Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin
2002:3
ISSN 1540-8760
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The Toponym Ligriki

Bertrand Lafont < lafont@mae.u-paris10.fr >
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris

Keywords
Ligri, Girsu, toponym, Ur III


§1. The recent publication by G. and W. Farber of the Ur III tablet ÄS 1208 in Munich (ZA 91 [2001] 208-209) confirms the existence of the place-name Ligriki in the texts of this period. This name is consequently found written in the forms li2-ig-ri2ki, li-ig-ri2ki, and perhaps li-ig-riki. It is therefore necessary to abandon my proposal (Lafont-Yildiz TCTI 1 [1989] 263, and again Lafont NABU 1990/17) to read the sign sequence LU2.NI.IG.URU.KI.ME as lu2-i3-gal2-uruki-me, suggesting that these people were “persons being in the city”, rather than “those who are inside the palace” (ša3-e2-gal-me), a category found in the same texts. A new tablet in Istanbul that I am currently editing (no. 2 in the list below) had already led me to reject a proposal that posed obvious problems of syntax.

 

§2. The toponym Ligriki nonetheless leaves open questions for further discussion; indeed, we may look at this matter with renewed interest once all available attestations of Ligriki have been gathered together, providing us with the small but interesting list displayed below. The corpus describing Ligriki, essentially made up of small tablets recording allocations of food and beer to individuals, includes altogether 29 references in 28 texts (the list takes into account the Istanbul tablets to be published in TCTI 3):

 

§3.

       Date

Beneficiaries

Reference

1.    SH46/xi/-

lu2 li-ig-ri2ki-me

Farber, ZA 91, 209

2.    SS1/xi/23

lu2 hu-uh2-nu-riki / lu2 mar-ha-šiki / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 3, 5469

3.    SS2/iv/03

ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 3, 6217

4.    SS2/iv/04

ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 2, 3322

5.    SS2/iv/08

ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 2, 3243

6.    SS2/iv/10

lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 1, 660

7.    SS2/iv/14

ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 3, 5109

8.    SS2/iv/15

ša3-e2-gal / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 2, 3319

9.    SS2/iv/16

ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 2, 3657

10.  SS2/iv/18

ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 1, 699

11.  SS2/iv/26

ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 2, 3671

12.  SS2/iv/29

ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 3, 5016

13.  SS2/v/01

ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 3, 5048

14.  SS2/v/02

dnanše-kam / ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me

Sigrist, SAT 1, 149

15.  SS2/v/03

dnanše-kam / ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 3, 5068

16.  SS2/v/11

dnanše-kam / ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me / sagi-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 3, 5190

17.  SS2/v/14

dnanše-kam / ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me / sagi-me

Barton, HLC 3, 296 (pl. 128)

18.  SS2/v/20!

dnanše-kam / ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me / sagi-me

Lambert, TEL 40

19.  SS2/v/21

dnanše-kam / ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me / sagi-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 3, 5203

20.  SS2/v/22

dnanše-kam / ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me / sagi-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 1, 648

21.  SS2/v/23

dnanše-kam / ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me / sagi-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 2, 4141

22.  SS2/v/26

dnanše-kam / ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me / sagi-me

Sigrist, MVN 13, 381

23.  SS2/v/27

dnanše-kam / ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me / sagi-me

Lafont-Yildiz, TCTI 3, 6252

24.  SS2

lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki u3 lu2 mar-ha-šiki

BM 105359 (unpublished)

25.  No date

lu2 li2-ig-ri2-me

Charpin-Durand, DCS 64

26.  No date

lu2 li2-ig-ri2 / lu2 mar-ha-šiki / u3 lu2 a-LU3?-me

Limet, TSU 108 iv 13

 

lu2 li2-ig-ri2 / u3 lu2 mar-ha-šiki

Limet, TSU 108 vii 13

27.  No date

lu2 li2-ig-ri2

Jones-Snyder, SET 297 ii 4
(= ASJ 8, 343)

28.  No date

lu2 li-ig-riki-me-eš (Owen)

Unpublished YBC text in Yale

 

lu2 li-ig-riki-me-eš2 (Hallo, Michalowski)

(Hallo, RHA 36 [1978] 72 n.
16 = Owen, JCS 33 [1981] 255
= Michalowski in Weiss, Origins
of Cities, 146); text apparently
not mentioned in the catalogue
of the Yale tablets by M. Sigrist.

