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Exorcising Kulla (the brick god) from a newly built house

SBTU 2, no. 16 (Alternate Title)

(The brick god) Kulla with his provisions (is put) in a boat provided with sails. They dispatch him on the river, and as soon as he is dispatched, the exorcist speaks as follows:
„Kulla, you are torn out, driven away and expelled. Kulla, you are conjured by heaven and you are conjured by the netherworld, you are conjured by Ea and Marduk, you are conjured by Duri and Dari, you are conjured by Lahma and Lahama, you are conjured by Alala and Belili, you are conjured by the gods residing in heaven, you are conjured by the gods residing in the netherworld! You are conjured by the Apsû, you are conjured by the gods residing on the Sacred Mount! You shall be torn out, you shall go away, you shall depart, you shall withdraw, you shall move out! I conjure you by Ekur and Gar – you shall never return!"
The exorcist and the builder turn their faces away. Seven tablets (?) at the right site, seven tablets (?) at the left site are thrown into the river. For three days the builder must not enter the house.

Explanatory Notes:  The ritual describes how both divine and human builders have to leave the construction site after the building’s completion. <br /><br />The brick god and divine builder Kulla, a son of Enki/Ea and his wife Damgalnunna/Damkina, is sent away on the river like an evil demon. The gods by whom Kulla is conjured are primeval deities and belong to the ancestors of Anu.<br /><br />One may wonder why Kulla, who had supervised the building process from its beginning was now driven away in such an unfriendly manner and the human architect had to refrain from entering the building at least for a certain period of time. The presence of divine and human builders implied, of course, the performance of building work, and this, again, meant existing damage to be repaired–a situation to be avoided by all means.<br /><br />Kulla was not always expelled in such a harsh way. There is a group of incantations directed to the brick-god and his colleague, the divine architect Mushdama, in which both of them are asked to return joyfully and under the rejoicing of the gods of the Apsû to their father Enki/Ea.<br /><br />A remarkable parallel to this can be found in the 3rd millennium BC in the inscriptions of Gudea of Lagash. The ruler describes how he made Mushdama (written without divine determinative and thus perhaps a wordplay referring both to the divine architect and his human colleagues) leave the temple Eninnu before the solemn entry of the god Ningirsu into his house (Cyl. B iii 16f.; H. Neumann, CRRA 40, p. 158.).
Publication:  C. Ambos, Mesopotamische Baurituale, 2004, p. 104-107 ll. 108’’-125’’ (in German)
Source:  E.v.Weiher, Spätbabyl. Texte aus Uruk (SBTU) II, No. 16; C. Ambos, Baurituale, no. 2
Date:  1st millennium BC
Language:  Akkadian
Medium:  clay tablet
Find Spot:  Niniveh, Uruk
See all in category Ritual