Saturday, 30 July 2016

Jiroft culture and Harappa: an iconographic comparison can reveal the deep roots of Indo-Iranian traditions






The first image is given in a recent paper by D. Frenez and M. Vidale, two brilliant archaeologists specialized in the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age from Oman to Western India. The plaque does not come from their excavations but from the Barakat Gallery website. So it has no context, but the style is typical of the art of the so-called Jiroft culture of the Halil Rud valley, recently discovered. 
A civilization, as is remarked in the article, rich in contacts with the Indus valley, being contemporary with the Mature Harappan period. These contacts are shown also by this figure, because the figure of a bovine in front of a cup-like container recalls the unicorn seals, like the one shown above (cf. this post). There are also Indus seals with a zebu bull, but without a container. The Jiroft figure thus is not identifiable with any of the two Harappan models, and it reveals a strong originality in the presence of more than one animal: below the zebu, we have a suckling calf, which shows that the zebu is a cow and not a bull as in the Harappan iconography, and above, there is a small animal apparently attacking the hump of the cow. The authors propose many identifications for this animal, and the most convincing seem those about Canidae like wolf, jackal or hyena, because of the pointed muzzle.
This dramatisation of the scene, so different from the static isolation of Indus animals on the seals, apparently expresses a feature of Jiroft imagery and worldview: the opposition of two animals as symbols of two opposing principles, as is remarked in the entry of the Encyclopedia Iranica about the iconography of chlorite artefacts from the Jiroft culture:  
Two opposing principles arise from the Jiroft imagery: one is negative, with the scorpion and the snake, symbols of suffering and death; the other is positive, with the cheetah and the eagle engaged on the side of man against the reptile. It is clearly not feasible to propose an interpretation of the Jiroft iconography before one can integrate it in the culture it stems from. It, however, seems possible to suggest the idea of a dualistic mode of thinking geared to human pursuits. This particular orientation bears the mark of the strongly contrasted natural environment of the Iranian-Indian plateau. Without falling into geographic determinism, account has to be taken of the extremely particular conditions that prevail in this vast region set against the Zagros Mountain range and turned toward the East and Central Asia. The landscapes may have left their mark on the life of the population, its language, writing, culture, and religion since the dawn of history.
It is obvious that this dualism alludes to the historical Zoroastrian worldview, seen as a continuation of a very ancient pattern of thought. And Zoroastrian mythology and ritual might help us to interpret our plaque. Already in the Avesta, the figure of the cow (gav) and the 'soul of the cow' (Geuš Urvan) enjoy an important position. In the later and more detailed Pahlavi literature, Gāw ī Ēwdād is the 'sole-created cow/bull', first animal to live on earth, and killed by the Evil Spirit (Ahriman). On the other hand, the Evil Spirit is closely associated with the wolf, created by him in 15 species (wolf, black wolf, tiger, lion, panther, cheetah, hyena, jackal, etc., see here). So, we can have here a representation of the cosmic fight between the evil and good forces acting in the Zoroastrian world.

But then, why the cup? It is not an object found on Harappan seals. According to the authors,
"This cup closely resembles ceramic forms of similar general classes, well known in the repertories of the Halil river valley, Sistan and Kandahar in the second half of the 3rd millennium BC. Moreover, it also remind[s] the carved chlorite cups of the Halil Rud Civilization."

If we look at the Zoroastrian ritual implements, there is one that reminds the cup of our plaque: the Hawan, the mortar used to press the sacred Haoma (Ephedra) twigs. Here there is a nice picture of it and here is a drawing from the Zoroastrian Heritage site:




Interestingly, Bartholomae says that the havana- (Hawan) today is made of copper, but before it was made of stone, like the chlorite cups. But going back to the comparison with the Harappan unicorn seals, the object in front of the unicorn has been interpreted as a Soma strainer, particularly by Mahadevan, a very good identification in my opinion. So, we can suppose that the authors of the Jiroft plaque were aware of the common Soma/Haoma cult but chose to put the mortar instead of the strainer (that is also among the Zoroastrian implements, see above), maybe because they found it more important, or maybe simply because it was easier to be represented by their technique and material. In this context, the cow can be associated also with the milk that was mixed with the Haoma extract.

I do not suggest that the Halil Rud civilization was already Zoroastrian (Zarathustra should be placed at least in the 2nd mill. BC), but that it had similar rituals connected with the ancestral Indo-Iranian *sauma- cult, and a similar (typically Iranian) dualistic worldview and imagery where the cow could be a symbol of the beneficent side of reality, always threatened by the maleficent, demoniac side, symbolised by the wolf.  



Monday, 28 March 2016

Continuity of Harappan culture in Sindh and the intriguing case of the copper plates



I have just found a significant paper of 2012 by Rafique Mughal on archaeological research in Sindh about the so-called Jhukar culture of the beginning of the 2nd mill. BC. Like Kenoyer about Harappa, he shows how this culture is in strong continuity with the previous 'Harappan' phase:
Most recent research has confirmed that the onset of decline or Late Harappan period or phase of the Indus Civilization did signal a number of changes in the material culture but the basic Indus cultural fabric continued to survive for a considerable length of time in a very large area of Sindh and southeastern Baluchistan. 
Mughal speaks of his excavations at Jhukar: 

The new evidence changed our understanding and perspective of the Late Indus/Harappan Cultural period in the lower or Souther Indus Valley. It was found that the Indus ceramics as known from Mohenjo-daro and other cities were present in all the layers at Jhukar and found mixed with the new or modified forms of pottery which are labeled as "Jhukar" in the literature. [...] There were less than ten percent new pottery types but all these types were found associated with 80% of the Mature Harappan or Indus pottery. The evidence was almost conclusive to establish for the first time that the Jhukar culture is only a pottery style emerging in association with the continuing Mature Indus ceramic tradition without any break or sudden change in cultural continuity in Sindh. 
 There was a change in the disappearance of square seals, substituted by round ones, similar to those found in the Persian gulf (Bahrein). The script continued to be used on pottery, which is a remarkable fact. Mughal also speaks of the wide relations of the Indus sites with Balochistan and Central Asia, especially the Bactria-Margiana, all areas that belong in my opinion to the Indo-Iranian cultural domain. On the other hand, in the Jhukar period there were relations with Gujarat and even Rajasthan (Gilund) but not apparently with Punjab. Thus the unity of the vast Mature Harappan net was broken.

About the crisis of the urban civilization in Sindh, Mughal sees the main factor in the change of course of Indus and Hakra (Nara in Sindh) caused by tectonic movements. He also cites the earthquake of 1819 in lower Indus valley causing mass migrations. But we must consider also the change in rains and the aridification around the beginning of the 2nd mill. BC.

While in a past publication of 1992 he saw a complete end of Harappan "cultural mosaic" after Jhukar, here Mughal concludes, like B.B. Lal, with the continuity of "Indus traditions" and also people up to the present:
Even today, many Indus traditions continue to survive in art form and daily life of the people. For example, the use of shell bangles on the upper and lower parts of arms recalls the style of famous bronze dancing girl of Mohenjo-daro. The short-wheeled bullock carts of present-day Sindhi farmers are precisely identical in shape with those found at the Indus culture sites. The facial features of many local people in Sindh very much resemble those of the famous "King-Priest" of Mohenjo-daro. Such examples demonstrate survival of several aspects of the Indus Civilization since the third millennium BCE that would link the past with the present and also future.    


Probably he was alluding to someone like this modern rural Sindhi (from here).
This continuity suggests that the general abandonment of sites in Sindh following Jhukar did not mean a disappearance of the local culture, we can imagine at least a survival of some rural communities using carts and shell bangles, also present in Rajasthan and Gujarat. More specific is the survival of ancient kinds of boats depicted also on Indus tablets, and the Ajrak or blockprinted shawls that have been recognized in the garment of the so-called King-Priest of Mohenjo-daro.
A similar trefoil motif can still be found on some modern ajraks (from here, cf. here):




It is interesting that the technique of ajrak has been cited in a recent paper by V. Shinde and R.J. Willis about some particular copper plates from a private collection in Pakistan, with Indus script and animal and human-like figures comparable with Harappan seals and tablets. 


