On the Sumerian City UB-meki, the Alleged “Umma”: Notes

1 I would like to thank Aage Westenholz (Copenhagen), Jakob Andersson (Uppsala), Armando Bramanti (Rome/Jena), Gianni Marchesi (Bologna), and Ingo Schrakamp (Berlin) for their feedback, corrections and criticism. All remaining shortcomings are mine. I express gratitude to Walter Farber, Keeper of the Chicago Oriental Institute Cuneiform Collection, for providing me with information and collating the tablet A 26335 discussed below. I thank Martin Schøyen for his permission to publish the tablet MS 4746 and for providing me with additional photographs.


2 Examples among recent publications include Milone 2005 and Monaco 2011. Earlier publications almost never questioned the fact that the writing ĝešKUŠU2ki might not refer to Umma (see Almamori 2014a: 5-9).


3 See Marchesi 2006: 22 n. 86 and Marchesi and Marchetti 2011: 170-171 for the discussion.


4 See Almamori 2014a: 10-11 with further references.


5 Here I do not touch upon the question of the reading of ĝešKUŠU2ki. This deserves a separate comprehensive study, which would attempt to not only provide the reading of this logogram but also propose its etymology.


6 As one can see, scholars who suggest that Gišša was a city different from Umma dispute the phonemic structure for the name of the city: Ĝiš(š)a, Ĝiša, and Giš(š)a. I conventionally employ the latter. No etymology has been offered yet.


7 I thank Aage Westenholz for this suggestion. See recently CUSAS 26, 44, for another similar Early Dynastic / Early Sargonic text from Isin.


8 This interpretation of KAS4 courtesy Aage Westenholz. Despite the fact that KAS4 means “messenger,” the context of iv 7'-rev. i 1, where the receipt of silver is confirmed by Ur-gu, the overseer, implies that KAS4 is here an abbreviation of the term maškim(PA.KAS4), “controller.”


9 RGTC 2 (Ur III period) pp. 204-211, provides only GIŠ.UḪ3 for “Umma.” Lambert 1990: 75 rejected the reading Um-maki recorded in RGTC 2, p. 212.


10 E.g. in MSVO 1, 13, the sign combination UB AB appears two times.


11 See Frayne 1992: 1 with further references for the publication history of this lexical text.


12 See CUSAS 17: 213, for the location of Gizuna. See also Schrakamp 2015: 222 + n. 255.


13 See MEE 3 no. 56 v 8 (p. 221).


14 MEE 3 no. 56 v 7 and 10, respectively.


15 The most fitting personal names would be MUNUS-ĝeštin or šita-ĝeštin (Pomponio 1987: 181-182, 230-231). Nevertheless, the traces of the sign look more like a diamond-shaped sign, e.g. ḪAR.


16 Cf. the personal name Lugal-NE-nu-si (Andersson 2012: 368).


17 Read saĝ-dir?


18 Cf. the similar geographical names in Abu Salabikh texts a-ḫa-ar-si and ar-A.SI (Krebernik 1998: 295).