Royal Building Inscriptions


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Once upon a time, in the 19th century BCE, there was a king named Sin-kashid. He was not a very important king, but he ruled over an important city in southern Mesopotamia, the city of Uruk. There he rebuilt the temple, which was called Eanna, “House of Heaven,” and then he built his own palace. He labeled his palace from the inside, by having lots of little clay cones and tablets inscribed and embedded within its walls.


The text of these little cones and tablets says this:
Sin-kashid, mighty man, king of Uruk, provider of the Eanna, when he built the Eanna, he built his royal palace.

Before the time of Sin-kashid, there was a king named Lipit-Ishtar who ruled the city of Isin, located upstream from Uruk along the Euphrates River. Lipit-Ishtar is known nowadays for issuing a law code, as the more famous King Hammurapi of Babylon did later. When he published his laws, Lipit-Ishtar also built Enisisa, the “House of Justice,” and he had its construction recorded on lots of clay cones like this one:


Next: Counting Sheep in Sumer

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