Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin
2017:001
ISSN 1540-8760
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Nine Unpublished Texts in the
Collection of the British Museum

Sergio Alivernini <alivernini@orient.cas.cz>
(Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)

Keywords
Sumerian, Ur III, administrative texts, British Museum


§1. Introduction[1]
§1.1.
The nine tablets published herewith are a part of a broader project entitled, “The Mathematical Knowledge During the III Dynasty of Ur in the Light of Administrative Records,” sponsored by the Gerda Henkel Foundation. Within the framework of this project, a research trip to the British Museum was undertaken, with the aim of identifying new material. The idea of the author was, at the beginning, to include these documents in a volume at the end of the project but, for various reasons, the project has been interrupted. In any case, the author hopes that an edition of new texts can be of use to his colleagues.

 

§2. Catalogue

No.BM NumberDateProvenienceContent
1.BM 12562 [–/–/–]unknownFragment; the text records measurements of agricultural fields.
2.BM 19683 AS 3/–/–GirsuThe fragment of the right upper part is divided into two columns and records works for building levees.
3.BM 19997[–/–/–]unknownText recording the field area and the number of trees in some orchards.
4.BM 23029Š 45/x/–GirsuReceipt for a barley loan (še ur5-ra) from Ur-NI received by Ur-niĝar; seal of Atu.
5.BM 23092Š 46/x/–GirsuSealed envelope of a receipt for a barley loan (še ur5-ra) from the warehouse of Ninḫursaĝ from Bazi; seal of Namḫani.
6.BM 102106AS 1/–/–GirsuBalanced account of barley to sow some agricultural field parcels.
7.BM 106079AS 6/–/–UmmaText recording maintenance work on agricultural fields; seal of Nimgir-ane, scribe, son of Inim-Šara.
8.BM 106101undatedUmmaText recording the quantity of earth to build the mud wall of Niĝ-lagar’s house (im-du8-a e2 niĝ2-lagar-ka).
9.BM 106102Š 42/–/–UmmaWorks inspection in some fields in the Kamari area; seal of Lugal-niĝ-lagare, scribe, son of Dada.

 

§3. Texts
§3.1.  BM 12562

Measurements: 3.1×2.4×2.4
Provenience: unknown
Date: –/–/–

 

§3.1.1.Transliteration and Translation

Obverse
Column 1
 1.[...] ki...
 2.[...] 5(iku) GAN2... 5 iku field area;
 3.[...] x [...]...
 rest broken
Column 2
 1.[...] ˹4(iku)? GAN2? ˺ [...]...
 2.1(eše3) 4(iku) GAN2 x [...]1 eše3 4 iku field area ...
 3.1(eše3) GAN2 [...]1 eše3 field area ...
 4.5(iku) GAN2 x [...]5 iku field area ...
 5.[...] ˹GAN2?˺... field area ...
 rest broken
Reverse
 broken

 

§3.2.  BM 19683
Measurements: 4.2×3.6×2.3
Provenience: Girsu
Date: AS 3/–/–

 

