Reed and twigs were bundled into bundles (sa) and bound into bales (gu-nigin2) of various numbers of bundles for transport. I adopt the translation “bale” from A. Sallaberger (“Zum Schilfrohr als Rohstoff in Babylonien,” in B. Scholz, ed., Der orientalische Mensch und seine Beziehungen zur Umwelt: Beiträge zum 2. Grazer morgenländischen Symposion [Graz 1989] 326, note 63). It is current convention to posit two words for bale, gu-nigin2 and gu-kilib. E. Sollberger, in his glossary to Business and Administrative Correspondence under the Kings of Ur (=TCS 1; Locust Valley, New York, 1966) 122, sub voce “gu” states: “These two words are not only synonyms but homographs and it is only when they are followed by a suffix that the actual reading can be ascertained: the context does not help.” This view has been generally accepted. H. Waetzoldt, “Rohr und dessen Verwendungsweisen,” BSA 6 (1992) 126, observed “Den Ausdruck gu-kilib(-ba) benutzte man in Umma, während in den anderen Provinzen eher gu-nigin2(-na) üblich war.”
In M. Sigrist, SAT 2, 506 and 586, is found the form gu-NIGIN2-bi. The suffix -bi must be the possessive suffix. This shows that the suffix -ba in gu-NIGIN2-ba could be a locative added to the possessive suffix. The contrast between gu-NIGIN2-na and gu-NIGIN2-ba could accordingly consist of a form with and a form without the possessive suffix. That would allow positing a single word, gu-nigin2, “bale.”
This solution is confirmed by the fact that the reading kilib of the sign LAGAB is not attested. It is missing among the entries 27-33 in Proto-Ea (MSL 14, 31) and makes only a half-hearted appearance in the form of ke-el = LAGAB = napharu in Ea I, 42 (MSL 14, 178) and ki-li = [LAGAB] = napharu in Aa 2 (MSL 14, 211).
The formula n sa gi gu-nigin2-na n sa-ta (i3-gal2) means “n bundles reed. (Contained) in a bale (are) n bundles each” and the formula n sa gi gu-nigin2-ba a sa-ta (i3-gal2) “n bundles reed. (Contained) in its bale (are) n bundles each.”
The Sumerian word na-IZI (qutrēnu = incense) is to be read na-de3. The verb that is usually used with this noun is si(g), “to pile up,” in the phrase na-de3 si-ga. This collocation appears in two Ur III tablets; in the ritual text PBS 13, 35 obv. 5 and in the recently published Umma text SANTAG 6, 100 obv. 3. Gudea Cylinder B iv 4-5 reads dnin-dub išib-mah eriduki-ka-ke4 na-de3 ba-ni-si: “Nindub (...) piled up incense.” The expression further appears in a few Old Babylonian literary texts (Iddin-Dagan A 147 and 196 and Home of the Fish 4); in Old Babylonian incantations (e.g. YOS 11, 56 obv. 6-7); and in later bilingual compositions (see CAD s.v. qutrīnu).
The reading na-de3 rather than na-izi is demonstrated by the Old Babylonian Kusu Hymn l. 22: [x im]-mi-in-si na-RI si-ga (YBC 9860; see P. Michalowski in Fs. Hallo p. 153). Here, the same collocation is found with the spelling na-RI, to be read na-de5. A second attestation of this spelling is lu2 = ša II iii 22': na-de5-⌜ga⌝ igi-bar-ra = min (=barû) ša qutrinni (MSL 12, 120, and cp. MSL 16, 344, 52'; for the reading of lu2 = ša II iii 22' see CAD s.v. qutrīnu).
The alternative spelling na-de5 was used alongside the traditional na-de3, and may have been introduced to suggest an association with the expression na-de5, to purify (elēlu).
M. Hilgert, Akkadisch in der Ur III-Zeit, IMGULA 5 (Münster 2002) 76, understands this name as Dīn-Ilī “Judge, oh my god!” or Dīnni-Ilī “Judge me, oh my god!” In note 96, he refers to the Old Akkadian name DI.KU5-i3-li as alternative interpretation. Following W. Sommerfeld, he understands the latter spelling as Dīn-ilē “Judgment of the gods.”
The alternation between DI and di-ku5 in the spelling of the name DI-NI-NI is also found in the text of PDT 2, 1353 and the legend of the seal that is impressed on this tablet. I cannot resolve the inherent difficulties: on the one hand, the equation di-ku5 = dīnu is suspect because di = dīnu, and di-ku5-ra2, but not di-ku5 could qualify as synonym of di. On the other hand, DI does not seem to be scribal abbreviation for di-ku5= dayyānum “judge,” because TI.NI.NI is found in Ur III texts as a variant spelling of DI-NI-NI.