Martin Worthington (pictured right), of St. John’s College, Cambridge University, has done a great service to enthusiasts of Ancient Mesopotamia, by putting together an online audio archive of Ancient Babylonian.
As I listened to the reading of a segment of The Epic of Gilgamesh by the distinguished Assyriologist Antoine Cavigneaux – among the archive’s 30 or so recordings – I was treated to the mellifluous rendition of a language dead for some two millennia. But an even greater treat was in store at 1:22ff in the recording. With cunning linguistic skill, Antoine provided the first ever pronunciation of a lacuna – a feat hitherto considered impossible!
Have a listen to Antoine’s pronunciation of the lacuna which exists between lines 26 and 28 of tablet II of The Epic of Gilgamesh (Old Babylonian Version), and read along here. You won’t be disappointed. I couldn’t stop giggling and had to play it over three or four times.