Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin
2013:002
ISSN 1540-8760
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Of Dogs and (Kennel)Men

David I. Owen <dio1@cornell.edu>
Cornell University


Keywords
Cuneiform, antiquities market, Ur III, Drehem, dog


 

§1. Introduction
§1.1. The recent article by C. Tsouparopoulou (2012) on the role of dogs at Drehem and in the army during the Ur III period brings to the fore additional interesting insights into both the Ur III military organization (recently Lafont 2009) and the various roles that certain military officials played in the administration of canines at Puzriš-Dagan (Drehem) and other sites in Sumer. The article also reveals the potential limitations imposed by evidence coming primarily from a single site, in this case Puzriš-Dagan, and how new evidence, unfortunately today mostly from unprovenienced sources, enhances greatly our understanding of the existing evidence. It also calls into question the rigid position that some scholars maintain by refusing to consider unprovenienced[1] evidence for their research.[2] The following comments based entirely on unprovenienced data, which are excluded from consideration by these individuals, reveal the haplessness of their reasoning.

 

§1.2. The publication of 1159 mostly unprovenienced texts, the great majority from the city of Irisaĝrig/Āl-Šarrākī (Owen 2013[3]) and environs follows upon the publication and elaboration of ca. 1400 texts, all unprovenienced, from Garšana (Owen & Mayr 2007; Kleinerman & Owen 2009; Heimpel 2009; Owen 2011)[4] that provided substantial new and often unique data for the Ur III period. The texts from Irisaĝrig/Āl-Šarrākī are doing no less. Among the latter, and directly relevant to the role of canines[5] in Ur III society, are those texts that document the care and feeding of palace dogs by dog handlers/kennelmen at Irisaĝrig/Āl-Šarrākī. Following upon the publication of Nisaba 15 (Owen 2013), the following observations can now be offered.

 

§2. The Evidence
§2.1. Dog Handler/Kennelman (sipa ur-gi7-ra)
There are seven dog handlers known now from the Irisaĝrig/Āl-Šarrākī texts. None is attested in other sources as a dog handler/kennelman or serving in any other capacity in the ration distribution texts (“messenger texts”) at Irisaĝrig/Āl-Šarrākī. All of the names are Semitic and, except for Puzur-KU(-ku?; MVN 11, 175 obv. 4 and seal), all names appear in the Ur III corpus for the first time. The following chart lists named dog handlers/kennelmen so far attested in the Ur III corpus but who are documented primarily for three cities—Āl-Šarrākī, Girsu, and Puzriš-Dagan (see also Tsouparopoulou 2012: 12-15). With few exceptions, the individual dog handlers/kennelmen are mentioned infrequently by name. At Puzriš-Dagan Ilum-ba-ni can be documented over a twenty-five year period. He was followed by Iš-me-ilum and Puzur-Enlil, the latter two having overlapped their predecessors at Puzriš-Dagan. Although there are overlapping positions among the dog handlers/kennelmen, there seems to have been only a single individual in charge of the dogs at any one extended period. At Irisaĝrig/Āl-Šarrākī the sequence appears to have been Šu-Nabar → Puzur-Šulal → Puzur-Ku(-ku?) → Puzur-Šulal → Epine → Iku-me/išar → Irdum-alsin → Ikume/išar → Rima. Their basic daily rations at Iri-Saĝrig/ Āl-Šarrākī were two liters of soup/stew (tu7). Aside from two single references from Umma, it is worth noting that dog handlers/kennelmen are not documented by name at any of the other major cities in Sumer.

 

