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The god Ninkilim, inscribed dnin-PEŠ2, is a widely referenced Mesopotamian deity from Sumerian to later Babylonian periods whose minions include wildlife in general and vermin in particular. His name, Nin-kilim, means "Lord Rodent," where rodent, pronounced šikku but rendered nin-ka6, is a homograph.[1]

He is described in the Sumerian language as “lord of teeming creatures”, and in Akkadian as Bēl-nammašti “lord of wild animals” and features in much of the incantation texts against field pests, such as the Zu-buru-dabbeda. Although Ninkilim is feminine in the great god-list, and the Sumerian Farmer's Almanac – (which entreats the farmer to pray to Ninkilim, goddess of field mice, so that she will keep her sharp-toothed little subjects away from the growing grain), the field-pest incantations know him as masculine, as do other texts of the later periods.[2]

The 8th year of Iddin-Dagān celebrates his selection “by means of the omens (of) the high-priestess of Nin-kilim.” He was one of the patron deities, with the goddess Bēlit-ilī, of the city of Diniktum.[3]


  1. ^ Niek Veldhuis (2002). "Studies in Sumerian Vocabulary: dnin-ka6; immal/šilam; and še21.d". Journal of Cuneiform Studies. 54: 68. JSTOR 1360043. 
  2. ^ A. R. George and Junko Taniguchi (2010). "The Dogs of Ninkilim, part two: Babylonian rituals to counter field pests". Iraq. LXXII: 80. 
  3. ^ A. R. George (1993). House most high: the temples of ancient Mesopotamia. Eisenbrauns. p. 43.