About these plates, the authors write:
The proposal that this unique set of copper plates was designed for printing is indeed radical, but offers the most obvious reason for their existence. The principles of printing were perhaps known to Indus Valley artisans through the ancient technique of ajrakh, printing fabric with woodblock designs. It is possible that the copper plates were created firstly to maintain a permanent record of the standard designs on seals and tablets, and furthermore provide a cheap and portable means to distribute standard designs to craftsmen that carved seals in the Indus Valley region.
Copper plates with inscriptions are an important aspect of ancient Indian epigraphy (see here), but apparently not for printing. In this case, the authors think that they were used for printing because the script is 'mirrored' as in the seals. They have even tried to print with a plate on tussah silk and parchment, with good results. An example is here on tussah silk:


Ajrak printing is done with wooden carved blocks, made from Acacia Arabica trees, indigenous to Sindh (see here). We can suppose that already in Indus times they used such wood for textile printing, which went completely lost like cloth or leather. We can even wonder if the seals were not used also as stamps with ink, and if in post-Harappan times they continued to be used in wood instead of steatite. Anyway, the aspects of continuity between the civilization that flourished in the Sindhu and Sarasvati valleys during the 3rd millennium BC and the later South Asian culture are remarkable, and suggest that, despite crises and natural calamities, the civilization flowed without breaks, like a majestic river.   

A traditional bullock cart and flat bottomed ferry boat used for local transport along the Indus River near the ancient site of Mohenjo-daro, Sindh (https://www.harappa.com/indus/2.html)


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Sumerian and Indo-European: a multifarious connection

In my first post on this topic, I focused on an exploration of the connections between Sumerian and Indo-European roots and words, neglecting the possible connections with other linguistic families except some citations of Akkadian or Kartvelian parallels.

But checking these other connections is important in order to ascertain if an apparent Sumerian/Indo-European parallel is not a loan or a specific relation, but only the appearance of two results of a root which is spread in a much wider area.
Sumerian, in its apparent isolation, has been compared with very different linguistic families. One is even Austric, which seems especially strong in grammatical morphology (see here).
A more lexical comparison has been made with Dravidian, by Boisson and Sathasivam (see here).
This comparison has also been widened to Afro-Asiatic (see here).
And finally to the so called 'Nostratic', involving all these families except Austric (see here).

Some Sumerian words that we have compared with Indo-European are traced also in other linguistic families, like tab 'to burn' or zalag 'to shine' in Austric, tag 'to touch' in Afro-Asiatic and Dravidian, kur 'mountain' in Austric and Afro-Asiatic, and so on.

This can suggest that both Sumerian and Indo-European belong to a broad (Southern) Asian linguistic area, and impose caution about direct connections. But if we discover that a parallel is found only between Sumerian and Indo-European, there are more probabilities that the direct connection is there.

Another point to be considered is the possibility that different Indo-European languages lent words to Sumerian, kentum and satem for instance, in different periods.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Third post on the (no more so) surprising connection

Lib Zagmuk (Happy New Year)!

Since the second post is full again, I open another post for the new comments of my prolific followers from India, Greece and Brazil (also others are welcome of course) about Sumerian/Indo-European connections.

Enjoy!

  

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A new post for proposals on Sumerian-Indo-European parallels

Since the comments have become too numerous, I create here a new post for proposals on parallels of Sumerian and Indo-European and other related comments, while the list remains on the previous post also for future additions.
So, let's go on with this subtle work of connection of civilizations!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Sumerian and Indo-European: a surprising connection


The Sumerian god Enki with the rivers Tigris and Euphrates descending from his shoulders

If the Indo-Europeans moved from the Zagros, as I have proposed in the last post, they should reveal some affinities with other languages of the ancient Near East (by the way, the recent paper by Haak et al. has revealed a 'Near Eastern' genetic component in the Yamnaya people from the Russian steppe). 
And these affinities are there, for instance with Semitic languages, but also with a very ancient language, that we are not used to associate with Indo-European: Sumerian.
A comparison between Sumerian and Indo-European was made by Charles Autran already in 1925, finding many similar roots and even suffixes, like -ta for the origin (Skt. -tas), -bi for the instrumental (Skt. -bhis).
In 1927, the British explorer, who knew Tibetan and Sanskrit, Laurence Waddell published a book with the title Aryan Origin of the Alphabet and Sumer-Aryan Dictionary which proposed an Aryan identity of Sumerians and a list of Sumerian words with alleged Sanskrit cognates. The list is not really reliable, but I have found there at least two good proposals.
More recently, in their book (published in 1995) presenting the theory of the Armenian PIE cradle, Gamkrelidze and Ivanov noticed a few terms that can be Sumerian loanwords into Indo-European.
Then Gordon Whittaker, since 1998, has identified the so-called Euphratic, a foreign substratum or superstratum in Sumerian, with an Indo-European language. Particularly interesting is his analysis of the phonetic values, without meaning in Sumerian, of pictographic symbols, which in some cases can suggest an IE connection. For instance, the symbol of a fish is read peš, which recalls PIE *pisk/peisk- 'fish', maybe from the IE root pi- 'to drink' and the frequentative suffix -sk-. The symbol of a bird is read hu, which can be compared with PIE *hwi/hwai- 'bird' (particularly close is Armenian hav 'chicken'). The logogram for 'dog', with an animal head, is read lik, which recalls PIE *wlkwa- 'wolf', especially Greek lykos. The logogram for 'fox', whith the symbol of a fox head with big ears, is read lib/lub, comparable to the PIE *wlpe- 'fox' (Latin vulpes, Greek alopex), which is apparently an offshoot or variant of the previous one (with kw > p). The phonetic values fo 'prince' are nar/nara, the same as the Sanskrit term for 'man, hero' (see below about ner/nir). In a publication of 2012, Whittaker has even proposed laws of phonetic change from Euphratic to Sumerian, which is a necessary aspect in a scientific demonstration of the existence of this Indo-European language.
There he cites other examples of phonetic values, like sah/suh for the sign 'thread+thread', which recalls Skt. sū-tra- 'thread', from the root s(y)ū- 'to sew', corresponding to Latin su-ere. And semed for the sign 'one', comparable to the PIE root *sam-, found e.g. in English same and Latin semel 'once'.
Also Aleksi Sahala, Assyriologist of the University of Helsinki, between 2009 and 2013 has elaborated a paper on 30 Sumerian words with a possible common etymology with Indo-European.
I have collected some suggestions from the aforementioned works, I have checked them on the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary, I have added some comparisons in Indo-European languages and, where I thought necessary, I have modified some elements, and I have proposed other possible cases (also with the help of followers - Nirjhar, Kyriakos, Daniel - as can be seen in the comments).
In the following list of possible cognates, I will normally use the vocalism a instead of the usual (see this post), and the Sumerian parallels often agree with it, which can suggest that this vocalism was typical of the area where both Sumerian and PIE were spoken.