name city sipa date(s) sources
A-ta2-na-aḫ Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 5 iv 19 MVN 11, 152 obv.
Ad-da Girsu ur-gi7 AS 5 viii 14 MVN 19, 42 obv.
  Girsu ur-gi7 AS 5 ? ? MVN 19, 43 obv.
  Girsu ur-gi7 ? v 30 Santag 7, 182 obv.
Dan-a-bu Girsu ur-ra AS 3 xi - BAOM 2, 29 52 obv.
Dan-dŠul-gi Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 1 iii - BIN 3, 520 obv. 4
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 1 v - CST 229 obv. 3
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 4 viii 22 OIP 121, 499 obv.
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 5 vi ? OIP 121, 501 obv.
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 6 iv 10 ASJ 7, 123 14
E2-a-ba-ni Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 5 ix - OIP 121, 54 obv.
En-um-E2-a uncertain ur-gi7-ra Š 47 -- Hirose 402 obv. 3
E-pi-ne(2)[6] Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7 e2-gal ŠS 8 iii - Nisaba 15, 451
  Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra IS 2 v 23 Nisaba 15, 774
I-ku-me/mi-šar Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra IS 1 i 6 Nisaba 15, 557
  Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra IS 1 i 20’ Nisaba 15, 561
  Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra IS 1 i ? Nisaba 15, 563
  Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra IS 1 vi 14 Nisaba 15, 596
  Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra IS 1 vi 20 Nisaba 15, 598
  Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra IS 1 vi 24 Nisaba 15, 599
  Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra IS 1 vi 28 Nisaba 15, 600
  Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra IS 1 x 30 Nisaba 15, 630
I3-li2-a-ti Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 5 x 17 PPAC 4, 96 obv. 5
Ilum-ba-ni Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra Š 28 xii - MVN 15, 242 obv.
  Puzriš-Dagan ur Š 43 i - OIP 115, 295 obv.
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra Š 43 v - Orient 16, 40 4 obv.
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra Š 43 v - MVN 11, 184 obv.
  Puzriš-Dagan ur Š 43 ix - PDT 1, 30 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra Š 44 ii 11 OIP 115, 232 obv.
  Puzriš-Dagan ur Š 44 iii - TCS 1, 69 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur Š 44 v - OIP 115, 301 obv. 5
  Puzriš-Dagan ur Š 44 vii - CST 70 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra Š 45 viii - TRU 276 obv. 7
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra Š 45 viii - MVN 13, 127 obv. 12
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra Š 46 ii - TCS 1, 120 obv. 5
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra Š 46 iii 29 MVN 2, 114 obv. 33
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra Š 46 vi - PDT 2, 1065 obv. 8
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra Š 46 viii 4 PDT 1, 467 rev. 9
  Puzriš-Dagan ur Š 47 i - Aegyptus 19, 235 2 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur Š 47 ii - MVN 8, 102 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur Š 47 ii - BPOA 6, 578 obv. 7
  Puzriš-Dagan ur Š 47 vii - OIP 115, 313 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7 Š 47 viii 29 AUCT 2, 194 obv. 3
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra Š 47 viii - NYPL 321 obv. 5
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7 Š 47 ix - MVN 13, 645 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur Š 47 xi 26 MVN 15, 314 obv. 7
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra Š 47 xi - Aegyptus 19, 235 1 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra Š 48 viii - Princeton 2, 132 obv. 8
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra Š 48 ix - MVN 2, 160 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra Š 48 xi - AUCT 1, 331 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 1 i - BPOA 7, 2656 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 1 iii - BIN 3, 520 obv. 3
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 1 v - CST 229 obv. 3
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 2iv - BPOA 6, 82 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 2 x 30 SAT 2, 724 rev. iii 43, v 16
  Puzriš-Dagan ur AS 2 x - MVN 8, 132 obv. 7
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 2 x - MVN 8, 102 orev. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 3 iii 27 MVN 11, 184 obv. 33
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 3 x 30 BIN 3, 68 obv. 9
I3-na-ze2-er Girsu ur -ii - ITT 3, 4926 obv. 4
Ir-du-um-al-si-in Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra IS 1 iii - Nisaba 15, 625 obv. 6
