Cuneiform Digital Library Notes
2012:005
A wine debt from Emar

Jerrold S. Cooper
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

A small (4.5 x 4 cm.) privately owned tablet, probably from Emar, records the repayment by a third party of a debt of wine. All of the PNN on the tablet are attested at Emar and Ekalte, but none of the father-son pairs is to be found in the data base of Emar PNN (Pruzsinszky 2003), nor could I find any in the Ekalte texts. The scribe, Ikun-Dagan, is not otherwise attested at Emar, but there is a scribe of that name at nearby Ekalte (Cohen 2009: 95). A vertical ruling creates a margin on the reverse, to the left of the witness list. The tablet is undated and not sealed.

Text 1:
obverse
 1.8 dughu-pu kaš-geštin
 2. hu-bu-ul-li
 3. ša 1a-wi-ri
 4. dumu hi2-ma-ši
 5. 1da-da
 6. dumu ab-di-diš-ha-ra
 7. dumu-meš zu-dda-gan
 8. dumu i-ri-ib-dda-gan
lower edge
 9. i-pu-ul-šu-nu
reverse
 1. igi ip-qi2-dda-gan
 2. dumu mil-ka-ma
 3. igi i-ku-dda-gan dub-sar
 4. igi dda-gan-ma
 5. dumu zi-ik-ri

   Eight hupu-jars of wine, the debt of Awiri son of Himaši, Dada son of Abdi-Išhara paid to the sons of Zu-Dagan son of Irib-Dagan.

   Witnesses: Ipqi-Dagan son of Milkama, Ikun-Dagan the scribe, Dagan-ma son of Zikri.

This unusual debt payable in jars of wine is paid off by a third party to the sons of a creditor, probably deceased. The hupu or hubu vessel at Emar is used for wine alongside the hizzibu vessel (Fleming 1992: 143f.). The hupu is the larger vessel, judging from the fact that it is generally listed first and in smaller quantities when it occurs together with the hizzibu, but it most likely is not the same as the huppum at Mari made from 12 mina of copper, which must have been very large indeed (Guichard 2005: 201). That the debt in our document is expressed in hupu-jars indicates that the hupu was standardized, as does the use of hupu to establish the amount of wine to be provided annually to the NIN.DINGIR-priestess at Emar (Fleming 1992 29:87). Note, as well, Emar 6/3, 364, where four hupu and three hizzibu of wine for one month, and eight hizzibu for a second month, are said to total ten hupu of wine, implying that the hupu is about twice the size of the hizzibu (11 hizzibu = 6 hupu, thus 1 hupu = 1.8 hizzibu). (As Arnaud [1986] notes, the numeral ten is written as 4+4+2, rather than the customary U. It might, then, be a misread numeral 8 [3+3+2], implying about a 3:1 ratio [4 hupu + 11 hizzibu = 8 hupu, so 11 hizzibu = 4 hupu, and 2.75 hizzibu = 1 hupu]).



BIBLIOGRAPHY

Arnaud, Daniel
1986Recherches au pays d'Aštata, Emar 6/3. Paris: Editions Recherche sur les Civilisations.
Cohen, Yoram
2009The Scribes and Scholars of the City of Emar in the Late Bronze Age. HSS 59. Winona Lake, IL: Eisenbrauns.
Flemming, Daniel E.
1992The Installation of Baal's High Priestess at Emar: A Window on Ancient Syrian Religion. HSS 42. Atlanta: Scholar's Source.
Guichard, Michael
2005La vaisselle de luxe des rois de Mari. ARM 31. Paris: Editions Recherche sur les Civilisations.
Pruzsinszky, Regine
2003Die Personennamen der Texte aus Emar. SCCNH 13. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press.
ISSN 1546-6566    © Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative | Posted: 15 January 2012