Sum. agar ‘meadow, field’, PIE *ag’ra- ‘field’ (Skt. ajra-, Greek agros, Lat. ager 'field'),  maybe from the root ag'- 'to lead (animals to the pasture, or to till the soil)' and the common IE suffix -ra/ro-, but according to Gamkrelidze and Ivanov the Sumerian term a.gar means 'irrigated territory', and "this pair of words may be evidence for a connection of Indo-European agriculture with methods of working the land in Sumer." We have also the Akkadian ugāru "(communally controlled) meadow".
Sum. ak 'to do; to make; to act, perform; to proceed, proceeding (math.)', akuš 'toil, labor', PIE *ag'- 'to drive, draw out or forth, move', Latin agere 'to lead, drive, do, act, labor, perform', actus 'act, performance', actio 'action'.
Sum. alal 'cultivation; field; district, land', PIE *ar- 'to plow', Greek aroura 'tilled or arable land'. The use of l instead of r can be due to a distinction from arar 'miller', with a curious inversion compared to the IE forms that in that case have mostly al-. Cf. ulul 'cultivation' and ul = Akk. qerbetu 'meadowland'.
Sum. amaru 'flood', aĝar 'rainshower, downpour', im, meer (Emesal) 'rain, rainstorm', muru 'rainstorm; mist', Akk. imbaru 'fog, mist, drizzle', murū 'rainstorm'; Sum. ambar 'marsh', PIE *ambh-, ṃbh-, nabh- 'wet, cloud, rain, fog', Greek ombros 'storm of rain, water, inundation', Latin imber 'rain', Skt. ambhas 'water', abhra 'rain cloud', nabhas 'fog, mist, cloud', Old High German nebul 'fog', Latin nebula 'mist, vapour, fog'. 
Sum. apin '(seed) plough', a very important agricultural term, has been compared by Whittaker with PIE *wogwh-ni- 'ploughshare', giving Greek ophnisIn Old Prussian we find wagnis, also 'ploughshare'. The PIE form that could have given apin should be wagwhni > wakwni > apni > apin. The initial loss of w- is shared with Greek and it is probable, since words starting with w- are very rare in Sumerian. 
Sum. ara 'to grind; hand-mill', arar 'miller', ul 'grind', PIE *al- 'to mill, grind', Greek aleo 'I grind', Armenian ałam 'to grind', Persian ārd, Pashto ōṛə, Hindi āṭā (from *ārtā) 'flour'.
Sum. armura 'ruins, ruin mound', Skt. arma, armaka 'ruins, rubbish'. The root is not clear, maybe it is the same as German arm 'poor' from Proto-Germanic *arҍma- 'abandoned' (see here) and Greek erēmos 'uninhabited, empty, desolate; bereft (of)'.
Sum. ašte 'chair, throne, seat, dwelling', PIE *asta 'seat', Skt. asta 'home, setting (of luminaries)', Avestan asta 'home (also of animals)', from the root as- 'to sit'.
Sum. bad 'leg or foot of furniture', Elamite baat/paat ‘foot’, Akkad. padānu ‘path’, Egyptian pd ‘knee, run’, Berber fud ‘knee’, PIE *pād- ‘foot’.
Sum. bad 'hard ground', PIE *pad-am 'imprint, ground', Skt. pada- 'footstep; footing, standpoint, abode, plot of ground', Greek pedon 'ground, earth', Umbrian peřum 'ground', OCS pods 'ground'.    
Sum. bad 'to open', Akk. petū, patū, patā'um 'to open', IE *pat- 'to open wide', Latin patere 'to be open', Greek petannymi, petasai 'to spread out, open, petēlos 'outspread, stretched', Avestan paθana- 'wide'.
Sum. bal(a) 'to rotate, turn over, cross; to hoist, draw (water); rotation, turn, term of office; to boil (meat)', PIE *(H)wal/val- 'to turn, wind; round, voluble', Skt. valate 'to turn , turn round , turn to'. Initial b and v are often interchangeable in Indo-Aryan, so there is also a form bal- found in the Intensive balbalīti 'to whirl round in a circle' which interestingly recalls Sumerian reduplicated forms with balbal-. Old High German wallan 'to well, bubble, boil', walzan 'to turn, roll', Old Norse valr 'round', Latin volvere 'to roll, turn around', Old Church Slav. valiti 'to roll', Arm. glem 'I roll', Greek eileo (from *wel-yeo) 'to turn, wind, roll'.  
Sum. bar 'outside, (other) side; behind; outer; ousider, strange; because of', PIE *par- 'to go over; over', Hittite parā 'forth, towards outside', Greek para 'beside; beyond', perā 'beyond', Skt. para 'far, beyond, on the other side of; foreign; another, enemy, foreigner', Latin per 'through, for, by means of'.
Sum. bul 'to blow, inflate', bulug 'a plant', buluĝ 'to flourish; to grow up, make grow", PIE *bhal/bhul/bhlā'to blow, inflate, swell', Latin bulla 'bubble', flare 'to blow', flos 'flower', folium 'leaf', Greek phyllon 'leaf', phallos 'swollen penis', phleo 'to swell', Old Irish bolgaim 'I swell', Old English blawan 'to blow, inflate', OHG bluoen 'to bloom', Gothic blōma 'bloom'.
Sum. buru(d) 'breach, hole; to perforate', PIE *bhar/bhur- 'to bore', Lat. forare 'to pierce, bore', Proto-Germanic *buron 'to bore', French burin 'burin, graver', Albanian bire 'hole'.      
Sum. dabariri 'liar, trickster, con artist', dibiri 'swindler, con artist', PIE *dhabh- 'to injure, deceive', Skt. dabh- 'to injure, deceive', dabha 'deceiving', dabhīti 'injurer, deceiver', Pali dubbhati ʻhurts, deceivesʼ, Avestan dab- 'to deceive', Parthian dbgyr 'deceiving'.
Sum. dabatum 'a textile', Akk. tapatum, tabatum, Latin tapetum, tapete, tapes, from Greek tapes (acc. tapeta), tapis, dapis (acc. dapida) 'carpet', which is supposed from an Iranian source, although it is found already in Homer. In Persian there is a verb tāb-aδ, inf. tāftan and tāb-ī-δan 'to twist'. It can been connected with the root *tamp- 'to span, stretch, extend', of Lith. tempti 'to stretch', tìmpa 'sinew'.
Sum. dag, dadag '(to be) bright; to clean; (ritually) pure', PIE *dhagwh- 'to burn, shine', Old Saxon, Middle Dutch, Dutch dag, Gothic dags 'day', Tocharian A tsāk- 'to shine, give light', AB cok 'lamp', Old Irish daig 'fire', Old Prussian dagis 'summer', Lith. degti 'to burn', Skt. dahati 'to burn', dagdha 'burnt', Sindhi daho 'strong light of fire, sun'.
Sum. dala 'thorn, pin, needle', IE *dhal(g)- 'to stick; needle', Old Irish delg 'thorn, needle', Welsh dal, dala 'bite, prick, sting', Lat. dolo 'pike, sword-stick, sting', Greek dolon 'dagger', Skt. dhalaṇḍa 'small thorny tree'. 
Sum. dalla '(to be) bright', IE *dhal- 'to light, shining', Middle Irish dellrad 'radiance', Old English deal(l) 'resplendent', Old Norse Dellingr, god of Dawn, father of the Day (Dagr), Albanian diell 'Sun'.   
Sum. dar 'to break up, crush, grind; to split; to cut open', PIE *dar- 'to cut, skin, split, tear', Skt. dṝ- 'to burst, break asunder, split open; tear, rend, divide', dara 'cleaving, breaking', Greek dero 'to skin, flay', Old Church Slav. derǫ 'to flay, tear apart', Welsh darn 'piece, fragment', Old English teran 'to tear, lacerate'.
Sum. dari 'to support', PIE *dhar- 'to hold, support', Skt. dhara-, dhāri- 'bearing, holding, supporting', dhar-tra- 'support, prop', Old Persian, Avestan dar- 'to hold'.
Sum. deg 'to take; to gather up, glean; to tear out; to collect, pick up', PIE *dag/lag- 'to take, collect', Old English tacan 'to take, seize', Latin lego 'I choose, collect, gather', Greek legein 'to gather, count'. Here the connection of deg and leg is my proposal, cp. Lat. dacruma and lacruma 'tear' (PIE *dáḱru-), Lat. lingua, Arm. lezu 'tongue' (from PIE *dn̥ǵʰw-). It is also interesting that the Akkadian equivalents of deg are laqātu 'to gather up, glean' and leqû 'to take, take over'.
