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Cuneiform Collection – SMM 12
For transliteration, translations, and discussions on the individual texts, click on the links below.
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This tablet records numerous oxen, cows, sheep, and goats which were received from various sources and allocated for various uses by the livestock bureau at Puzrish-Dagan. Over a hundred of these animals were received from Naplanum, the Amorite, who also appears on many other livestock records from Puzrish-Dagan (see Giorgio Buccellati, Amorites of the Ur III Period [Naples: Istituto Orientale DI Napoli, 1966], esp. pp. 238, 248, 252, 301, and 356-9). The Amorites, called Martu in Sumerian, emerged as a distinct ethnic group, characterized by a rural, clan-based mode of life, in Mesopotamia and Syria during the late 3rd millennium BCE. Some Amorites were integrated into the Ur III state, while others engaged in hostilities with it. Naplanum seems to have functioned as a representative of Amorites who dwelt northwest of Akkad and Sumer and who had a tributary relationship to the Ur III state.
The second, smaller batch of animals recorded in this text is identified as part of the spoils of war taken from the land of Harshi, north of Mesopotamia in the area of the Zagros Mountains. Shulgi's 48th and last regnal year came to be named after the ware against Harshi and neighboring lands. It may be assumed that these animals were captured as booty during the conflict memorialized in the official year name. Evidently this tablet, dated to year 48 by identifying the year as two years subsequent to year 46, was written before year 48 received its own name. (For year names of the Ur III and other periods, see M. Sigrist and T. Gomi, Comprehensive Catalogue of Published Ur III Tablets [Bethesda, MD: CDL Press, 1991].)
The tablet also records five lambs and one goat, each of which was individually allocated to a particular deity and identified as the "deliver of" one or another high-ranking official. These animals were, in effect, "credited to the accounts" of the specified officials, who were obliged to help provide for the gods. The final entry on the tablet records livestock designated for the kitchen.