The Poor Man of Nippur – World’s first film in Babylonian

Posted on 6 December 2018 at 1:30 pm
Last updated on 6 December 2018 at 1:30 pm

“The Poor Man of Nippur” is a c. 3,000 year-old comic folk tale in Babylonian language. The main manuscript is a clay tablet from 701 BC found at the site of Sultantepe, in South-East Turkey. Recounted by a third-party narrator, it tells the story of the three-fold revenge which Gimil-Ninurta wreaks on the local Mayor after the latter wrongs him.

The film version of this ancient text is a creation of Cambridge Assyriology, and (as far as we know) the world’s first film in Babylonian.

The film was acted by Assyriology students and other members of the Cambridge Mesopotamian community. Shooting locations were in several Cambridge Colleges, King’s Parade, The British Museum, Flag Fen Archaeological Park, and countryside near Grantchester.

This project was partly funded by a Martin Burr Grant from the Henry Sweet Society.