Hiro walks into a room where the Librarian says there is more material that might help; it's full of archaeological artifacts and hypercards.
The Librarian talks Hiro through the artifacts: There's an ancient Sumerian clay envelope from the city of Eridu (now in Iraq), a black obelisk containing the Code of Hammurabi, and a treelike structure depicting a totem called an asherah.
The latter two are in museums, while the envelope's in Rife's personal collection (his college's archaeological department has been conducting digs in Eridu).
The envelope contains the nam-shub of Enki, which is both a story and an incantation, and is supposed to change the speech in men's mouths—rather like what happened with the Tower of Babel.
According to the Librarian, Lagos's theory was that Babel was a real historical event, which coincided with the vanishing of the Sumerian language, and afterward, languages tended toward divergence rather than convergence.
Hiro puts the pieces together: Enki's nam-shub was a neurolinguistic virus. It infected people's brains and could be spread by clay tablets. Whoa.