§3.2.1.Transliteration and Translation

Obverse
Column 1
 1.a2-pa5 na-ba-sa2-taFrom the side of the Nabasacanal:
 2.1.30 ninda gid2 1 kuš3 dagal 1 kuš3 sukud90 ninda the length, 1 cubit the width, 1 cubit the height,
 3.a-ša3 7 1/2 sarthe volume 7 1/2 sar;
 4.˹1.00 ninda˺ gid2 1 kuš3 dagal 2 kuš3 sukud60 ninda the length, 1 cubit the width, 2 cubits the height,
 5.a-ša3 20 sarthe volume: 20 sar;
 6.a-pi4-sal4 x [...]Apisal ...;
 rest broken
Column 2
 1.20 [...]20 ...
 2.a-ša3 [...]the volume ...
 3.12 x [...]12 ...
 4.a [...]...
 5.˹a ˺ [...]...
 rest broken
Reverse
Column 1
 beginning broken
 1'.[...]...
 2'.n [...]n ...
 3'.n [...]n ...
 4'.a2 [...-ta]from the side of ...
Column 2
 beginning broken
 1'.55 ninda gid2 ˹1 kuš3˺ [dagal] 1 kuš3 ˹sukud˺ 55 ninda the length, 1 cubit the width, 1 cubit the height;
 2'.a-ša3 4 1/2 sar 5 gin2the volume 4 1/2 sar, 5 shekels.
 3'.e a-ša3 pirig-tur-gin7-DU-še3For a levee in the field Pirigtur-gin-DU.
 blank space
 4'.šuniĝin 8.50 ninda gid2 Total: 530 ninda the length.
 5'.šuniĝin 1.58 1/2 sar kin sahar ˹u3˺ u2-sag11 Total: 118 1/2 sar the activity for earthwork and reed bundle for barges.
 6'.e a-ša3 lugal-mussasa2 gaba a-geštin-na-kaThe levee of the Lugal-mussa field that is in front of A-geštin field.
 7'.e ki-sumun-na gid2-dahas been measured up to the levee of a plot with poor soil?;
 8'.ugula sanga ddumu-zi u3 sanga dnin-DAR-athe foremen (are) the chief adminstrator of (the temple of) Dumuzi and the chief administrator of (the temple of) Nin-DARa.
Left Edge
 1.mu gu-za den-lil2-la2 ba-[dim2]Year: The throne of Enlil was fashioned.

 

§3.2.2. The text, even if it is considerably broken, records, in the preserved part of the obverse, the earth to be removed from the side of the Nabasa canal, by measuring its length, width and height and calculating the total volume. The expression “a2-pa5” (obv. i 1) never appears in the texts of Ur III, but the meaning is clear. Parallel texts, recording work to be done on canals and recording the length, width, and height are RTC 412 (Girsu, AS 3/-/-) and ASJ 13, 225 71 (Girsu, undated). In the preserved part of the reverse, length, width, and height are recorded, together with the calculation of volume, for the construction of a levee in a field whose name is damaged. Moreover, the total sum of earth and reeds[2] to be used for building a levee in the field Lugal-mussa located in front of the field A-geštin is recorded. In the lower edge, the expression ki sumun has an unknown meaning; K. Maekawa (1992: 198) suggests that it could mean “plots with poor soil.” The expression is attested about fifty times, and it is documented in almost all cases in Girsu, although there are other attestations from Garšana (CUSAS 3, 1362; IS 2/i/–), Irisagrig (Nisaba 15/2, 462; ŠS 8/–/–), Umma (PPAC 5, 1646; date broken) and Ur (UET 3, 1367; ŠS 9/x/–).

 

§3.3.  BM 19997
Measurements: 11×7.2×3.2
Provenience: unknown
Date: –/–/–

 

