NMC Lecture: Commit arson for fun and profit: the Ritual and Incantation Series Šurpu

When and Where

Friday, April 05, 2024 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
BF415 (Archaeology Lab)
Bancroft Building (4 Bancroft Avenue, Toronto)


Frank Simons, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin Ireland


The ritual and incantation series Šurpu ‘Burning’ is one of the most important sources for understanding religious and magical practice in the ancient Near East. The purpose of the ritual was to rid a sufferer of a divine curse inflicted due to personal misconduct. 
The text of the series is composed chiefly of the incantations recited during the ceremony. These are supplemented by brief ritual instructions as well as a ritual tablet which details the ceremony in full.
The paper will present a comprehensive and radical reconstruction of the entire text, including the reintroduction of an entire Tablet, the absence of which was previously unsuspected, as well as restoring the missing beginning of the ritual.

* See the event poster: PDF iconApril 5-Frank Simons.pdf