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On the Third Dynasty of Ur

On the Third Dynasty of Ur: Studies in Honor of Marcel Sigrist

Edited by Piotr Michalowski
Volume: 1
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 301
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5615/j.ctt2jc9mz
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    On the Third Dynasty of Ur
    Book Description:

    This volume is a collection of twenty-eight studies dedicated to a scholar who has changed the course of research on the period through his publication of innumerable documents. This volume inaugurates a new monograph series, The Journal of Cuneiform Studies Supplementary Series (JCSSS), edited by Piotr Michalowski with assistance from the JCS editorial board.

    eISBN: 978-0-89757-034-3
    Subjects: Archaeology, History
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-vi)
  3. MARCEL SIGRIST, AN APPRECIATION (pp. vii-viii)
    Piotr Michalowski
  4. LIST OF PUBLICATIONS BY MARCEL SIGRIST (pp. ix-xii)
    Ulla Kasten
  5. 1 BM 106145: UN NUOVO TESTO DA UMMA CHE MENZIONA PERSONALE DEL CANTIERE NAVALE (MAR-SA) (pp. 1-10)
    Franco D′Agostino and Elena Santagati

    Nel 1981 il nostro giubilato pubblicò una tavoletta proveniente da Umma in cui si trovava una lista di persone, elencate con il proprio nome ovvero con differenti specializzazioni, che espletavano la propria attività presso il centro mar-sa della città capitale di provincia.¹ Il suo acume filologico e la sua straordinaria competenza sulla documentazione di Ur III gli permisero di individuare a quel tempo altri tre testi che erano relativi non solamente allo stesso argomento, ma anche datati allo stesso mese ed anno, benché in giorni differenti. Il presente articolo, in segno di modestissimo ma affettuosissimo omaggio, vuole presentare un nuovo...

  6. 2 LABOR ASSIGNMENTS FROM THE CITY OF GIRSU (pp. 11-20)
    Lance Allred

    The six tablets presented here belong to a group of documents that concern labor assignments for teams of workers (ĝuruš) under the authority of an overseer (nu-banda3) or a foreman (ugula). Of these, one (Text 4) was made available to me by David I. Owen. It belongs to a private collection and was originally transliterated by Herbert Sauren. Its present whereabouts are unknown. The other five were originally utilized by Uchitel (1992) from transliterations by Marcel Sigrist, but the texts were never fully published. When I requested transliterations of these documents from Sigrist in the fall of 2006, he graciously...

  7. 3 AN UR III INCANTATION IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM (pp. 21-24)
    Farouk N. H. Al-Rawi

    It is a pleasure to dedicate this text edition to Marcel Sigrist, my companion from the Students Room of the British Museum. The text is a short incantation from Umma, the second such Ur III text to be published to date.¹ It can now be added to the growing list of incantations from this period, from Nippur, Umma, Girsu, and elsewhere.²

    Dimensions: 5.9×4.6×2.2. Clay is brown in color, with faint thumbprints at the upper and lower edges. The text is published with the permission of the Trustees of the British Museum.

    1. mul gú an-na

    2. am-gin7 du7-du7

    3. ušum-gal ki-a di?┐ gi4-gi4...

  8. 4 MESSENGER TEXTS IN THE KELSEY MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN (pp. 25-34)
    Nicole Brisch

    The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan houses a small collection of about six hundred cuneiform tablets. Among them are approximately three hundred fifty tablets of the Ur III period. A small group of these are texts that are commonly referred to as “messenger texts” because they contain lists of rations for messengers traveling between Sumer and regions east of Mesopotamia (Sallaberger 1999: 188). Only three of the seventeen messenger tablets in the Kelsey Museum have been published thus far, and it is a great pleasure to publish the remaining fourteen tablets here in honor of Marcel...

  9. 5 AN AGRICULTURAL ACCOUNT FROM UMMA (pp. 35-44)
    Miguel Civil

    The tablet published here is on exhibit in the Museu de la Ciència de la Fundaciò “La Caixa” (Cosmocaixa)¹ in Barcelona. It is a large tablet of 162×152 mm with 6+6 columns of text; column xii has only the totals, the colophon and the date, which together cover only about ⅓ of the last column surface, leaving the rest uninscribed. Some time in the past, the tablet cracked or broke apart following the length of the third column. The gaps were filled up with intrusive material and dividing lines were clumsily drawn on the new surface. As a result, the...

  10. 6 ŠULGI′S JUBILEE: WHERE′S THE PARTY? (pp. 45-52)
    Remco de Maaijer

    In his monumental study on the cultic calendars of the ancient Near East, Mark Cohen concludes: “Therefore, in Girsu as in Umma the month itiezem-dŠul-gi replaced itiur to honor the thirtieth jubilee of Šulgi.”¹ Reviewing pertinent texts published after the appearance of Cohen′s work, as well as several unpublished documents, I will show that there is now evidence that makes Cohen′s conclusion impossible. In other words, I would like to honor Marcel Sigrist′s jubilee by demonstrating that we do not know anything about the thirtieth jubilee of that other august man, King Šulgi of Ur.²

    First, one must address the...