§3.3.1. Transliteration and Translation

Obverse
Column 1
 1.1(iku) 1/4 (iku) GAN2 ĝeškiri61 1/4 iku the surface (of the) orchard;
 2.2.20 ĝešĝešnimbar(there are) 140 date palms;
 3.ug3-IL2 nu-ĝeškiri6 UgIL the (responsible) orchardist;
 4.a-ru-a lu2-dnanna dumu ur-ur ex-voto of Lu-Nanna son of Ur-ur;
 5.ugula ab-ba-gu-lathe foreman Abba-gula.
 6.2(iku) 1/2(iku) GAN2 ka-a-DU2 1/2 iku the surface (of the) irrigation-inlet-plot;
 7.3(iku) 1/2(iku) GAN2 ki-ĝal23 1/2 iku the surface (of) uncultivated land;
 8.3.53 ĝešĝešnimbar233 date palms
 9.1.00 ĝešĝešnimbar u2 du11-ga60 date palms (which have been) cut down;
 10.25.43 <ḪAR>-lam ĝešu3-suḫ5 1543 “ḪARlam” objects of pine trees;
 11.7.10 ḪAR ĝešḫašḫur430 “ḪAR” objects of apple trees;
 12.12 ḪAR ĝešpeš312 “ḪAR” objects of pear trees;
 13.<...> ḪAR ĝešše-du10 gid2... “ḪAR” objects of long junipers;
 14.20 la2 2 ĝešmes gid218 “ḪAR” objects of long boxwood trees;
 15.7 ĝešgiparx(PAR4)7 mulberry trees;
 16.15 ḪAR ĝeššinig gid215 “ḪAR” objects of long tamarisk;
 17.nimgir-KA-gi-na(the responsible gardener:) Nimgir-KAgina;
 18.ĝeškiri6 amar-sun2-zi-daorchard (of) Amar-sunzida.
 19.10 sar GAN2 ĝešĝešnimbar10 sar the surface of date palms;
 20.16 ĝešĝešnimbar(there are) 16 date palms;
 21.lu2-KA-ni gu-za-la2(responsible is) LuKAni, the throne-bearer;
 22.ĝeškiri6 a-diri e2-he2-ĝal2 unu3orchard Adiri (of) E-heĝal, the herdsman;
 23.˹ugula?˺ den-lil2-la2the foreman(?) Enlila;
Column 2
 Almost totally blank. The number 8 (OB form) is written in the lower part. The number 3 is written in the center.
Reverse
 blank space

 

§3.3.2. The text records the sizes of gardens and the number of their trees, although formulations at the end of the text (ĝeškiri6 gid2-da, ĝeš šid-da) are missing. It records the extent, composition, and presence of trees in two orchards, probably designated by the name of a person; for one in particular it is specified that he is a herdsman (unu3). The first orchard is divided into two parcels, each under the responsibility of an orchardist: UgIL and Nimgir-KAgina. The parcel under the responsibility of UgIL measures 4,500 m2 of land cultivated as a date palm grove with 140 date palms. The land is defined as ex-voto of Lu-Nanna, son of Ur-ur, under the supervision of Abba-gula, whose title is not specified (possibly a šandana). The second, larger parcel consists of 9,000 m2 of land defined as an “irrigation-inlet-plot” (ka-a-DU; see Greco 2015: 23) and 9,000 m2 of uncultivated land. In this parcel, under the responsibility of the orchardist Nimgir-KAgina, there are 233 (standing) date palms, 60 date palms which are already cut down (u2 du11-ga; see Attinger 1993: 733), 1543 objects <ḪAR>-lam[3] related to pine trees (ĝešu3-suh5), 430 objects ḪAR linked to apple trees (ĝešhašhur), 12 objects ḪAR related to pear trees (ĝešpeš3), an unspecified number of objects ḪAR linked with junipers, 18 box trees (both qualified as “long,” gid2), seven trees called ĝešgiparx (perhaps mulberry trees), 15 objects ḪAR linked to tamarisk, also qualified as being long. The second orchard, whose dimensions are below the average, measures 360 m2, with 16 date palms, is attributed to the responsibility of the throne-bearer Lu-KAni. The mention of the orchard is probably followed by an indication of the supervisor, Enlila, who could be a “šandana” of the city Nigin (in older literature Nina).

 

§3.4.  BM 23029
Measurements: 11×7.2×3.2
Provenience: Girsu
Date: –/–/–

 

§3.4.1. Transliteration and Translation

Obverse
 1.2;0.4 še gur lugal2 gur 4 ban2 barley, (measured in) royal (gur)
 blank space
 2.še ur5-ra-še3as a barley loan
 3.ki ur-NI-tafrom UrNI,
Reverse
 1.ur-˹niĝar˺Ur-niĝar
 2.˹šu ba˺-tihas received;
 3.[kišib3] a-tusealed by Atu;
 blank space
 4.iti amar-a-a-simonth: “Amara’si,”
 5.mu ur-bi2-lumki ba-ḫulyear: “Urbilum was destroyed.”

