Embedded Structures: Two Mesopotamian Examples: Notes

1  This paper is a slightly revised version of the MPIWG preprint Brunke 2012, which had originated from part of my work within the Excellence Cluster 264 TOPOI, 2008-2010. Thanks to Helga Vogel for making Jiri Kandeler’s lines known to me.


2  There is no need to give the precise mathematical definition of a (topological) embedding here. The essential point in this context is that no self-intersections of the components arranged in the surrounding space occur.


3  Photographs of VAT 9130 can be found in Nissen, Damerow & Englund 1993: 113 and as CDLI no. P010670.


4  For example, in the original publication of the tablet, Deimel (1923: 71 text 75) just states “RS unbeschrieben.”


5  For a nice introduction to this field see, e.g., Adams 2004.


6  The name “trefoil knot” comes from the fact that by connecting the two ends (head and tail of the snake), you obtain a knot that can be deformed into a form looking like a trefoil:
Figure FN


7  This is similar to a hangman’s noose, which in itself is an unknot. The situation becomes nontrivial only through the presence of a second component, a neck for example.


8  Of its graphical representation, to be more precise.


9  In view of Assyriologists’ use of the word “list” for a very specific text format in ancient Mesopotamia, Friberg’s expression “theme text” (see above) is more adequate.


10  For this list see Nissen, Damerow & Englund 1991, 153-156; 1993: 110-115, and for the autograph Deimel 1923: 71 text 75. For general information on lexical lists see Cavigneaux 1980-1983.