Iš-me-ilum Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 3 xii - TRU 330 obv. 8[7]
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 4 viii - BCT 1, 92 obv. 4
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 4 viii - BCT 1, 93 obv. 3
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 4 viii - MVN 13, 476 obv. 4
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 5 iii - PDT 1, 439 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 5 vi 26 PPAC 4, 93 obv. 3
Ku-ul-ti Girsu ur ŠS 8 ii 18 MVN 2, 149 rev. 8
  Girsu ur ŠS 8 ii 28 MVN 2, 93 obv. 3
  Girsu ur ŠS 8 ix 27 Berens 56 obv. 6
Ku5-da Girsu ur-gi7 AS 5 viii 14 MVN 19, 42 obv. 3
  Girsu ur-gi7 AS 5 ? ? MVN 19, 43 obv. 3
  Girsu ur-gi7 ? v 30 Santag 7, 182 obv. 3
La-la Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 7 vi 28 PDT 2, 869 obv. 3
Lu2-dingir-ra Umma ur ? -- Rochester 157 obv. 32
Lugal-ur2-ra-ni Puzriš-Dagan ur Š 35 vii - Nisaba 8, 118 obv. 2
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 5 xi - PDT 1, 114 obv. 3
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 6 ix - Rochester 63 obv. 3
  Puzriš-Dagan sipa [?] -- SmithC 38 34 obv. 13
Na-ra-ma-da Umma ur-ra --- TCS 1, 130 obv. 3
Puzur4-dEn-lil2 Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 7 i - AUCT 2, 89 obv. 9
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 7 xii - TRU 333 obv. 6
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 8 xii - BAOM 6, 136 288 obv. 3
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ŠS 5 xii - BIN 3, 243 obv. rev. 23
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ŠS 6 -- MVN 3, 271 obv. 3
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ŠS 8 i - Aegyptus 19, 236 6 obv. 4
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ŠS 8 vi - PDT 1, 409 obv. 8
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ŠS 8 vii - SACT 1, 178 obv. 4
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ŠS 8 xii 12 UDT 171 obv. 4-5
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ŠS 9 iii - MVN 13, 89 obv. 4
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ŠS 9 ix - PDT 1, 7 obv. 4
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ŠS 9 x - AUCT 1, 224 obv. 4
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ŠS 9 xii 29 SET 99 obv. rev. ii, 1
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ŠS 9 xii 29 SET 99 obv. rev. iii, 1
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ? -- PDT 1, 515 obv. vii,12
Puzur4-eš18-dar Girsu ur-gi7-re ? v 18 DoCu 343 obv. 7
  Umma ur-gi7-ra ? -24 SET 247 obv. 6
  Girsu ur-gi7 ? ? ? AuOr 16, 210 29 obv. 6
Puzur4-KU(-ku?)[8] Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra ŠS 4 vii Nisaba 15, 283 obv. 7
Puzur4-dŠu-lal Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra ŠS 3 xii 30 Nisaba 15, 258 obv. 6
  Āl-šarrākī ur ŠS 7 x - Nisaba 15, 420 obv. 7, seal
Rim-ma Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7-ra IS 2 x 21 Nisaba 15, 855 obv. 15
Ša3-ku3-lum Girsu ur-ra ? -- TCTI 2, 2807 obv. 23
Šu-Na-ba-ar Āl-šarrākī ur-gi7 ŠS 3 i - Nisaba 15, 229 obv. 7
Šar-ru-um-ba-ni Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 1 ix - ASJ 7, 123 15 obv. 3
Šu-i3-li2 Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 1 xii 1 PDT 2, 825 obv. 3
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 3 xi 28 SACT 1, 147 obv. 8
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 3 xii - TRU 330 obv. 13[9]
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 4 xii 25 SACT 1, 190 obv. rev. ii,10
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 4 xi 8 Tavolette 241 obv. 4
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 8 iii 26 Princeton 2, 106 obv. 14
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 8 iv - BIN 3, 188 obv. 3
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 8 x - MVN 13, 543 obv. 3
Šu-La-lum Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ŠS 2 xii - PDT 1, 346 obv. rev. 45
Šu-Me-me Girsu ur-gi7 ? viii - MVN 19, 66 obv. 3
  Girsu ur-gi7 -ix - TUT 227 obv. 4
Tul2-ta Girsu ur --- MVN 7, 150 obv. 2
Ur-nigar Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra Š 47 -- SA 49 obv. 3 (pl. 5)
Ur-[sanga] Umma ur-gal ? -- UTI 5, 3188 obv. xi 11'
Wi-me Girsu ur-ra ? ix - MVN 2, 278 obv. ii,9’
Wi-mu Girsu ur-gi7 ? vi 8 TUT 230 obv. 4
  Girsu ur-gi7 ? ? ? AuOr 16, 210 29 obv. 5
Zi-im-zi-la-aḫ Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra AS 3 iii - SAT 2, 742 obv. 5
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-ra AS 5 vii 4 ASJ 4, 66 12 obv. 3
  Puzriš-Dagan ur-gi7-ra ? ? ? PDT 2, 1105 obv. 2’
Zu-ḫu-ti Girsu ur-gi7 ? viii - MVN 19, 66 obv. 4
  Girsu ur-gi7 -ix - TUT 227 obv. 4