 

§3.4.2. This simple text records a barley loan.[4] The name Ur-NI is very rare in Girsu;[5] it is documented only five times and never in connection with loans.

 

§3.5.  BM 23092
Measurements: 4×3.4×2.4
Provenience: Girsu
Date: Š 46/x/

 

§3.5.1. Transliteration and Translation

Obverse
 1.13;4.0 še gur lugal13 gur 4 barig of barley, (measured in) royal (gur),
 2.še ur5-ra engar nu-banda3-<gu4>barley loan for the plowmen of the oxen overseer
 seal impression
 3.i3-dub dnin-ḫur-saĝ-tafrom the warehouse of Ninhursaĝ,
 4.ki ba-zi-tafrom Bazi,
 5.mu ma-an-šum2-<še3>instead of Manšum
Reverse
 1.kišib3 nam-ḫa-nisealed by Namḫani,
 2.šeš-a-nahis brother;
 3.e2 nam-ḫa-nihousehold of Namḫani;
 seal impression
 4.iti amar-a-a-simonth: “Amara’si,”
 5.mu ki-maški ba-ḫulyear: “Kimaš was destroyed.”
Seal
 1.nam-[ḫa-ni]Namḫani,
 2.dub-[sar]scribe,
 3.[...]...

 

§3.5.2. The text records a barley loan to plowmen of an oxen overseer from the warehouse of Ninḫursaĝ. Barley loans from this warehouse are documented in Nisaba 13, 39, MVN 12, 239, and Nisaba 10, 68, dated to Š 47/x/–; these three documents support the addition of “gu4” in obv. 2. The barley loan documented in Nisaba 10, 68, comes from Bazi as well.

 

§3.6.  BM 102106
Measurements: 4×3.4×2.4
Provenience: Girsu
Date: Š 46/x/

 

§3.6.1. Transliteration and Translation

Obverse
 1.˹19˺;3.1 še gur lugal19 gur 3 barig 1 ban2 barley, (according to the) royal (measure),
 2.ki ur-dda-mu-tafrom Ur-Damu;
 3.21;2.4 ki ur-dlamma dumu lu2-dsuen-ta 21 gur 2 barig 4 ban2 from Ur-Lamma, son of Lu-Suen;
 blank space
 4.šuniĝin 41;0.5 še! gurtotal: 41 gur 5 ban2 barley;
 5.ša3-bi-tatherefrom:
 6.6(bur3) 1(eše3) 5(iku) GAN2 1;2.3-ta6 bur3 1 eše3 5 iku field area (sowed with) 1 gur 2 barig 3 ban2 each (bur3);
 7.3(bur3) 1(eše3) 3(iku) 1/4(iku) GAN2 1;3.1 5 sila3-ta 3 bur3 1 eše3 3 1/4 iku field area (sowed with) 1 gur 3 barig 1 ban2 5 sila3 each (bur3);
 8.1(bur’u) 2(bur3) 2(eše3) 3(iku) GAN2 1;4.0-ta1 bur’u, 2 bur3 2 eše3 3 iku field area (sowed with) 1 gur 4 barig each (bur3).
 9.še-bi 38;4.0 4 1/3 sila3 gurthe barley: 38 gur 4 barig 4 1/3 sila;
 10.mu-kux(DU)delivery;
Reverse
 1.lu2-x-[...] x Lu-...,
 2.da-da [dumu ur]-˹gu˺-laDada, son of Ur-gula;
 blank space
 3.a-ša3-maḫGreat Field;
 4.nig2-ka9-akbalanced account,
 blank space
 5.mu damar-dsuen lugalyear: “Amar-Suen is king.”

 

§3.6.2. The obverse of the tablet records a delivery (mu-kux) of barley to be used for sowing fields of various sizes. The indication on the origin of the text is given by Ur-Lamma son Lu-Suen who is only known in Girsu. In lines 6-8 of the obverse, the scribe recorded the quantities of barley for each “bur3” to be used for sowing the fields: the total sum of these three barley amounts is 38;4.0.4 1/3 sila3 2 1/2 gin2, in the “še-bi” entry in line 9 rounded to 38.4.0.4 1/3 sila3. The reverse of the tablet is partially broken, but the final colophon records that it is a “balanced account” (nig2-ka9-ak) related to the “great field” (a-ša3-maḫ).

