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Primary publication: UET 6, 0414
Author: Gadd, Cyril J. & Shaffer, Aaron
Publication date: 1963, 1966, 2006
Secondary publication(s): Gadd, Cyril J., “Two Sketches from the Life at Ur,” Iraq 25 (1963) 177-188; Livingstone, Alisdair, Fs Deller (= AOAT 220; Neukirchen-Vluyn 1988) 175-187; Foster, Benjamin, Muses (2005) 151-152; Wasserman, Nathan, Iraq 75 (2013) 255-277
Citation: Charpin, Dominique, clergé (1986) 431-432
Author remarks:
Published collation: A. George, Iraq 55 (1993) 73-74
CDLI no.: P274721
UCLA Library ARK 21198/zz001tv60r
CDLI comments:
Source of original electronic files
Catalogue: 20050915 cdliadmin
Transliteration: cdlistaff
Translation: Wasserman, Nathan
Photo: If not otherwise indicated, digital images were prepared in their current form by CDLI staff, in some cases with the kind assistance of collection staff. For terms of use, click here.

Line Art: If not otherwise indicated, line art drawings prepared in their digital form by CDLI staff are to be credited to primary publication author(s).

Collection Information
Owner: British Museum, London, UK
Museum no.: BM —
Accession no.:
Acquisition history:

Text Content:
Genre: Literary
Sub-genre: humor
Sub-genre remarks: At the cleaners
Composite no.: needed
Language: Akkadian
Physical Information
Object type: tablet
Material: clay
Object remarks:
Measurements (mm): ? x ? x ?
Object preservation:
Surface preservation:
Condition description:
Join information:
Seal no.:
Seal information:
Provenience: Ur (mod. Tell Muqayyar)
Provenience remarks:
Excavation no.: U 07793
Findspot square:
Stratigraphic level:
Findspot remarks:
Period: Old Babylonian (ca. 1900-1600 BC)
Period remarks:
Date of Origin:
Dates referenced:
Date remarks:
Alternative years:
Accounting period:

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1. al-kam _{lu2}azlag2_ lu-wa-hi-ir-ka-a-ma# su-ba-ti zu-uk#-ki
#tr.en: “Come now, cleaner, I’ll give you an order—clean my clothes!
2. sza u-wa-hi#-ru#-ka la ta-na-ad-di-i-ma
#tr.en: What I instruct you, do not lay aside,
3. sza-at ra-ma-ni-ka la te-ep-pe-esz
#tr.en: Your own (ideas), you should not do!
4. si2-is-si2-ik-tam qa2-ap-si-da-am ta-na-ad-di
#tr.en: As for the hem of the garment, you will lay down the selvage,
5. pa-nam a-na li-ib-bi-im tu-ta-ak-ka-ap
#tr.en: You will stitch the outer side to the inside,
6. qa2 szi-id-dim ta-la-aq-qa-at
#tr.en: You will pick up the thread of the (shorter) border.
7. me-eh-ha-am qa-at-nam ta-ra-as-sa3-an
#tr.en: You will soak the delicate part (of the cloth) in beer,
8. i-na ma-asz-ha-li-im ta-sza-ah-ha-al
#tr.en: You will strain it through a sieve.
9. si2-si2-ka-at qa2-ap-si-di-im tu-pa-at,-t,a#-ar
#tr.en: You will loosen the hem with the selvage.
10. asz i-na me-e na-am-ru-tim te#-di-ik#?
#tr.en: You will spray it with clear water,
# aš on the left edge, indicating 10th line
11. ki-ma ki-im-di-im-ma ta#-ka#?-pa#-ar u3 te-x-ni#?
#tr.en: You will wipe it like a kimdum cloth, and you will ... :
12. a#-na pi2-it-tim ta-sa3#-x ki-ma# szu-tu-um# x-x-bi?
#tr.en: To the weft yarns you will [brush?] so that the warp yarns ...
13. [a]-na# me-es-ke-er-tim ta#-ta#-x-[x-x]
#tr.en: You will ... in a basin(?),
14. x ku-up?-pa?# x _im-babbar_ tu#-[ba-la]-al#
#tr.en: ... you will mix alkali with gypsum (to prepare fuller’s earth?).
15. [i-na] _na4#_ ta-ma#-[ah-ha]-su2#
#tr.en: You will beat(?) it on/with/under a stone.
16. i#-na# te-er-hi-im ta-ma#-ar-ra#-[as u3 te?-x x x]
#tr.en: ... in a vessel.
17. pi2-qa2 si2-im-tam te-me-su#? ta#-[x-x-x] u3 tu-na-da#-[ad?]
#tr.en: In case you have applied a (laundry) mark, (then) you must ... and you will have to comb (the fabric).
18. i-na# _{gesz#}gidri# ma-nu_ tu-ta-ar#-[ra-ak]
#tr.en: You will tap (the garment) repeatedly with an e’ru-wood stick (to felt or smooth the fabric).
19. it#-qa2#-am na-pa-al-sa3-ah-tam tu-[...]
#tr.en: You will arrange the fleece on the washer’s stool.
20. asz szu-ta-am szi#-ip-ra-am i-na _{gesz}dala#_ x-[x]-ni#?
#tr.en: You will sew/repair the work, the (damaged) warp, with a needle.
# aš on the left edge, indicating 10th line