Sum. di 'to shine', PIE *diH/daiH/diw- 'to shine, glitter; day, Sun; god', Skr. dī- 'to shine, be bright', dina 'day', Armenian tiw 'day', Luwian Tiwat- 'Sun god', Palaic tiyaz, Hittite sius, Lycian ziw 'god', Latin dius 'celestial, bright', Greek dios 'shining, divine', Albanian diell 'Sun', Lith. dienà 'day', Old Irish dïa/dïe 'day'.
Sum. diĝir (dingir) 'deity, god, goddess; sky', the cuneiform symbol, like a star, was also read an, meaning 'sky' in Sumerian, so the word seems to come from another language. A common comparison is done with Turkic Tengri 'sky, sky god', and in Chinese sky is tian, pronounced thīn in Old Chinese. Etruscans had Tin or Tinia as sky god. Is there an old 'Nostratic' root or something more recent? In PIE he was *Dyaus (Skt. Dyaus, Greek Zeus, Latin Juppiter from *dyus-pǝtar) but there is also a root *din- meaning 'day', found for instance in Skt. dina- or Lith. dienà. And in Lithuanian and Old Prussian we have also dangus 'sky, heaven', clearly from the root dang/deng- 'to cover' found in dangà 'covering', dañgtis 'cover, closure', deñgti 'to conceal, protect', from PIE *dhangh/dhn̥gh- 'to cover, press', giving Old Irish dingim 'I press', Old Russian, Serbo-Croatian duga 'rainbow', Old English dung 'prison', Old Frisian and Saxon dung 'manure', OHG tunga 'manuring', tung 'underground room covered with manure'. Funnily, sky, rainbow and dung apparently come from the same root in different languages. And we can suppose that also the IE source of Sum. dingir derived the term from 'sky' from the root 'to cover', and from 'sky', the meaning still given to the cuneiform sign, Sumerians derived the meaning 'deity'. Interestingly, another Sumerian term, gira, meant both 'sky' and 'concealment'.
Sum. dub 'tablet', dubsar 'scribe' ('tablet-writer'), dub 'to push away, down; to smash, abolish' (Akkadian translation), 'to hammer' (Civil's Glossary), dubdab-za 'to make noise' (PSD), 'thud, batter' (CG), PIE *(s)tup/tub/tubh 'to hit, beat', Greek typtein 'to beat, strike', typos 'blow, impression of a seal, mould, engraving, engraved letters', OCS tupati 'heartbeat', tuputu 'noise'; *tap- 'to press down', Old Icelandic þefja 'to stamp', þóf 'thronging, pressing', Russian tópat' 'to stamp (one's foot); *daph- 'to push, stamp, thrust', Arm. top'el 'to beat (clothes)', depiti 'to beat, hit', Polish deptać 'to tread, trample', *stab/stamb/stambh/stap- 'to hit, press, stamp', Greek steibein 'to tread or stamp on', Old Norse stappa 'to stamp with the foot, beat, pound', OHG stapho 'step, footprint', OCS stopa 'step, pace', stopiti 'to tread', Punjabi thappṇā ʻto beat, hammer, fixʼ, ṭhappṇā ʻto strike, close a book, stamp, printʼ, Kumaunī ṭhāp ʻthumb impression, sealʼ, Hindi ṭhappā m. ʻstamp, mouldʼ. Old Persian dipi- 'writing' is considered as coming from Elamite tippi, more ancient tuppi, supposed to be an evolution of Sum. dub itself. But in this context we can propose that the Elamite form is connected with a common root dub/tup- 'to stamp, impress'.
Sum. dub 'to strew; to heap up, pile, pour' (PSD), 'to heap up, pour in piles' (CG), PIE *stup/stub/dub- 'heap, bunch, tuft' Skt. stupa- 'tuft of hair', stūpa- 'tuft of hair; heap or pile of earth or bricks, any heap, pile, mound', Sindhi thuḇu m. ʻtuftʼ, Bengali thubā ʻbunchʼ, thobā ʻbunch, clusterʼ, Latvian duba 'sheaf of straw', Old Norse toppr 'tuft of hair', Old Frisian top 'tuft'.
Sum. dubus 'second, second-in-rank', PIE *dwa/duwa- 'two', Hitt. duiyanalli- 'second-ranked official', Persian dovvom 'second', Pashto dwayam 'second', Skt. d(u)vā́/dvaú 'two', dvitī́ya 'second'.      
Sum. dul 'to lower, to be deep', dula 'depth, depression', PIE *dhal- 'valley, hollow', English dell, dale, German Thal 'valley', Delle 'light depression', Old Church Slavonic dolu 'down, below'.
Sum. dungu 'cloud', can be reconnected with the PIE root *dhangh/dhn̥gh- 'to cover' discussed above about dingir. 
Sum. duruna 'oven', Lat. furnus 'oven', Old Irish gorn 'fire', Russian gorn 'hearth', Skt. ghṛṇa 'heat', Greek thermos 'hot, heat', Arm. ǰeṙnum 'to get warm, to burn'. The initial d can be the result of a palatal as in the following.
Sum. dusa 'friend, companion', PIE *g'aus- 'to taste, enjoy', Skt. juṣ- 'to be pleased or favourable; to like; to choose; to delight in visiting, frequent', joṣa 'satisfaction, approval, pleasure', Old Persian dauš- 'to like, love, favour', dauštar 'friend', Middle Persian došag 'dear'. It is remarkable how here both the phonetic form and the meaning in Sumerian is close to Persian, although the PIE root was quite different.
Sum. er, re 'to go' (perfect plural stem), PIE *r-, ar/er- 'to move, set in motion', Old Persian ar- 'to reach, come'.
Sum. gala 'lamentation singer', gala-mah 'chief lament singer', PIE *gal(g'h)- 'to call, scream, cry, bewail', Latin gallus 'cock', OCS glasu 'voice', Welsh galw 'call', Middle Irish glām 'shout', Old Norse kalla 'to cry loudly', OHG kallon 'to call', klaga 'complaint', Skt. garh 'to lodge a complaint', Avestan gǝrǝzā- 'complaint', gar- 'song'.
Sum. gam 'depth (math.); vulva', PIE gwambh/gwm̥bh- 'deep, depth, womb', Skt. gabhīra/gambhīra- 'deep', gambhan- 'depth', gabha 'vulva', Greek baptein 'to dip, dye', baphe 'dipping (of iron in water), dye', Old Swedish kvaf 'depth', Old English wamb 'belly, bowels, heart, uterus', Gothic wamba 'belly, womb'.
Sum. gam/kab 'shepherd's crook, bent stick', Akk. gamlu 'bent stick', Sum. gab 'left (hand)', PIE *kap/kamp/kamb- 'to bend, crook', Latvian kampis, kamplis, kaplis 'crook, staff, hoe', Lith. kablys 'hook, rod bent into a curved shape, peg', kampas 'corner', kumpas 'crooked', Greek kampsos 'crooked, bent', kampylos 'bent, curved', skambos 'crooked, bent', Skt. kumpa 'crooked-armed', OHG hamf 'mutilated', Persian čap, Kurmanji çep 'left' (in many languages the left hand is defined as 'crooked').
Sum. gan ‘to bear young, child-bearing’, PIE *g’an- ‘to bear (a child), produce, generate’, Skt. jan-, Toch. B kän-, Latin, Greek gen-
Sum. gar 'to heap up', gargar 'accumulation', PIE *gar- 'to collect, heap', Greek ageiro (from *a-ger-yo) 'to gather, collect', agorà 'assembly, place of assembly, market-place', gargara 'heaps, lots, plenty', Latin grex 'flock, herd', Welsh gre 'herd', Sanskrit grāma- 'village, community, troop', Middle Persian grāmag 'riches', Baluchi grām 'burden'.
Sum. gigir 'chariot', PIE *kukwla/kwakwla- 'wheel', Skt. cakra-, Greek kyklos, Old English hweogol 'wheel', Toch. A kukäl 'cart, chariot'. The similarity is not very strong, but the analogous reduplication is remarkable.
Sum. gilim, gir 'rodent', PIE *g(w)ǝli- 'small rodent', Skt. giri- 'mouse', Ormuri (Eastern Iranian) gilak, Bakhtiari (Western Iranian) girza 'rat', Latin glis, gen. gliris 'dormouse',  possibly from the root *gwal/gwǝl 'to swallow, devour', that gave Skt. gilati/girati 'to swallow, devour'. 
Sum. giru 'an affectionate epithet', PIE *kāra/u- 'dear, beloved', Lat. cārus 'dear', Skt. cāru- 'dear, beloved', Welsh carr 'friend', Old Norse kærr 'dear'. The vowel i can be explained from a schwa in a zero grade of the root.
Sum. gu 'cord, (flax) thread', gun 'to twist', gunu 'flax', Skt. guṇa 'thread, string, rope'.
Sum. gud/gu ‘bull, ox, cattle’ PIE *gu/gwau- ‘cow, ox’.