 

§3.7.  BM 106079
Measurements: 12.1×8.2×2.4
Provenience: Umma
Date: AS 6/–/–

 

§3.7.1. Transliteration and Translation

Obverse
Column 1
 1.˹2(bur3) 1(iku) 1/2(iku) GAN2˺ ĝeš-˹ur3˺-[ra] a-ra2 1 4(iku) 1/2(iku) GAN2-[ta]2 bur3 1 iku 1/2 iku field area harrowing, 1 time, at 4 1/2 iku (a day),
 2.a2 eren2-na-bi u4 25its workers’ labor: 25 days;
 3.1/2(iku) 1/4(iku) GAN2 tug2-sagx(ŠE.KIN) 1/4(iku) GAN2-ta3/4 iku field area of tug-sag work at 1/4 iku (a day),
 4.a2 eren2-na-bi u4 3its workers’ labor: 3 days;
 5.˹iti˺ dalmonth: “Flight;”
 6.1(bur’u) 1(bur3) 1(eše3) 3(iku) GAN2 ĝeš-[ur3]-ra a-ra2 2 1(eše3) GAN2-[ta]1 bur’u 1 bur3 1 eše3 3 iku field area harrowing, 2 times, at 1 eše3 (a day),
 7.˹a2 eren2-na-bi u4˺ 3.27its workers’ labor: 207 days;
 8.3(bur3) 2(iku) 1/2(iku) GAN2 ĝeš-˹ur3-ra˺ a-ra2 3 1(eše3) GAN2-ta3 bur3 2 1/2 iku harrowing, 3 times, at 1 eše3 field area (a day),
 9.a2 eren2-na-bi u4 1.24 2/3its workers’ labor: 84 2/3 days;
 blank space
 10.a2 ĝeš-ur3-ralabor of harrowing;
 11.19.33 sar al 6 sar-[ta]1173 sar of hoeing, at 6 sar (a day),
 12.˹a2˺-bi u4 3.15 1/2its labor: 195 1/2 days;
 13.12.45 sar al 30 sar-ta765 sar of hoeing, at 30 sar (a day);
 14.a2-bi u4 25 1/2its labor: 25 1/2 days;
 15.30.20 sar u2kiši17 ku5 -ra2? 2(u) sar-ta1820 sar acacia cut at 20 sar (a day),
Column 2
 1.[a2-bi u4 1.31]its labor: 91 days;
 2.10.00 [... sar-ta]600+ at n sar (a day),
 3.a2-[bi u4 ...]its labor: n days;
 4.17.40 [... sar-ta]1060+ at n sar (a day),
 5.a2-bi u4 1.20 [...]its labor: 80+ days;
 6.4.30 sar u2kiši17 10 sar-ta270 sar: acacia at 10 sar (a day);
