The tablet BM 15956 (96, 6-12-176)1 belongs to a group of
texts from Girsu characterized by the technical term nig2-ka9-aka,
“(balanced) account,” of PN. There is another term that is peculiar to
this category of texts: ša3-bi-ta that divides the former
section of the balanced accounts, dedicated to the incomes, from the
latter one that records the withdrawals. As a matter of fact, ša3-bi-ta
does not appear in our tablet, but it is likely that it was mentioned
in the initial break of the text, preceded by the amount of oil to be
delivered. On the basis of this hypothesis and the comparison with the
other texts of the group that will be published by F. D’Agostino and F.
Pomponio, The Texts ša3-bi-ta from Girsu in the British
Museum (=Nisaba 7; Messina 2005)2, we present the following
transliteration of the tablet, including a reconstruction of the first
|| [1(barig) 1(ban2) 4(diš) sila3
|| [74 ‘liters’ of vegetable oil,
|| [4(ban2) 6(diš)] ´sila3` i3-geš
||  ‘liters’ of vegetable oil, as delivery(?),
|| giri3 gu3-de2-a
|| conveyor: Gudea;
|| 1(ban2) 9(diš) 1/2(diš) sila3
|| 19 1/2 ‘liters’: conveyor Šu-Ešdar.
|| |ŠU+LAGAB| 1(barig) ´5(diš) 1/2(diš) sila3`
|| Total: 65 1/2 ‘liters’ of vegetable oil, as delivery.
|| si-i3-tum 8(diš) 1/2(diš) sila3
|| Remainder: 8 1/2 ‘liters’ of vegetable oil:
|| nig2-ka9-aka dba-ba6-zi-mu
|| Balanced account of Baba-zimu,
|| giri3 šu-eš18-dar
|| conveyor: Šu-Ešdar.
|| ´iti` še-KIN-ku5
|| Month: “harvest” (11th month),
|| [mu] ´ma2`- gur8-´mah` [...]
|| Year: “the processional boat [(was caulked)]” (ŠS 8).
If our interpretation is correct, this text records an amount
of vegetable oil with two withdrawals, each with a different conveyor.
The total, as well as perhaps the former issue, is defined “delivery”
(mu-DU), a term that in the balanced accounts of Girsu seems to
characterize a type of “withdrawals,” used in parallel, but distinct
from the term zi-ga, “expenditure.” After the total of the two
deliveries, the “remainder,” indicated as si-i3-tum, instead
of the normal la2-NI, is calculated. The name that follows,
Mutum-ilum, should be that of the official to whom this remainder is
due. The term “(balanced) account of Baba-zimu” defines our tablet and
it mentions the author of its compilation. A conveyor, who is the same
conveyor of the latter amount of the issued oil, is cited before the
date (month and year), in reference to the oil of the entire operation.
rev. 2. This personal name is unusual: it belongs to a
conveyor of an amount of barley, together with i-ri-ib-bu-um (MVN
3, 376 obv. 3, from Adab, without date) and to a “fugitive” mentioned
in a long roster from Girsu (CST 263 rev. i 11; AS 3).