Sum. gur ‘circle, loop, hoop, ring; to turn, gurum 'to bend, curve, wrap around', PIE *gur- 'round', *ghurdh- 'to enclose, gird', Gr. gyros ‘rounded; ring, circle’, Hittite gurta- 'citadel, fortress' (enclosed settlement), Old High German gurten, Old Saxon gurdian 'to gird'; PIE *kur- 'to curve, bend', Greek kyrtos, Lat. curvus 'curved', Welsh crwnn 'round'. 
Sum. gur '(to be) thick; (to be) big, to feel big', PIE *gwr/gwar- 'heavy', Skt. guru- 'heavy, great, large; venerable', Prakrit garu 'heavy, important', Kashmiri goru 'dense, solid', Old Gujarati garūu 'big', Old Marathi garuva 'big, important', Lat. gravis 'heavy, serious' (from *gwraw-), possibly also grandis 'big, great' (from *gwrandh-, cp. Greek brenthos 'arrogance'), Gothic kaurus 'heavy', Old English great 'big, tall, thick, stout, massive; coarse', Dutch groot, Frisian grut, German groß 'big, great' (from *gwraut-), Breton, Cornish, Welsh bras 'big, thick' (from *gwras-).
Sum. gur 'to reap', gur(u) 'to grind, cut up, chop, (to be) trimmed', guruš 'to cut, fell, trim, peel off; a cutting; stubble',  Greek koura (<*korsa) 'cropping, lopping, shearing', kouros (<*korsos) 'loppings, twigs stripped from a tree', Kurmanji kur kirin 'to cut (the hair)', kurt 'short', Latin curtus 'shortened, mutilated, broken, short', OHG scurz 'short'.
Sum. ĝeli 'throat; wind-pipe', PIE *gwal/gal/gul- 'to glut, swallow', Skt. gala- 'throat, neck', gil- 'to swallow', Persian gulū, galū, 'neck, gullet, throat; wind-pipe; voice', Lat. gula 'throat', OHG kela 'throat, neck', Old Irish gelim 'I consume', Irish goile, gaile 'stomach, appetite, throat'. It is also remarkable that Kartvelian is here very close to Sumerian, compare e.g. Georgian q'eli 'neck, throat'.
Sum. ĝen 'to go', PIE *gwam/gwan- 'to come, go', OHG queman 'come, go', Lith gemù 'to come, be born', Greek baino (<*gwan-yo) 'to go, walk', Latin venio 'to come', Skt. gam- 'to go'. 
Sum. hul joy, rejoicing; to rejoice’, Skt. hulahulī inarticulate sounds made by women on joyful occasions’, huluhulu 'an exclamation of joy'; German Hurra, English hurrah, hooray. We can suppose that the exclamation of joy became a verb in Sumerian, and it is often redoubled (hul2-hul2-ehul2-hul2-la-am3hul2-hul2-la-ni, etc.) as in Sanskrit. The reference to the sound of women is very interesting, because it is also made by Middle Eastern women, it is called zaghroutah in Arabic, performed particular for marriage, and generally intended to express joy. In Sanskrit we have also hulihulī for 'nuptial music' or 'howling'. And holākā for the spring festival (the famous Holī), a name that according to Monier-Williams may come from a shout or sound made in singing.  
Sum. hul 'ring, neck ring', Akk. hullu 'neck ring, torc', PIE *Hwal/Hul- ''to turn, wind, twist' (see bal above), Hittite hul- 'to encircle, surround', hulhuliya- 'entwine, embrace', hulali 'spindle', hulukanni 'chariot', hurki 'wheel', Arm. hol 'spinning top', holel 'turn', Skt. valaya 'bracelet, ring, girdle', ulva 'the membrane surrounding the embryo, womb, vulva', Greek helix 'spiral, bracelet, ear-ring', Welsh olwyn 'wheel', Old Irish fulumain 'rolling', Old English weoloc 'whelk, spiral-shelled mollusk'. The form with initial aspiration compared with bal- can be connected with a dialect akin to Anatolian, but it can be also due to the different vocalism: hwal > val > bal and hul instead remains hul.     
Sum. hurin, urin 'eagle', Akk. urinnu 'eagle', PIE *hara(n)/harn(i/a)-, Hittite hara(n), Gothic ara, Old High German arn, Old Church Slav. orilu 'eagle', Greek ornis 'bird'. There is also a Sum. aru interpreted as 'eagle' (see here).
Sum. imdu 'dew', Skt. indu 'drop', Baltic river names Indus, Indura
Sum. kadu 'cover', PIE *kad-, sk'ad- 'to cover', Old English haet 'hat, head covering', Latin cassis 'helmet', Skt. chad- 'to cover', chada 'a cover, covering'.  
Sum. kar 'to blow; to light up, shine; to rise', kur 'to burn, light up': both are translated with Akk. napāhu 'to blow; light up; rise'; in IE we have Lith. kùrti 'to heat, kindle, light', Latvian kur̃t 'to light, kindle', Old Church Slav. kurjo 'to smoke', Old Norse hyrr 'fire', Gothic hauri 'coal', Dutch haard 'fireplace, hearth', Latin carbo 'coal', cremare 'to burn'. In Sanskrit we have kūḍ- 'to burn', maybe from *kṝd/kurd-. The PIE root is *kar/kur 'to burn, kindle'.  
Sum. kaš 'beer', PIE *kwat(-s)- 'to ferment', Skt. kvath- 'to boil, to foam', kvathitam 'a spirituous liquor', Gothic hwaþjan 'to foam', OCS kvasъ 'leaven', Russian kvas 'fermented beverage made from bread'. Also Sumerian beer was made from bread (called bappir). There is also a Persian dish called kashk, a porridge made from grains fermented with whey.     
Sum. kezer 'hair, a hair-style', Akk. kezēru 'to gives s.o. a (special) hair-do', kezru 'with (special) haird-do', PIE *kaisar-, Skt. kesara 'hair, mane', Lat. caesaries 'hair (long and flowing)', of the head but also of the beard, and of dogs; equis caesariatus means 'wearing a helmet with a horse mane'. The Skt. form should be keṣ- for the RUKI law, while Latin should have rhotacism, and it is interesting that the Sum. parallel has z which is considered a voiceless affricate (ts), so maybe kesara comes from kaitsar-. Maybe also Kurmanji kezî 'braid of hair' is related, with voiced z.
Sum. kizurra 'sharp edge', PIE *ksura- 'razor', Skt. kṣura-, Greek xyron 'razor' (Greek verb xyo 'I scratch, scrape').   
Sum. kud 'to break off; to cut; to incise', Proto-Germ. *kut- 'to cut', Lithuanian kauti 'to beat, strike, cut, kill', Latin cudere 'to beat (grains, metals)', Middle Irish cuad 'to beat'. Maybe also Greek koura 'act of cutting', Hittite kwer- 'to cut', can be connected, also considering that the evolution from d to r is not unusual. 
Sum. kug 'pure; bright, shining, silver', gug '(to be) bright', PIE *k'u-k-, Skt. śuci 'clean, pure', śukra 'bright, white', śukti 'pearl oyster', Greek kyknos 'swan, white bird'. 
Sum. kur ‘mountain, east, east wind’, PIE *gur/gwar/gwir-, Skt. giri, Avestan gairi, Old Church Slav. gora ‘mountain’, East Slavic Gora, Greek Boreas, 'north wind' (as 'mountain wind'), Albanian gur 'cliff, rock'.
Sum. kuš 'skin; leather', PIE *(s)kau/kū- 'to hide, wrap, cover', Lat. cutis 'skin, leather', OHG hūt 'skin', Gothic skoh 'shoe', Skt. chavī 'skin' (<*sk'av-). 
Sum. labi, lubi 'a term of endearment, dear', PIE *laubh- 'to love, like, care for', Skt. lubh- 'to desire', Lat. lubido/libido 'desire, lust', German lieben 'to love', lieb 'dear' (OHG liob), Old Church Slav. ljubiti 'to love', l’ubъ 'dear, precious', l'uby 'love'.
Sum. lagaš 'storehouse' (name of a city), PIE *lag- 'to collect, gather', Greek lego 'I gather, I reckon, enumerate', kata-lego 'I list, enumerate', katalogos 'list', Lat. legere 'to collect, gather, choose, read', collectio 'collection'. Another possible parallel is PIE *lagh- 'to lie', *laghas 'bed, resting place', Hittite lagari 'is laid low', Toch. A lake, Toch. B leke, Greek lechos 'bed', Old Norse lag 'lay, order, disposition', German Lager 'place for lying, bed, lair, camp; storehouse'.     
Sum. li 'oil, fat'; lib 'sheep fat', PIE *laip/lip- 'to smear with fat', Greek lipos 'fat', Skt. lepa 'smearing, anointing'; *lip- is derived from PIE *li/lī- 'slimy; to smear, stick', found e.g. in Lat. linere 'to smear, anoint'. Also Gr. linon, Lat. līnum 'flax, linen', can be connected with this root since the linseed was pressed to extract oil. And Latin oleum corresponding to Greek elai(w)on 'oil', can also derive from this root (in the form lai-) with a prothetic vowel, as in alinein and aleiphein 'to anoint'.     