Several observations are possible from this list:

 

§4.  The two occurrences (nos. 1 and 28) of the writing of the toponym with LI rather than NI as initial sign confirm its reading as /Ligri/ or possibly /Likri/. Text no. 28 would appear to be the only writing with RI rather than URU as final sign (but this point requires confirmation).

 

§5.  The interesting place-name sequence: Huhnuri / Marhaši / Ligri in text no. 2 may indicate the approximate geographic horizon of the city of Ligri. Based on its Ligri / Marhaši association, this text is doubtless related to our nos. 24 and 26.

 

§6.  Most of these 28 documents evidently derive from a coherent archive of texts that covers a very short period, between the 23/xi/SS1 and the 27/v/SS2, with a majority of the tablets dated of the months iv and v of the year SS2. Ninety percent of the attestations of the place-name Ligriki (text nos. 2 through 23, 26) belong to this two-month archive of documents from Tello. These archival texts record daily food and beer distributions to the following individuals:

  • at the end of the year ss 1: lu2 hu-uh2-nu-riki / lu2 mar-ha-šiki / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki / lu2 a-LU3?-me (among several other beneficiaries) (text nos. 2 and 26);
  • in month iv of the year ss 2: ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me (text nos. 3 through 13);
  • on the 2nd and 3rd days of month v of the year ss 2: dnanše-kam / ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me (text nos. 14 and 15);
  • from the 11th to the 27th day of month v of the year ss 2: dnanše-kam / ša3-e2-gal-me / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki-me / sagi-me  (text nos. 16 through 23).

        Thus, one has the sense of a kind of delegation sent from Iran to the land of Sumer at the beginning of Shu-Suen’s reign that was supplemented with the addition of various individuals during the several weeks of its stay in Girsu. However, it is at present difficult to understand why certain individuals are associated with this delegation, including those designated with proper names (Nanše-kam, about whom nothing very precise can be said), with staff categories (ša3-e2-gal-me), with occupations (sagi-me) and with various city names (lu2+GNki). Only text no. 26 (a summary account spanning several columns, which is rather atypical among Tello tablets) might help us to better understand the context of this group of texts (see pp. 105-106 of H. Limet, TSU, where the various recipients are described). This tablet no. 26 probably comes from Tello (and not from Umma as proposed by its editor). It bears no date, but we can with some confidence propose a date in the same period as the other texts of the file (ss 1 or 2). This text registers among the recipients of food and beer: lu2 ligriki-me / lu2 marhašiki-me / lu2  a-LU3?-me / sagi-me / ša3-e2-gal-me. The very substantial measures of grain products distributed to the three first categories should be underscored: 24 gur of kaš sig5, 176 gur of kaš DU, 71 gur of ninda šu, 127 gur of ninda DU and so on (TSU 108 iv 8-12).

 

§7.  Reference no. 24 is the only text of this list that evidently comes from Umma. It was sealed by lu2-eb-gal / dub-sar / dumu ur-gi6-par4 / gudu4 dinanna, an official well attested at Umma precisely between the years ss 1 and 3 (see R. Mayr, unpublished dissertation, Leiden, 1997). This text also records the distribution of rations, closing with the expression (ll. 4-7): sa2-du11 dug-utul2 gal-gal / lu2 li2-ig-ri2ki / u3 lu2 mar-ha-šiki / giri3 ur4-ša3-ta-lu2. Since it is dated to ss 2, it must clearly be added to our file. It might represent a record of the delegation’s stopover at Umma during its journey to or from Girsu.

 

§8.  Ultimately, we must wonder why, aside from this group of texts covering less that 6 months, the Iranian city of Ligri is attested so rarely in the Sumerian documentation of the second half of the 3rd millennium. If our speculation of a possible Iranian delegation is correct, this toponym might represent a city that has entered the written record with but this singular diplomatic gesture to Girsu.

 

§9.  From an archiving point of view, and with an eye toward the problem of the distribution of Tello’s administrative tablets among museums and collections around the world, it can be stated that of this coherent text group, which must have been originally collected in a unique place, 19 tablets went to Istanbul, two to Pennsylvania, one to the British Museum in London, and one to Brussels (the large account tablet of 10+4 columns).

 


Version: 11 September 2002