Cuneiform Collection - SMM 12 | Science Museum of Minnesota

Cuneiform Collection - SMM 12

For transliteration, translations, and discussions on the individual texts, click on the links below.

Museum #: A88:3:1 Period: Ur III Dynasty
Publ. #: Date: Shulgi, year 48, month 6, day 16; ca. 21st cen BCE
Acquired from: Unknown Provenience: Puzrish-Dagan (Drehem), Iraq
Sumer-Southern Mesopotamia
(view map)
Measurements: H 55, W 39, Th 18 mm Culture: Sumerian
Condition: Intact; incompletely baked Language: Sumerian
Description: Cuneiform tablet; records of delivery and expenditure of cattle.

Transliteration: Translation:
obv. 1. [x] gu4 55 udu 1-5. [x] oxen, 55 sheep,
40 ewes, 5 goats,
from Naplanum the Amorite;
control, Ur-Utu the guard;
Arad-mu (is) the requisitioner.
2. 40 u8 5 máš
3. ki Na-ap-la-núm mar-tu šè
4. gìr Ur-dUtu aga3-uš
5. Arad2-mu maškim
6. 7 gu4 3 áb 6-9. 7 oxen, 3 cows,
3 sheep, 11 goats,
slaughtered, for the school,
out of the delivery of booty of Harshi
7. 3 udu 11 máš
8. ba-ug7 é-dub-ba-šè
9. šà mu-túm nam-ra-ak
10. 1 sila4dEn-líl 10-11. One lamb – Enlil;
delivery of the zabardab-official
11. mu-túm zabar-dab5
lo.e. (Blank)
rev. 12. 1 sila4dŠEŠ <.ki>?> 12-14. One lamb – Nanna(?);
one (goat-)kid – Inanna;
delivery of the en-priest of Inanna;
13. 1 máš dINNIN
14. mu-túm en dINNIN
15. 1 sila4dEn-líl 15-17. One lamb – Enlil;
one lamb – Ninlil;
delivery of Shesh-dada, the temple manager
16. 1 sila4dNin-líl
17. mu-túm Šeš-da-bracketDA sangabracket
18. 1 sila4DNA-NA-a 18-20. One lamb – Nanaya;
delivery of the ensi of Shuruppak;
the zabardab-official is the requisitioner.
19. mu-túm ensi2 Šuruppakki
20. zabar-dab5 maškim
21. 1 áb 6 u8 6 ùz 4 máš 21-22. One cow, 6 ewes, 6 goats, 4 kids,
delivery designated for the kitchen, day 16;
22. šu-gíd é-muhaldim-šè u4 16.kam
23. ki Na-sa6-ta ba-zi 23. Disbursed by NASA
24. iti Á-ki-ti 24. Month of the Akiti-festival,
25. mu ús-sa Ku-maški BAhUL 25-26. Year after the year after
Kimaš was smitten.
26. mu-ús-sa-bi

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cuneiform inscription

cuneiform inscription

cuneiform inscription


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.