Sum. luh 'to clean, wash', šu-luh 'ritual cleansing', PIE *lu/lau(H)- 'to lave, wash', Hittite lah̬u(wai)- 'to pour', Latin lavare 'to wash', ab-lu-tio 'washing away, ablution', Greek louo 'I wash', OHG luhhen, Armenian lval 'to wash'. The Armenian root is derived by Pokorny, with the regular loss of initial p-, from PIE *pleu- 'to flow; to swim, to pour; to flee', which is a very spread IE root, used also for washing, as in Sanskrit plu- 'to swim, bathe, navigate, wash away'. In Greek we have plyno 'I wash', in Latin pluit 'it rains', Lith. plauti 'to wash'.
Sum. lum 'snail', Akk. luhumū, lummū 'snail', PIE *lim/laim- 'slime, slimy' (cf. li above), Greek leimax, Lat. līmax, Italian lumaca, Russian and other Slavic languages slimak  'snail'.
Sum. mah(a) ‘great, magnificent, numerous’, PIE *mag’h-  ‘great’, Vedic mah(a)- 'great, strong, mighty, abundant'.
Sum. mana 'weight measure', manatur 'unit of area, of volume, of weight', PIE *mā- 'to measure', Skt. māna- 'measure, dimension, size, weight; a particular measure of weight', mātra- 'measure of any kind', Greek metron, Latin mensura 'measure'. 
Sum. mar 'to smear', PIE *smar- 'fat, grease; to smear, anoint', Old English smeoru 'fat, grease', Norse smör 'butter', Dutch smeren 'to smear', Lith smarsas 'fat', Polish smar 'fat, lubricant', smarować 'to smear, grease'.  
Sum. mel 'malt-flour', PIE *mal- 'to mill, grind', Hitt. mallai-, malliya-, Armenian malem, Toch. A malywät 'to mill, grind', Skt. mlātá- 'soft-beaten', Latin mola 'mill, millstone', Old High German malan 'to mill', melo 'meal, flour', English malt. This word, isolated in Sumerian, is quite significant since it suggests that an Indo-European language gave this agricultural word to Sumerians. The only comparable term is the apparent compound zid-milla  'flour', where milla is close to the Anatolian verbs, and the first element zid, which means 'flour' also alone, can be connected with Akk. simdu/sindu 'a milled cereal product, a flour' or with the IE root *sē/sī- 'to sift', OHG sīhan, Lith. sijoju 'to sift', Lith. sietas 'sift'. 
Sum. muš 'face', PIE *mū- 'lips, mouth, muzzle', Skt. mukha 'mouth, face', Dardic 'face', Old Norse mūli 'lips of an animal, muzzle', Old English mūþ 'mouth', Vulgar Latin mūsum 'muzzle'.
Sum. mud 'joy', PIE *mud- 'joy; to be merry', Skt. mud- 'joy; to be merry, happy', Lith. mudrùs 'lively', I suggest also German munter 'lively, cheerful'. In Skt. there is also modaka 'gladdening; sweetmeat', which can be compared with Sum. mudgi 'sweetness'.
Sum. mudur 'dirt', mudra 'dirty', PIE *mūtra- 'excrement', (s)mud- 'dirt, mud', Middle Dutch modder, mudder 'mud, slime', German Moder 'rottenness, morass', Schmutz 'dirt', English smut 'stain', Polish muł 'slime', Greek mydos 'damp, decay', mysos 'uncleanness, defilement', mysaros 'foul, dirty', mydros 'redhot mass of iron', mydon 'fungous flesh in an ulcer', Avestan mū́θra- 'excrement, faeces', Sanskrit mū́tra- 'urine'.
Sum. mul 'foundation', Skt. mul/mūl- 'to be rooted or firm', mūla- 'root, basis, foundation'. This word has no clear IE cognates, besides Khotanese mul 'root', but it can be related to the root mū- 'to fix', and in Sumerian it seems isolated, so we can suppose that it is a borrowing there.  
Sum. murmara 'rumble', murmara ša 'to roar', PIE *murmur/marmar- 'murmur, roar', Latin murmur 'hum, roar, murmur', OHG murmuron 'to murmur', Greek mormúrô 'to boil, roar', Skt. marmara- 'rustling, murmuring; murmur', murmura- 'expiring ember; burning chaff (vl. murmara)'.
Sum. nam 'determined order; will, testament; fate, destiny', IE *nam 'to apportion, take one's portion', Greek nemein 'to dispense, distribute', nemesis 'distribution of what is due, retribution', nemetor 'dispenser of justice', nomos 'usage, law, ordinance'
Sum. ner, nir ‘lord, prince, hero’, PIE *(H)n- ‘man, hero’, Skt. nar(a)- 'man, hero', Greek aner 'male man', Oscan niir 'man, prince', Umbrian nerf 'princes, aristocrats'. 
Sum. nu ‘(to be) not, no, without’, PIE *na/an- 'no, not, without'.
One particular case is Sum. PA.TE.SI ‘lord of the city’, because it is the cuneiform spelling corresponding to the Sumerian ensi, and it recalls PIE *patis, Skt. patis, Avestan paiti- ‘lord, master, husband’, Latin potis sum 'I am master, able', hospes (*hosti-pets) 'lord of the guest, host', Greek despotes 'master of the house, absolute ruler'. Gordon Whittaker notices (see here) also the form GAR(A).PA.TE.SI, which recalls an IE compound like Sanskrit gṛhapatis 'master of the house', cp. Avestan gǝrǝδa-, Gothic gards 'house', Lithuanian gardas 'pen, enclosed area', Old Church Slav. gradь 'town, fort, garden', or -gara probably found in Skt. nagara- 'town, city' (from *nṛ-gara 'gathering of men'), or the already mentioned Greek agorà 'assembly, place of assembly' (see gar above). However, from the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary GAR appears to be normally used in compounds as synonym of niĝ 'thing, possession'.
Sum. pala 'a garment', of kings according to the Akkadian translation and two Sumerian passages mentioned by the PSD (mentioning EN 'lord' and LUGAL 'king'), in a text the 'pala robe' is 'fit for a queen', in another text it is connected with the goddess Inanna and 'ladyship'. In Latin, palla is the mantle of women and tragic actors or a curtain, pallium the mantle of Greeks and philosophers, but also a bed cover and curtains, and paludatus is someone with the mantle of a general. The PIE root is probably *pal- 'to wrap, cover; cloth; fell, pelt', found also in Latin pellis 'skin, hide', Greek pellas 'skins (Acc. plur.)', apelos 'wound not skinned over', Old Norse fela 'to hide', Old English fell 'hide', Irish peall 'couch, covering', Old Prussian pelkis 'cloak', Sinhalese paḷa, pala 'cloth, garment', Kashmiri palav 'clothes, garment, coat', Lahndā pallā ʻcloth, scarfʼ, Marāṭhī pāl 'large cloth to form a tent', Nepali pāl 'tent', Gujarati pāl 'cloth curtain for side of tent'. The Sumerian term is of the Old Babylonia period, when kings wore a typical dress leaving the right arm free, arrived in Mesopotamia some centuries earlier (see here):
"A different style of dress is evident in Mesopotamian sculptures dating after about 2370 BC. Both men and women were clothed in a large piece of material - most commonly of wool, though later also of linen - draped around the body over a skirt. This garment, similar to a shawl, was characteristically edged with tassels or fringe. The draping varied, but, for men at least, the fabric was arranged so that the fullness was at the rear, leaving the right, or sword, arm free. This newer form of dress had originated from farther north and east and was adopted by the Semitic people of Akkad under Sargon (the dynasty founded by Sargon lasted from c. 2334 BC to c. 2193 BC) and by the revitalized Sumerian culture in the years 2110-2010 BC." 
What is interesting is that this kind of shawl (see also the god Enki above) recalls the Greek mantle and the Roman toga, and also the men's dress found in the Bactria-Margiana and Harappan cultures. 