 

§2.2. Palace dogs (ur-gi7 e2-gal)[10]

ur-gi7 e2-gal, Nisaba 15, 283 obv. 6 (tablet & envelope); 420 obv. 6; 451 obv. 5; 718 rev. 10. All references to dogs in this archive are to palace dogs.

§2.3. Types of dogs

a. ur-gi7-munus, “female mastiff ,” Nisaba 15, 54 obv. 2, 420 obv. 1 b. ur-gi7-nita2, “male mastiff ,” Nisaba 15, 54 obv. 1, 420 obv. 2

(obv. 1.) 15 ur-gi7-munus (2.) 2 [ur-gi7]-nita2 (3.) ninda-[bi 2 sila3-ta] (4.) u4 1-kam u4 30–še3 (5.) |ŠU+LAGAB| 3 gur (6.) ša3-gal ur-gi7 e2-gal (rev. 1.) puzur4-dšu-lal sipa ur<-gi7-ra> (2.) šu ba-ti, Nisaba 15, 420 obv.

No other qualification of dogs appears in the archive. The general identification of dogs of this period is “mastiff “ but there is no consensus as to the actual breed involved.[11]

§2.4. Feeding of dogs[12]

a. meat (sheep and oxen carcases)[13]

(obv. 1.) 1 ad7 udu (2.) u4 1-kam u4 30-še3 (3.) ad7 udu-bi 30 (4.) ša3-gal ur-gi7-ra (5.) [i-ku-me]-šar sipa ur-ra (6.) [šu ba]-ti (rev. 1.) ugula i3-lal3-lum,[14] Nisaba 15, 64

(obv. 1.) 2 ad7 udu (2.) u4 1-kam u4 30-še3 (3.) ad7-udu-bi 60 (4.) 3 ad3 gu4 (5.) 10 ad7 šaḫ2 (rev. 1.) ša3-gal ur-gi7 e2-gal (2.) puzur4-KU sipa ur-gi7 (3.) šu ba-ti (4.) ugula nir-i3-da-ĝal2,[15] Nisaba 15, 283

b. bread[16]

(obv. 1.) 11 ur-gi7-nita2 (2.) 1 ur-gi7-munus (3.) 2 sila3 ninda-ta (4.) ninda-bi 24 sila3 (5.) ninda-bi u4 30-še3 (6.) |ŠU+LAGAB| 2.2.0. gur ninda (rev. 1.) ša3-gal ur-gi7-ra i-ku-me-šar sipa ur-ra (2.) šu ba-ti (3.) ugula i3-lal3-lum, Nisaba 15, 54

c. grapes[17]

(rev. iv 2.) 1.0.0 geštin gur (3.) ša3-gal ur-gi7-ra-še3 (blank space) (4.) zi-ga gar-gar-a (5.) šu-ma-ma agrig, Nisaba 15, 56

d. generic fodder

a. u4 ša3-gal ur-gi7-ra-še3 im-gen-na-a, “when he [i.e. ur-dnanše lu2 kin-gi4-a-lugal ] came for fodder for the dog(s),” 1 Nisaba 15, 726 obv. 18

b. u4 šà-gal ur-gi7-ra-še3 im-gen-na-a, “when he [i.e. rim-ma sipa ur-gi7-ra] came for fodder for the dog(s),” Nisaba 15, 855 obv. 16

§2.5. Offerings for dogs[18]

(1.) 1 a-gam NE-[x] (2.) sa2-du11 ur-gi7-ra (3.) ki ur-mes ensi2-ta (4.) a2-pil-la-ša (5.) šu ba-ti, Nisaba 15, 532