 7.a2-bi u4 27its labor: 27 days;
 8.1.03 sar u2kiši17 x 7 sar-ta63 sar acacia at 7 sar (a day);
 9.a2-bi u4 10 la2 1its labor: 9 days.
 10.12.22 1/2 sar al 15 sar-ta742 1/2 sar of hoeing at 15 sar (a day),
 11.a2-bi u4 49 1/2its labor: 49 1/2 days;
 12.20 sar nig2-gul 10 sar-ta 20 sar of pickaxing at 10 sar (a day),
 13.a2-bi u4 2its labor: 2 days;
 14.7.07 sar al 7 sar-ta427 sar of hoeing at 7 sar (a day),
 15.a2-bi u4 1.01its labor: 61 days;
 16.10.28 1/3 sar al 6 1/2 sar-ta628 1/3 sar at 6 1/2 sar (a day),
Reverse
Column 1
 1.[a2]-bi u4 1.36 2/3its labor: 96 2/3 days;
 2.38 1/2 sar al 5 1/2 [sar-ta]38 1/2 sar of hoeing at 5 1/2 sar (a day),
 3.a2-bi u4 7its labor: 7 days;
 4.4.52 1/2 sar al 5 ˹sar˺-[ta]292 1/2 sar of hoeing at 5 sar (a day),
 5.a2-bi u4 58 1/2its labor: 58 1/2 days;
 6.8 sar al 4 sar-ta8 sar of hoeing at 4 sar (a day),
 7.a2-bi u4 2its labor: 2 days;
 8.a2 lu2 huĝ-ĝa2 6 sila3-tawork of hirelings at 6 sila3 (a day);
 9.25 sar al 5 sar-ta25 sar of hoeing at 5 sar (a day),
 10.a2-bi u4 5its labor: 5 days;
 11.3.20 sar [al ...] 20 sar-ta200 sar of hoeing at 20 sar (a day),
 12.a2-bi u4 10its labor: 10 days;
 13.a2 ša3-gu4-kalabor of oxen drivers;
 seal impression
Column 2
 seal impression
 1.a-ša3-ge kin-akfield work done
 2.a-ša3 ka-ma-ri2(in the) field of Kamari;
 3.ugula ba-sa6foreman: Basa;
 4.kišib3 nimgir-an-ne2sealed by Nimgir-ane.
 seal impression
 6.˹mu˺ a-ra2 2-kam ša-[aš-ru]-umki ba-ḫulYear: Šašrum was destroyed for the 2nd time.
Seal
 1.nimgir-an-ne2Nimgir-ane,
 2.dub-sarscribe,
 3.dumu inim-dšara2son of Inim-Šara.

