Online aids for understanding ED IIIb royal inscriptions

On behalf of CDLI, I would like to announce the completion of a project to correct and standardize transliterations, and to add English translations to the CDLI entries of the royal/monumental and votive inscriptions of the ED IIIb (Presargonic) period. The total of 841 known text artifacts from this period currently contain 233 identifiable compositions, including the published inscriptions found in Douglas Frayne, RIME Early Periods 1, and in Horst Steible, FAOS 5, together with other transliterated texts that escaped inclusion in those volumes for one reason or another. Duplicate exemplars of a composite text—RIME 1.9.3.9, for example, is found on 40 discrete objects—are, where no image documentation is available, transliterated in full reconstructed form, and only their associated composite entries are understood as artificial “templates”  and are thus written in sequential line numbers, and translated. These translations on the whole employ non-controversial standard vocabulary and are fairly literal, designed to render Sumerian lemmas and grammatical information line by line, with as little distortion of English syntax as possible. A good example of one artifact with catalogue, images, transliteration and translation, is found here (this is one of nine such nail inscriptions from Enanatum); all translated ED IIIb royal inscriptions may be viewed here, while all objects are here.
 
New exemplars of such inscriptions are slowly emerging from long-held, but still unpublished collections as well as from post-Kuwait War acquisitions. These texts, usually cones or nails with known inscriptions, are being added to CDLI as they appear, and, consistent with the cataloguing guidelines agreed to between CDLI and the Oracc sub-project ETCSRI, are being assigned artificial RIME numbers to ensure their easy searchability. For instance, the Enmetena cone inscription RIME 1.9.5.3 was identified on six objects subsequent to the completion of the Toronto volume with its 39 witnesses; these objects, from the Harvard Art Museum / Arthur M. Sackler Museum, from the Columbia University Library, from two private collections in the United States, and from the Oslo Schøyen Collection, are now designated RIME 1.09.05.03, ex. add40-45 in the CDLI catalogue.
 
Daniel A. Foxvog
 
Date: 
2011-08-09