1. si2-si2-ik-tam ta-sza-at-ta-aq u3 tu-pa-asz-sza-ah
#tr.en: You will spread and cool the hem.
2. i-na s,i-it li-li-im tu-ub-ba-al
#tr.en: You will dry (the garment) in the break of evening,
3. ki-ma szu-tu-um la usz-ta-ak-ka-su2
#tr.en: so that the fabric will not dry (and wrinkle).
4. i-na sza-ad-di-im i-na pi-it-ni-im ta-sza-ak-ka-an#
#tr.en: (Afterwards) you will place it in a box (and that) in a chest.
5. lu pu-usz-szu-uh-kum bi-lam u2-ha-ad-da-ka ma-di-isz hu-um-t,a-am
#tr.en: No cause for concern! Bring (it) to me; I will make you very happy—promptly!
6. a-na bi-tim tu-ba-lam-ma 1(ban2) sze a-na su2-ni-ka i-sza-ap-pa-[ku]
#tr.en: You will bring (the garment) to the house, (one) will pour a seah of barley into your lap.”
7. _{lu2}azlag2_ i-ip-al-szu asz-szum e2-a be-el ne2-em-si2-im sza u2-ba-la-t,u3#-[ni?]
#tr.en: The fuller answers him: “By Ea, lord of the washbowl, who gives me life!
# ‘The fuller answers’ commonly understood to be stage directions
8. e-zi-ib la ia-ti sza ta-qa-ab-bu-u2 um-me2-ni u3 mu-sza-[di-ni?]
#tr.en: Drop it! Not me! What you are saying—only my creditor and my tax collector
9. sza ki-ma ka-a-ti li-ib-ba-am i-ra-asz-szu-u2-ma#
#tr.en: have the nerve (to talk) like you!
10. szi-ip-ra-am ri#-ta-szu i-ka-asz-sza-da u2-la i-ba-asz-szi
#tr.en: Nobody’s hands could manage this work!
11. asz sza tu-wa-hi#-ru#!-ni szu-un-na-am da-ba-ba-am
#tr.en: What you have instructed me I cannot repeat,
# aš on the left edge, indicating 10th line
12. qa2-ba-am u3 tu-ur-ra-am u2-la e-le-i
#tr.en: utter or reiterate!
13. al-kam e-le-nu-um a-li-im i-na li-it a-li-im
#tr.en: Come upstream of the city, in the environs of the city—
14. ma-ah-tu-tam lu-ka-al-li-im-ka-ma-me
#tr.en: let me show you a washing-place!
15. ma-na-ha-tim ra-be2-tim sza i-na qa-ti-ka i-ba-asz-szi-a i-na ra-ma-ni-ka szu-ku-un-ma
#tr.en: The great work you have in your hands set yourself (to do)!
16. na-ap-ta-nu-um la i-ba-a et-ru-ba-am-ma
#tr.en: The meal time should not pass—go in there, and
# or ‘He does not come to the meal but goes in,’ commonly understood to be stage directions
17. u3# qe2-e _{lu2}azlag2_ ma-du-tim pu-szu-ur
#tr.en: the many threads of the fuller unravel!
18. szum-ma la at-ta li-ib-bi ra-ma-ni-ka tu-na-ap-pa-asz
#tr.en: If you don’t calm yourself down
# literally If not-you the stomach of yourself exhales
19. _{lu2}azlag2_ sza i-na-ah-hi-da-kum u2-la i-ba-asz-szi
#tr.en: a fuller who will bother for you will be none.
20. i-me-esz-szu-ni-ik-kum-ma li-ib-ba-ka-mi
#tr.en: They will mock you. Your heart
21. asz ih-ha-am-ma-at, u3 te-er-szi-tam
#tr.en: will burn, and a rash(?)
# aš on the left edge, indicating 10th line
22. pa-ga-ar-ka te-mi-id
#tr.en: on your body you will impose.”
23. ($ blank space $) _mu-bi szid-bi 4(u) 1(disz)_
#tr.en: The lines, their count: 41.