 

§3.7.2. This tablet records an agricultural labor team’s maintenance work on fields. The first section of the text (obv. i 1-10) records the number of workdays of work gangs for harrowing (a2 ĝeš-ur3-ra), while the second section (obv. i 11 – rev. i 13) records the amount of work-days for workers qualified as lu2 huĝ-ĝa2 and ša3-gu4 for hoeing (al). On obv. ii 12 of the obverse, the expression niĝ2-gul appears, which, according to K. Maekawa (1997: 126), is to be translated as “pickaxing.” The second column of the reverse indicates that the record describes fieldwork done (a-ša3-ge kin-ak) in the field of Kamari, and the foreman’s name.

 

§3.8.  BM 106101
Measurements: 11.2×5.2×2.1
Provenience: Umma
Date: undated

 

§3.8.1. Transliteration and Translation

Obverse
 1.1 1/2 ninda gid2 3 kuš3 dagal 2 kuš3 bur31 1/2 ninda the length, 3 cubits the width, 2 cubits the depth,
 2.a-ša3-bi 2/3 sar 5 gin2its volume: 2/3 sar 5 shekels;
 3.1/2 ninda 4 kuš3 gid2 4 kuš3 dagal 2 1/3 kuš3 bur3 1/2 ninda 4 cubits the length, 4 cubits the width, 2 1/3 cubits the depth,
 4.a-ša3-bi 2/3 sar la2 1 gin2its volume: 2/3 sar less 1 shekel;
 5.2 ninda gid2 4 kuš3 dagal 1 2/3 kuš3 bur3 2 ninda the length, 4 cubits the width, 1 2/3 cubits the depth,
 6.a-ša3-bi 1 sar 6 2/3 gin2its volume :1 sar 6 2/3 shekels;
 7.2 ninda gid2 4 kuš3 dagal 1 kuš3 bur32 ninda the length, 4 cubits the width, 1 cubit the depth,
 8.a-ša3-bi 2/3 sarits volume: 2/3 sar;
 9.3 1/2 ninda 3 kuš3 gid2 4 kuš3 dagal 2 kuš3 bur33 1/2 ninda 3 cubits the length, 4 cubits the width, 2 cubits the depth,
 10.a-ša3-bi 2 1/2 sarits volume: 2 1/2 sar;
 11.1/2 ninda 1 kuš3 gid2 2 2/3 kuš3 dagal 1 1/3 kuš3 bur3 1/2 ninda 1 cubit the length, 2 2/3 cubits the width, 1 1/3 cubits the depth,
 12.a-ša3-bi 10 1/3 gin2its volume: 10 1/3 shekels;
 13.1/2 ninda gid2 3 kuš3 dagal 2 kuš3 bur31/2 ninda the length, 3 cubits the width, 2 cubits the depth,
 14.a-ša3-bi 15 gin2its volume: 15 shekels;
 15.1/2 ninda gid2 3 kuš3 dagal 1 1/3 kuš3 bur3 1/2 ninda the length, 3 cubits the width, 1 1/3 cubits the depth,
 16.a-ša3-bi 10 gin2its volume: 10 shekels;
 17.1 1/2 ninda 2 kuš3 gid2 nu-ak 1 1/2 ninda 2 cubits the length; unfinished (measurements);
 18.1 ninda 1 kuš3 gid2 3 kuš3 dagal 1 2/3 kuš3 bur31 ninda 1 cubit the length, 3 cubits the width, 1 2/3 cubits the depth;
 19.a-ša3-bi 1/3 sar 7 gin2its volume 1/3 sar 7 shekels;
 20.8 gin2 DUB-la28 shekels DUBla;
Reverse
 blank space
 1.šuniĝin 6 2/3 sar 1 gin2 kin sahartotal: 6 2/3 sar 1 shekel earthwork,
 2.im-du8-a e2 niĝ2-lagar-kapisé wall work for the household of Niĝ-lagar.
 blank space

 

§3.8.2. The text records the extent of mud/pisé construction work (im-du8-a) in the household of Niĝ-lagar (see Sallaberger 1993: 242). This household is only documented in Umma and so we have an indication of the origin of the text. On the obverse of the tablet, the scribe recorded the amount of construction by measuring the length, width, and (height=) depth of presumed walls and then calculating their volume. In the colophon on the reverse, the total volume of the construction resulting from the sum of the volumes written on the obverse is recorded.[6] The text presents two problems: the last line of the obverse where we can read the expression “8 gin2 DUB-la2” is not attested in this context and it is not clear to what 8 shekels refer. The second problem is represented by the expression nu-ak in line 17 of the obverse. As one can see, that line would have had, like the previous ones, the recording of length, width, and depth of the earth to be excavated. For some reason, the scribe has recorded only the length. The phrase that follows, nu-ak appears in similar contexts in seven texts from both Girsu[7] and Umma[8]. These texts document work on canals by recording the total volume of earth to be excavated. The phrase nu-ak, that literally means “not done,” probably signifies, as already noted by P. Notizia (Mander & Notizia 2009: 246), that, for unclear reasons, the work was incomplete.

 

§3.9.  BM 106102
Measurements: 12×5.9×2.5
Provenience: Umma
Date: Š 42/–/–

 

