Cuneiform Tablet

SKU LSO.25
Circa

2027 BC

Dimensions

2.87″ (7.3cm) high x 1.65″ (4.2cm) wide

Medium

Clay

Origin

Syria

Gallery Location

UK


 

Clay Tablet, with 28 Lines of Sumerian Cuneiform writing This is an administrative document of the period of the Third Dynasty of Ur, dated to the 21st day of a month not now identified of the second year of Ibbi-Sin, last king of the dynasty, c. 2027 BC. The day of the month is inscribed down the left- hand edge. The tablet is well written and well preserved, though there is some hard incrustation on a few lines obscuring a few words. Translation 1…………………..5 sila of bun: Mr Ur-Shu-Sin…, chief herald: when he went to the inspector…Mr …- Nanna 1……………………, 3 sila of bun, 2 fish: Mr Laqipum, cup bearer, king’s messenger when he went to the royal offering 1 sila of bun, 1 fish: Mr Shu-Ishtaran, king’s messenger 1 sila of bun, 1 fish: Mr Izzaz-Meshar, king’s messenger when he went from Der to the king 1 sila of bun, 1 fish: Mr Ahu-Baqar, king’s messenger, when he went to the inspector Lugal-didaka 1 sila of bun, 1 fish: Mr Puzur-Sin, king’s messenger when he went to the governor 2 sila of bun, 2 fish: Mr Chu-…, kings messenger when he went to arrest the 7 serfs of Ir- Ninhursag 1 sila of bun, 1 fish: Mr Bululu, groom when he went to grasp the foot of Enzi A disbursement. Month: Ni-Enlilla; year: the high priestess of Inanna of Uruk was chosen by divination. ***** This is a kind of “messenger tablet” which records the provisions given out to official messengers. But this is unusual in the kinds of provisions listed. The word translated here as “bun” is uncertain, but since it occurs next to “bread” elsewhere, we have hazarded the translation “bun” for the present. But it and fish (probably dried!) do not occur on the previously known messenger texts. And they do not regularly specify that they are the kings messengers, nor do they state the occasion as happens here with the majority of the men named. Some of the circumstances are in difficult Sumerian and the translations here may need improvement in the future.

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