§2.6. Work assignments for dog handlers/kennelmen[19]

a. u4 ur-gi7-ra-še3 im-gen-na-a, “when he [i.e. i-kume-šar sipa ur-gi7-ra] came for the dog(s),” Nisaba 15, 596 obv. 26, 597 obv. 40, 598 obv. 30, 599 obv. 33, 600 obv. 36

b. u4 ur-gi7-ra-še3 im-gen-na-a, “when he [i.e., e-pi-ne2 sipa ur-gi7-ra] came for the dog(s),” Nisaba 15, 774 obv. 20

§2.7. Gathering of dogs by dog handlers/kennelmen

a. u4 ur-gi7-ra-še3 im-gen-na-a, “when he [i.e. i-kume-šar sipa ur-gi7-ra] came for the dog(s),” Nisaba 15, 596 obv. 26, 597 obv. 40, 598 obv. 30, 599 obv. 33, 600 obv. 36

b. u4 ur-gi7-ra-še3 im-gen-na-a, “when he [i.e. e-pi-ne2 sipa ur-gi7-ra] came for the dog(s),” Nisaba 15, 774 obv. 20

§2.8. Rations for dog handlers/kennelmen

a. soup/stew[20]

(1.) 2 sila3 tu7 (2.) u4 1-kam u4 30-še3 (3.) tu7-bi 0.1.0 (4.) šukur2 i-ku-mi-šar sipa ur-gi7-ra-ka, Nisaba 15, 630

§3. Conclusions
What then can we conclude from these new data and how do they add to the study of Tsouparopoulou? For one, they substantiate that dogs also play an important military role in Ur III society. W. Heimpel (1972-1975) and P. Mander (1994: 314[21]) showed that they functioned also as guards, presumably at palaces, in various cities and towns. In addition, they were surely used for hunting. However, neither of these functions is explicitly recorded in the Ur III sources so far available. While the Puzriš-Dagan canine sources often are associated with military functions, they also provide additional data on canines to be treated by Tsouparopoulou (2012: 1 n. 2) at a later date. Thus, the new data, emanating as they do from sources devoid of archaeological context (as are all the Puzriš-Dagan texts!), nevertheless demonstrate all the more the importance of incorporating pertinent evidence regardless of when, where or even how this evidence was obtained. A policy that disregards essential data, excluded after some arbitrary date imposed by a patently political body and enforced by academic censorship, is objectionable to scholarship and should be rejected outright. Tsouparopoulou has provided an important contribution to our understanding of the use of canines in Ur III society based entirely on unprovenienced sources. One can only hope that her future contributions will not be marred by the exclusion of similar sources that have appeared after some politically imposed date.

 


 

Bibliography

 

Brunke, Hagan
2008 Essen in Sumer Metrologie, Herstellung und Terminologie nach Zeugnis der Ur III-zeitlichen Wirtschaftsurkunden. Munich: Herbert Utz Verlag
Heimpel, Wolfgang
1972-1975 “Hund.” RlA 4, 494-497
2009 Workers and Construction Work in Garšana. CUSAS 5. Bethesda: CDL Press
Kleinerman, Alexandra & Owen, David I.
2009 An Analytical Index to the Garšana Archives. CUSAS 4. Bethesda: CDL Press
Lafont, Bertrand
2009 “The Army of the Kings of Ur. The Textual Evidence.” CDLJ 2009/5.
Mander, Pietro
1994 An Archive of Kennelmen and Other Workers in Ur III Lagash. IUOA 54, suppl. 80. Naples: Istituto universitario orientale
Owen, David I.
2013 Cuneiform Texts Primarily from Iri-Saĝrig/Āl-Šarrākī and the History of the Ur III Period. Nisaba 15/1-2. Bethesda: CDL Press
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Owen, David I., ed.
2011 Garšana Studies. CUSAS 6. Bethesda: CDL Press
Owen, David I. & Rudolf H. Mayr
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Steinkeller, Piotr
1993 “Early Political Development in Mesopotamia and the Origins of the Sargonic Empire.” In Liverani, M., ed. Akkad, the first World Empire. Padua: Sargon
Tsouparopoulou, Christina
2008 "The Material Face of Bureaucracy: Writing, Sealing and Archiving Tablets for the Ur III State at Drehem" PhD Dissertation, University of Cambridge
2012 “The “K-9 Corps” of the Third Dynasty of Ur: The Dog Handlers at Drehem and the Army.” ZA 102, 1-16


Version: 26 October 2013