§3.9.1. Transliteration and Translation

Obverse
 1.[...] x [...]...
 2.[a2]-bi u4 [...]its labor: n days;
 3.5(iku) GAN2 tug2-sagx x x ĝeš-ur3-ra a-ra2 3 4(iku) 1/2(iku) GAN2-ta5 iku of tug-sag work ... (labor of) harrowing, 3 times, at 4 1/2 iku field area (a day),
 5.a2-bi u4 38 1/3-kamits labor: 38 1/3 days;
 6.4(bur3) GAN2 ˹ĝeš-ur3-ra˺ a-ra2 4 1(eše3) GAN2-ta4 bur3 of harrowing, 4 times, at 1 eše3 field area (a day),
 7.a2 eren2-na-bi u4 4.00the workers’ labor: 240 days;
 8.6(bur3) GAN2 ĝeš-ur3-ra a-ra2 3 1(eše3) GAN2-ta GAN2-ta6 bur3 of harrowing, 3 times, at 1 eše3 field area (a day),
 9.a2 eren2-na-bi u4 4.30the workers’ labor: 270 days;
 10.3(bur3) 1(eše3) 5(iku) GAN2 ĝeš-ur3-ra a-ra2 2 1(eše3) GAN2-ta3 bur3, 1 eše3 5 iku of harrowing, 2 times, at 1 eše3 field area (a day),
 11.a2 eren2-na-bi u4 1.48the workers’ labor: 108 days;
 12.a2 ˹ĝeš-ur3-ra˺ labor of harrowing;
 13.2.30 sar al 5 sar-ta150 sar of hoeing at 5 sar (a day),
 14.a2-bi u4 30its labor: 30 days;
 15.˹31.51˺ sar al 6 sar-ta1911 sar of hoeing at 6 sar (a day),
 16.˹a2-bi˺ u4 5.18 1/2its labor: 318 1/2 days;
 17.˹24.37˺ sar al 7 sar-ta1477 sar of hoeing at 7 sar (a day),
 18.˹a2-bi u4 3.31˺its labor: 211 days;
 19.˹29.00 sar al 8 sar-ta˺1740 sar of hoeing at 8 sar (a day),
Reverse
 1.a2-bi u4 3.37 1/2its labor: 217 1/2 days;
 2.˹2.30 sar niĝ2-gul 15 sar-ta˺ 150 sar of pickaxing at 15 sar (a day),
 3.a2-bi u4 10its labor: 10 days;
 4.15.00 sar niĝ2-gul 20 sar-ta900 sar of pickaxing at 20 sar (a day),
 5.a2-bi u4 45its labor: 45 days;
 6.3.36 sar niĝ2-gul ˹12 sar˺-ta216 sar of pickaxing at 12 sar (a day),
 7.a2-bi u4 ˹18˺its labor: 18 days;
 8.x ˹2.00?˺ guruš ˹u4˺ [n]-še3120? workers for ... days,
 9.la-ag ab-sin2-ta ri-ri-ga (for) cleaning the furrows of clumps of earth and debris;
 10.˹gurum2˺-ak ur-ĝešgigir ugula ašgab?(TA)inspection of Ur-gigir, the supervisor of leatherworkers(?);
 11.ugula ur-ĝešgigir [nu]-banda3-˹gu4˺the foreman (is) Ur-gigir, the oxen overseer;
 12.kišib3 šeš-kal-[la ...]sealed by Šeškalla ...;
 13.a-ša3 ka-[ma-ri2ki]?(in the) Kamari field;
 seal impression
 14.[mu] ša-aš-šu2-ruki ba-ḫulYear: “Šaššuru was destroyed.”
Seal
 1.lugal-niĝ2-lagar-e Lugal-niĝ-lagar-e,
 2.dub-sarscribe,
 3.[dumu] da-dason of Dada,

 

§3.9.2. The text records an inspection (gurum2-ak) for maintenance work on agricultural fields to be done in the area of Kamari. These works have to be carried out by various teams of workers. Personal names help identify its provenience as Umma, where almost all such accounts originate. For each plot, the text records the size, the type of work to be carried out, the field area to be worked each day, and the total number of working days. The most common jobs to be performed are harrowing (ĝeš-ur3-ra) and hoeing (al). In obv. 3, the expression tug2-sagx appears: according to T. Maeda (1995: 334), this expression indicates a particular type of work performed by the plough that is different from ĝeš-ur3-ra and tug2-gur8 (which do not appear in this text). The expression niĝ2-gul (rev. 2, 4, 6) is discussed in the previous text commentary. A group of guruš workers, whose number is not clear due to an erasure in the text, is employed to clean the furrows of clumps of earth and debris (la-ag ab-sin2-ta ri-ri-ga; see Civil 1994: 86).

 


 

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Version: 19 July 2017