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George, Andrew, Taniguchi, Junko and Geller, Markham J. (2010) 'The Dogs of Ninkilim, part two: Babylonian rituals to counter field pests.' Iraq, 72. pp. 79-148.

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This article presents editions of all the extant Babylonian incantations against field pests. The sources date to the first millennium BC and many have not been published before. They are mostly tablets of the Neo-Assyrian period, from Ashurbanipal's library at Nineveh, but the corpus also contains some Neo-Babylonian fragments from Nineveh, as well as a tablet from Sultantepe (ancient Huzirina) and two Late Babylonian tablets from southern Mesopotamia. Some of the pieces certainly belong to a series called in antiquity Zu-buru-dabbeda “To Seize the Locust-Tooth”, a compendium of incantations and rituals designed to combat by magic means the destruction of crops by locusts, insect larvae and other pests; other pieces are parts of related and similar texts. Some of the rituals require the observation of the Goat-star rising above the eastern horizon, which suggests they were performed at night as a precautionary measure during the winter months of the barley-growing season.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of Religions & Philosophies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East
ISSN: 00210889
Copyright Statement: © The British Institute for the Study of Iraq 2010. This is the published version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2010 09:11

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