. In transliteration, a different rendition of the same glyph is chosen depending on its role in the present context.
Therefore, a text containing DINGIR and MU in succession could be construed to represent the words “ana”, “ila”, god + “a” (the accusative case ending), god + water, or a divine name “A” or Water. Someone transcribing the signs would make the decision how the signs should be read and assemble the signs as “ana”, “ila”, “Ila” (“god”+accusative case), etc. A transliteration of these signs, however, would separate the signs with dashes “il-a”, “an-a”, “DINGIR-a” or “Da”. This is still easier to read than the original cuneiform, but now the reader is able to trace the sounds back to the original signs and determine if the correct decision was made on how to read them. A transliterated document thus presents both the reading preferred by the transliterating scholar as well as the opportunity to reconstruct the original text.

Pig Latin
Pig Latin is a language game in which words in English are altered. The objective is to conceal the words from others not familiar with the rules. The reference to Latin is a deliberate misnomer, as it is simply a form of jargon, used only for its English connotations as a strange and foreign-sounding language.
RULES: For words that begin with consonant sounds, all letters before the initial vowel are placed at the end of the word sequence. Then, “ay” (some people just add “a”) is added, as in the following examples:
“pig” → “igpay”
“banana” → “ananabay”
“trash” → “ashtray”
“happy” → “appyhay”
“duck” → “uckday”
“glove” → “oveglay”
For words that begin with vowel sounds, one just adds “way” to the end. Examples are:
“eat” → “eatway”
“omelet” → “omeletway”
“are” → “areway”
Some people also follow this rule with words that begin with vowel sounds: only the first letter is moved to the end of the word, and then one just adds “way” after. Examples are:
“egg” → “ggeway”
“apple” → “ppleaway”
“I” → “Iway”

Languages / scripts used: Sumerian, Akkadian, Proto-Elamite, Ancient Greek, Pig Latin, Russian, German, French, English

archive.org; freesound.org; oracc.museum.upenn.edu; cdli.ucla.edu; The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL); Encylopaedia Britannica