The Great Fatted Bull
Tablet #36
Sumerian Images
Sumerian History
The Royal Tombs of Ur
The Standard of Ur:  War
The Standard of Ur:  King
The "Standard" of Ur?
Vulture Stele Translation
Sumerian War Chariots
War Chariot Deconstructed
Gudea Translation
The Face of Gudea
The Face of Ur-Ningirsu
The Face of Lugal-agrig-zi
Ur-Namma Translation
The Face of Ur-Namma
Face of Ur-Namma, part II
I am Ur-Namma
The Face of Shulgi
Who Were the Sumerians?
Other Sumerian Kings
The Shepherd Kings
The Kings of Uruk
War: Umma and Lagash
Enmetena Vase
Enmetena Tablet
Enmetena, not Urukagina
Urukagina Liberty Cones
The Man of Umma
Lugalzagesi Translation
The Princess Wife
The Great Fatted Jackass
Sargon's Victory Stele
Helmet: the King of Kish
The Standard of Mari?
The Invention of Writing
Adventures in Cuneiform
The Sumerian Scribe
A Masterpiece
Site Map

Enmetena foundation cone. Dedicated to the god Enlil, it was buried under the foundation of a new temple.

The ongoing battles with Umma.

The inscriptions on this foundation cone record the continuing battle between the cities of Umma and Lagash for possession of the Guedena, the fertile plain that lay between them.

This translation includes very little explanatory comment. To see an annotated version with notes explaining the history and background of the conflict, see "War: Umma and Lagash".

Line drawing of the foundation cone. Enlarge. This translation is from the CDLI (P222532).

Enlil, king of all the lands, father of all the gods,
by his righteous command, for Ningirsu and Shara,
demarcated the (border) ground.
Mesilim, king of Kish, by the command of Ishtaran,
laid the measuring line upon it, and on that place he erected a stele.

Ush, ruler of Umma, something greatly beyond words(?) he did.
That stele he tore out, and into the plain of Lagash he entered.
Ningirsu, the hero of Enlil,
by his (Enlil's) just command, with Umma battle he did.
By the command of Enlil, he cast (his) big battle-net upon it,
and its many tumuli {burial mounds} he laid upon the ground in the plain.

Eanatum, ruler of Lagash, uncle of Enmetena, ruler of Lagash,
with Enakale, the ruler of Umma, demarcated the (border) ground,
and its levee from the Princely Canal to the Gu'edena he extended.
Of Ningirsu's field 215 nindan he left under the control of Umma
and made it into a field with no owner.

On that levee steles he inscribed, and the stele of Mesilim he restored.
Into the plain of Umma he did not pass.
On the boundary mound of Ningirsu (named) Namnunda-kigara,
a dais of Enlil, a dais of Ninhursaga, a dais of Ningirsu,
and a dais of Utu he constructed.

Of the barley of Nanshe and the barley of Ningirsu,
one grain-heap measure (5184 hl.)
the Man of Umma consumed as an interest-bearing loan.
The share of the yield was imposed,
and 144,000 large grain-heap measures it had become.

Because he was unable to repay that barley,
Urluma, {son of Enakale}, ruler of Umma,
the levee of the boundary territory of Ningirsu
and the levee of the boundary territory of Nanshe
he removed with water. 
To its steles he set fire, and he tore them out.
The daises of the gods, which on the Namnunda-kigara (mound)
had been constructed, he demolished.
He hired foreign countries {as mercenaries},
and over the levee of the boundary territory of Ningirsu he crossed.

Enanatum, ruler of Lagash,
in the Ugiga field, the field of Ningirsu, had (previously) fought with him,
but Enmetena, the beloved son of Enanatum, defeated him.
Urluma fled into the middle of Umma and was killed.
His donkeys, sixty teams,
on the bank of the Lummagirnunta (canal) were left behind,
and their personnel's bones were all left out on the plain.
Their tumuli in five places he heaped up.

At that time, Il, who was the temple administrator of Zabalam,
from Girsu to Umma in retreat(?) he marched.
Il the rulership of Umma seized.
The levee of the boundary territory of Ningirsu,
the levee of the boundary territory of Nanshe,
and the boundary mound of Ningirsu
which was located on the of bank of the Tigris in the region of Girsu,
the Namnunda-kigara of Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursaga,
he removed with water.
The barley of Lagash, one grain-heap measure, he repaid.

When Enmetena, ruler of Lagash,
because of those levees, to Il had sent envoys,
Il, ruler of Umma, the stealer of fields, speaking hostilely,
"The levee of the boundary territory of Ningirsu and the
levee of the boundary territory of Nanshe are mine!" he declared.
"From the Antasura (temple) to the temple of Dimgalabzu
I shall remove the earth from them!" he declared.

But Enlil and Ninhursaga did not allow him this.
Enmetena, ruler of Lagash, nominated by Ningirsu,
by the just command of Enlil, the just command of Ningirsu,
and the just command of Nanshe,
that levee from the Tigris River to the Princely Canal he constructed.
The Namnunda-kigara's base he built with stones for him,
and for his master who loved him, Ningirsu,
and his mistress who loved him, Nanshe,
he restored it.

Enmetena, ruler of Lagash, given the scepter by Enlil,
given wisdom by Enki, chosen by the heart of Nanshe,
chief ruler of Ningirsu,
the man who held fast to the commands of the gods,
may his (personal) god Shul-mush{x}pa
for the life of Enmetena unto distant days
before Ningirsu and Nanshe stand (interceding) for him!

A Man of Umma
who, over the levee of the boundary territory of Ningirsu
or over the levee of the boundary territory of Nanshe
in order by violence to take fields might (in the future) cross,
whether he be a man of Umma or a man of a foreign land,
may Enlil annihilate him!
Ningirsu, when his big battle-net he has cast over him,
his great hands and great feet may he bring down (upon him) from above!
When the people in his city have raised a hand against him,
in the middle of his city may they kill him! 

Enmetena, ruler of Lagash