"Priest king", Mohenjo daro
Gudea of Lagash 
Roman toga
Bactrian man
Greek himation

Sum. pirig 'bright', PIE *bhg- 'to gleam, shine; white', Skt. Bhṛgu, mythical being connected with fire, bhrājate 'shines, glitters', Hittite parkui 'clean, pure', English bright, from Proto-Germ. *berhta, English birch, Lithuanian beržas 'birch', Skt. bhūrja 'kind of birch', being the 'white' or 'shining' tree, found also in northern Iran, Iraq and Turkey. 
Sum. saga 'to reap', PIE *sak- 'to cut, dissect', OHG, OE saga 'saw', OHG segansa, Middle High German segede, Latin secula 'sickle', Latin secare 'to cut' (often in agricultural sense).
Sum. sanga 'priest', sanki 'rites', Akk. sakkû 'cultic rites', PIE *sak- 'to sacrifice, sanctify, make a treaty', Hittite sankunni- 'priest', saklai- 'rite', Latin sacer 'sacred', sacra 'cultic rites', sancire 'to make sacred, to sanction', Sancus, Roman god of trust and oaths.
Sum. sar 'to run, hasten', IE *sar- 'to flow, run', Skt. sar- 'to run, flow, speed'. 
Sum. sig 'hush, (to be) silent', PIE *swīg/k- '(to be) silent', OHG swīgēn 'be silent', Greek sīga 'silently', sīgē 'silence', sīgao 'to be silent'.
Sum. sig 'to cast, pour on', PIE *sikw- 'to spill, pour', Skt. sic-  'to pour, discharge, to cast metal', seka 'pouring out, sprinkling', Av. haek- 'to pour out (water)', fra-hik/šik- 'to sprinkle, to cast metal', OHG sīhan 'to pour through a sieve'.    
Sum. sil 'to split', sila 'cut (of meat); fragment; street', silaĝ 'a seed funnel', silig 'ax': these words can appear to be unrelated, but they can be all connected with 'to cut, split', which was applied especially to the furrow, therefore the 'seed funnel', an object to throw seeds in a furrow, and the 'street', being a line like a furrow. In Skt. we have sīla and sīra 'plough'. In Old Norse, sila means 'to trace a furrow', and this is possibly the origin of ancient French silier 'to plow', modern French sillon 'furrow'. In Latin we have silex, silicis 'flint', used to cut, which can be compared with Sum. silig 'ax'.
Sum. sir 'to bind', šergu 'string (of fruit)', šeršer 'chain', PIE *sar- 'to bind, put together', Latin sero 'to join or bind together', serta 'wreath, garland', Greek eiro 'to fasten together in rows, string', herma 'band, noose, earring', seira 'cord, rope', Old English serc 'shirt, coat of mail', Lith. seris, Skt. sarat, sarit 'thread'.
Sum. sur 'to cut cloth; canal, ditch', zir (written zi-irze2-er) 'to tear out; to break, destroy; to be troubled; to erase', zurzur 'to break', PIE *swir/swar/sur 'to cut, prick, pierce', Old English sweord, swyrd, Dutch zwaard, OHG swert 'sword', OHG sweran 'to hurt', Old East Slavic svĭrdĭlŭ 'drill', Avestan xvara 'wound', Skt svaru 'a large piece of wood cut from the trunk of a tree, stake, post; an arrow', Middle High German swir 'post', Latin surus 'pole, peg' (objects that pierce the earth). For the evolution from sw to z, see zal below. 
Sum. sur 'to press, squeeze; to drip; to rain; to milk', PIE *su-(l/r)- 'to press out, distill, milk', Skt. su- 'to press out, distill', soma 'juice of a sacred plant', sūra 'the Soma juice flowing from the press', sūri 'presser of Soma', surā 'spirituous liquor', Avestan hurā 'id.', Latvian sula 'juice', Greek hyein 'to rain', hylizein 'to filter, strain'.     
Sum. šar 'totality', PIE *sala-/sal-va- 'whole', Skt. sarva 'all, every', Greek holos 'whole', Latin salvus 'safe, sound', salus 'health, safety', Avestan haurva, Old Persian haruva 'whole; sound', Middle Persian har 'every'.
Sum. šed to lie down; to sit, be recumbent (of animals)’, PIE *sad/sid ‘to sit down’.
Sum. šeĝ 'to cook; to dry a field; to fire (pottery)', sig 'to burn (of digestion)', PIE *sa(n)k- 'to singe, burn, dry', Old English sengan 'to singe', Icelandic sangr 'burnt, scorched', sengja 'singed taste', Sindhi sekaṇu ʻto toast, warm (anything)ʼ, seku m. ʻtoastingʼ, seko m. ʻdrying up of a crop from wind or droughtʼ, Marathi śekṇẽ, śẽkṇẽ ʻto warm oneself before a fire, foment, burnʼ; PIE sik- 'dry', Latin siccus, Avestan hiku- 'dry'. The velar nasal in Sumerian corresponds here to a nasal infix+velar in Germanic.
Sum. šer 'reddening, (to be) bright', PIE *sar- 'red', Lith. sartas 'reddish (of horses)', sárkanas bright, clear, light; pink”, serbentà 'redcurrant', sirpti 'to ripen (of fruits)', Latvian sarts 'ret (in face)', sarks 'red, pink', sarkt 'to become red, to redden', Latin sorbum 'sorb (reddish fruit)'. 
Sum. šerti 'strip of cloth', PIE *(s)k'ar- 'to cut', Old English scyrte 'skirt, tunic', English shirt, shred (long narrow strip cut off), Middle High German scherze 'piece cut off', German Schere 'scissors', Lith. skirti, Latv.  šk'irt 'to divide', Skt. kṛt- 'to cut', śāṭa/śāṭī 'strip of cloth, particular garment (sari)' (possibly from *k'art- with retroflexion following the fall of r). The initial  š- in Sumerian can be the result of an original sk- or sk'- as in Germanic languages.   
Sum. šita(n) 'water channel', Skt. sītā 'furrow; name of a river', from the root sī- 'to draw a line' found also in sīman 'line parting the hair; limit, boundary', sīra 'plough' and sīrā 'stream'. Possibly also Greek oiròn/hoiròn (from *sairan) 'furrow, border line' is connected.
Sum. šun 'to shine', PIE *sun/swan- 'sun', Old Norse, OHG sunna 'sun', Avestan xᵛə̄ṇg 'sun (genitive)', Welsh huan 'sun'.
Sum. tab 'burn', PIE *tap- 'to be warm, hot', Skt. tap- 'to burn, be hot, make hot', tapas 'heat', Hitt. tapassa- 'fever', Persian taftan 'to heat, burn, shine', Khot. ttav- 'to be hot'.
Sum. tag to touch, take hold of’, PIE *tag- ‘to touch’, Old Latin tago 'I touch', Lat. tangere 'to touch', tactus 'touched', Greek te-tag-on 'having seized'.
Sum. tak.alan 'craftsman' (composed with alan 'statue, form'), PIE *tak's- 'to form by cutting', Skt. takṣ- 'to fashion, chisel', takṣan- 'wood-cutter, carpenter', Greek tekton 'carpenter', techne 'art, craft, skill', Avestan tašaiti 'to make (as a carpenter)', Hitt. ták-ki-(e-)eš-zi 'to join, build', Lithuanian tašaũ, tašýti, OCS tešǫ, tesati 'to hew', Russian Church Slavic tesla 'adze, carpenter's tool', Latin texere 'to weave, plait', tela 'web, loom, fabric', OHG dehsa 'axe', Old Icelandic þexla 'adze'.
Sum. tal '(to be) broad, expand', PIE *tal- 'surface', Skt. tala 'surface, base, palm (of the hand), sole (of the foot)', taliman 'soil', Irish talam 'earth', Old Prussian talus 'floor (of a house)', Old Norse þel 'floor, board', Lat. tellus 'earth', Greek telia 'board'; PIE *stal- 'to dilate, broaden, stretch out; broad', Old Lat. *stlatus, Lat. latus 'broad', dilatare 'to dilate, spread wide', Common Slavic steljo 'I spread'.
Sum. tar 'to cut down; to untie, loosen; to scatter, disperse', PIE *stṛ/star- 'to strew, scatter', Skt. stṛ- 'to spread, strew, scatter; to lay low, overthrow', Middle Persian wistardan 'to spread out', Lat. sternere 'to spread out, scatter; to lay low', Greek stornumi 'I spread out', Old English strewian 'to scatter', Old Norse stra 'straw', which is scattered.   
Sum. temen, Akk. temmenu, temennu 'foundation (deposit)', PIE *dhā-man/dha-mn̥- 'what is placed or set', Skt. dhāman- 'dwelling-place, abode; law', Greek thema 'what is placed or laid down: deposit; position of land; grammatical stem'; themethla, theme(i)lia 'foundations', themelios 'foundation-stone'. In Greek we have also temenos 'a piece of land cut off and assigned as an official domain', especially to kings and to temples of gods. According to the analysis of Dunham (1986), Sum. temen often refers to a marked off area, and also the boundaries and the corners of the area, and Whittaker remarks that temen is the reading of the 'perimeter sign', so something very similar to the temenos. Manessy-Guitton already in 1966 proposed that temenos comes from temen, but temenos seems to have a very clear etymology from the Greek tem-no 'to cut', which is made stronger by the comparison with Latin templum, originally indicating a delimited space in the sky for auspices, but also a space consecrated to the gods (the temple) and a transverse beam. So, if temen and temenos have a relation, we should admit that temen comes from the same root tem- as temenos and templum. The temen sign is done with two crosses and a rope, like this:
xx. Rather than a perimeter, it is one side of it, and, as Dunham remarks, it is like a string between two pegs, and he also suggests that temen indicates the foundation peg (or set of pegs). If he is right, the root of temen is more likely 'to put, place' (the pegs) than 'to cut' (the area of the foundations).
Sum. ten 'to be extinguished; become cool', PIE *dhwan/dhwin- 'to be extinguished', Skt. dhvan- 'to become extinguished', Middle English dwinen 'waste away, fade, vanish', Greek than-, thnesko 'to die'.  
Sum. til '(to be) complete(d); to end', PIE *kwal- 'completion of a circle', Greek telos 'completion, accomplishment, end'. This semantic correspondence with Greek compels us to accept an analogous evolution of the IE *kwi>ti, probably from a palatal intermediate form, or a loanword directly from a language similar to Greek. This comparison allows us to propose also the following:
Sum. til 'to live; to dwell', PIE *kwal/kwil- 'to move, frequent, inhabit', Lat. colo 'I cultivate, inhabit, honor', in-quil-inus 'inhabitant'.  
Sum. tud 'to hit, beat', PIE *(s)tud- 'to hit', Skt. tud- 'to push, strike', Latin tundere 'to beat, pound, strike', Gothic stautan 'to strike'. 
Sum. tug 'textile, garment', PIE *(s)tag- 'to cover', Latin toga, tegimen/tegumen/tegmen 'cover; dress', OCS o-stegъ 'garment', Old Irish etach 'garment'.
Sum. tum(u) 'wind', PIE *dham/dhum- 'to blow', Skt. dham- 'to blow', Parachi dhamā́n, Nuristani Ashkunu domṍ 'wind', Lith. dumiù 'to blow'.
Sum. ubur 'breast', PIE *ūdhar-, Latin ūber 'udder, breast', Danish yver, Skt. ūdhar- 'udder'. 
Sum. ugnim, ummana 'army', here Whittaker proposes for ugnim a metathesis from PIE *h2ĝmen- 'train, war band on the march', Lat. agmen, and remarks that Lafont in an article has compared semantically the Sumerian and the Latin terms. The form ummana, found also in Akkadian as umman(u), can be a variant (assimilation of *ug-man-), closer to the IE term. In Vedic we have ajman- 'career, passage, battle', and the root must be aj- 'to drive, move forward' (PIE *ag'-). Sum. ugur, according to Whittaker a divine weapon described sometimes as a mace, sometimes as a sword, PIE *wag’-ra-, Skt. vajra, which has been connected with the root uj- 'be strong', found also in ugra- 'powerful, violent, mighty, cruel, angry'. In Sum. we have also ug '(to be) furious; anger'. In Avestan vazra- is the weapon of Mitra, and in Middle Persian wazr, warz (Modern Persian gurz) is a 'club'.  
Sum. ulin ‘colored wool’, Akk. ullānu 'cover; woollen', PIE *wal/wul- ‘wool’, Hitt. h̬ulana-, huliya-,  Got. wulla, Skt. ūrṇā 'wool'.
Sum. umbin 'nail, claw, finger, toe', PIE *gwi-, Lat. unguis 'nail, claw'. Connected is Old Irish ingen, Greek onyx, Arm. eġung 'nail'. 
Sum. uru 'to sow, cultivate, plow', Latin urvare 'to plow round, mark out with a plough', urvum 'the plough-tail', verv-agere 'to plow land', Skt. urvarā 'fertile soil , field yielding crop'.
Sum. urud ‘copper’, PIE *(H)rudh- ‘red’, Skt. rudhira-, Gr. erythros, Old English rudu, Welsh rhudd ‘red’.
Sum. (Ebla) uwi ‘sheep’, PIE *Hawi- ‘sheep’, Luwian hawi- 'sheep', Arm. hoviw 'shepherd', Lat. ovis, Old High German ouwi 'sheep'. 
Sum. zal 'to shine', zalag '(to be) pure; (fire) light; (to be) bright, to shine', PIE *swal- 'to shine, burn, sun, light, glory'. In Greek we find selagéo 'I enlighten, I shine', selagos 'ray', selas 'light, brightness, flame; lightning, flash', selēnē 'moon' (Aeolic selanna). These Greek words are generally derived from PIE *swel/sūl/sā́wel- 'to shine', found also in Skt. svar- 'sun, light, heaven; to shine', svarga 'heaven, paradise', sūrya, Lat. sol, Gothic sauil, Greek hēlios 'sun' (from *sawelios, we have also the Cretan abelios, Aeolic aelios and Epic ēelios). The passage sw- to s- in Greek is found also in sīgē 'silence', from PIE *swīg- (see sig above), and somphos 'spongy, porous', from PIE *swambha- (OHG swambo 'mushroom', Old English swamm 'sponge, mushroom'). Again, we would find a similar loss of w in Sumerian and Greek, which apparently creates a voiced z in Sumerian in this case. According to the Pennsylvania Dictionary, a variant form of zalag is sulug, which can be a different dialectal result of *swalag-, with vocalic harmony. It is interesting that the closest parallel formations are in Greek, whith the addition of -ag-. However, for the passage from sw to s we can also cite Toch. B sälp- ‘be set alight, blaze up; burn’, which is accepted by Douglas Adams as "an extension of the widely attested *swel- ‘burn, smoulder’" and is connected with Latin sulphur (see here).   
Sum. zurzar (zur-za-ar) 'sound', zarah 'wailing, lamentation', Akk. ṣarāhu 'to cry out, wail, complain; lament, sing lamentation', Sum. šir 'to sing, play an instrument; song', PIE *swar/swir/sur-, Skt. svara- 'sound', svarati 'to utter a sound, resound', Russian svara 'altercation', OCS svirati 'to play a flute', Gothic swaran 'to swear', Old Norse swarmr 'noise', German surren 'to whisper, hum, buzz', Lat. susurrus 'whisper'.  

So, we have some quite strong evidence of common roots and loanwords, especially with Indo-Iranian, Greek, Italic and Anatolian, sometimes also with Germanic and Balto-Slavic. Some exclusively Indo-Iranian and Greek forms suggest that an IE language was spoken close to the Sumerians and spread to the Indo-Iranian area and Greece. Where could this language be spoken and which archaeological culture can be connected with it? From some words, it seems that it was a culture which knew farming, flour milling, herding, buildings and water channels. In Mesopotamia, irrigation agriculture started in the Samarra culture (see here), which influenced the Ubaid culture of Eridu and other Sumerian cities: "According to Gwendolyn Leick, Eridu was formed at the confluence of three separate ecosystems, supporting three distinct lifestyles, that came to an agreement about access to fresh water in a desert environment. The oldest agrarian settlement seems to have been based upon intensive subsistence irrigation agriculture derived from the Samarra culture to the north, characterised by the building of canals, and mud-brick buildings. The fisher-hunter cultures of the Arabian littoral were responsible for the extensive middens along the Arabian shoreline, and may have been the original Sumerians. They seem to have dwelt in reed huts. The third culture that contributed to the building of Eridu was the nomadic Semitic pastoralists of herds of sheep and goats living in tents in semi-desert areas. All three cultures seem implicated in the earliest levels of the city."
The Samarra culture was developed in 5600-4800 in an area not only bordering the northern Zagros that we have proposed as the PIE cradle, but also including the same region where Jarmo is found, the Neolithic site, inhabited around 7000 BC on the Zagros foothills, which presents affinities with the Iranian sites of the Zagros and the Caspian region and with Mehrgarh in Baluchistan, as we see from the lithic inventory and figurines (see my previous post). The Samarra culture is characterized by a style of painted ware rich in geometric motifs: the most typical are the swastika and the cross, two elements very popular also in Iranian art of the Bronze age until the historical times, while the swastika subsequently disappears in Mesopotamia. It is also interesting that the root meaning 'rotation' (bal/val-), a central element of Samarran art, appears to be shared by Sumerian and Indo-European.

Samarran painted bowl
   
Samarran designs

So, we can suppose that the Samarran people were ancient speakers of an Indo-European language, who were assimilated by Sumerians and left an important heritage of technology, words and concepts to the Sumerian civilization. If this is true, Indo-Europeans, far from being originally nomadic barbarians of the North, would be involved in the first urban and literate civilization of Mesopotamia, the source of a great part of the Eurasian cultural evolution.

Impruneta, 3-5-2015 (with later additions)