  11. 7 NEW TEXTS FROM THE REIGN OF UR-NAMMA (pp. 53-62)
    Douglas R. Frayne and William W. Hallo

    At a time when questions were raised about the attribution to Ur-Namma¹ of both his stele² and his laws,³ it seemed fitting that his legacy could be augmented by other finds. The most recent of these were the subject of a draft article prepared by the authors in 1989, but left unpublished due to the pressure of other duties. Now, eighteen years later, with both the stele and the laws convincingly restored to Ur-Namma, and new compilations of all the texts associated with his reign in print, it will suffice to comment on some of the additions to the dossier....

  12. 8 SILVER AND GOLD: MERCHANTS AND THE ECONOMY OF THE UR III STATE (pp. 63-70)
    Steven Garfinkle

    The study of merchants and silver has been at the heart of examinations of the economy of the Ur III period at least since John Curtis and W. W. Hallo published their article on money and merchants in 1959.¹ The available evidence has increased tremendously over the past fifty years, and we are now certain that there was no special relationship between merchants, dam-gar3 in Sumerian, and silver as a means of exchange. Silver was routinely used as a measure of value in the accounts of both institutions and individuals in the twenty-first century bc. Numerous transactions involving silver values,...

  13. 9 FACT AND FICTION IN YBC 9819 AND SET 188 AS SOURCES FOR THE REALITY BEHIND THE NAME OF YEAR 9 OF KING SHU-SIN OF UR (pp. 71-76)
    Wolfgang Heimpel and Kent Hillard

    It is a statistical oddity that Marcel Sigrist did not publish the two texts discussed here. The authors present the results of their study in gratitude for the many research tools and the thousands of texts from the Ur III period that he put at our disposal.

    The text records a count of the bricks of the temples of the city god of Umma, Shara, and his wife, Ninura. The grand total of bricks is 8,989,200 baked bricks and 16,812,000 sun-dried bricks. The total is broken down in quantities of four platforms, two for each temple, the walls (iz-zi) of...

  14. 10 THE BROCKMON COLLECTION DUPLICATE OF THE SUMERIAN KINGLIST (BT 14) (pp. 77-92)
    Jacob Klein

    One of the many important contributions of Marcel Sigrist to Sumerology is his Mesopotamian Yearnames (Sigrist and Damerow 1991), which became a major tool for the study of Mesopotamian history and chronology of the third and second millennia. It is therefore most suitable to honor him with the publication of a hitherto unpublished duplicate of the Sumerian King List (SKL), a major, albeit fragile, source for the reconstruction of the early history of Mesopotamia.¹

    BT 14, a tablet fragment kept in the Brockmon Collection, University of Haifa, is a rather interesting duplicate of SKL. Its publication was signaled by the...

  15. 11 À PROPOS DES REPAS COLLECTIFS ET BANQUETS (NAPTANUM) À L′ÉPOQUE D′UR III (pp. 93-98)
    Bertrand Lafont

    Le point de départ de cette contribution repose sur un mot akkadien rencontré à plusieurs reprises dans les textes d′Ur III provenant de Tello, notamment parmi ceux conservés au Musée d′Istanbul qu′il nous reste à éditer (volume TCTI 3). Il s′agit du mot naptanum que l′on trouve par exemple dans quatre inédits d′Istanbul, dont le suivant, L.5342:

    Le mot naptanum, tel qu′il se présente dans ce petit document administratif, laconique et banal à souhait, renvoie à l′idée de “repas collectif”, de “banquet” (CAD N/1 319) et s′il est vrai qu′il s′agit en soi d′un mot très ordinaire, l′attention est attirée...

  16. 12 NUOVI “SHEPHERD-TEXTS” DA LAGASH (pp. 99-108)
    Pietro Mander

    Nell′ambito del progetto di ricerca finanziato con fondi governativi (Progetti di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale 2006 = PRIN 2006), durante lo studio di tavolette del periodo della III dinastia di Ur III nello Harvard Semitic Museum (d′ora in poi abbreviato: HSM) nel Giugno 2007, ho potuto trascrivere nove “shepherd-texts” da Girsu.

    Questa tipologia di documenti è stata esaustivamente studiata da Snell,¹ che, oltre a fornire nuovo materiale (custodito nel British Museum) e sistemare quello già noto, ha indicato numerosi testi di diverse tipologie correlati ad essa.²

    Il PRIN 2006 è la continuazione del PRIN 2004, che era mirato ai testi inediti...

  17. 13 OBSERVATIONS ON “ELAMITES” AND “ELAM” IN UR III TIMES (pp. 109-124)
    Piotr Michalowski

    In this article I offer some observations on the semantics of the term NIM, presumably “Elamite(s),” as it is used in documents from the Ur III period, and on related matters, including geography, provincial taxation, and war. It is a pleasure to dedicate this to my old friend Marcel Sigrist whose friendship, intelligence, and wit made my years as a gradate student so much more interesting.

    In Ur III studies, the sign NIM continues to be read both as nim and as elam, even though Arno Poebel (1931) argued persuasively for the latter many years ago. Poebel was right, as...

  18. 14 NEW UR III COURT RECORDS CONCERNING SLAVERY (pp. 125-144)
    Manuel Molina

    Of the 86,666 texts catalogued in my database of Ur III tablets (bdtns.filol.csic.es), 30,715 have been transliterated, copied, or cataloged by Marcel Sigrist. In other words, Sigrist has put at our disposal more than one-third of this enormous corpus. Personally I owe him, among other things, for his encouragement and his outstanding contribution to the development of the Database of Neo-Sumerian Texts, a project conceived when we first met at the British Museum some years ago. It is therefore an honor and a pleasure to dedicate this edition of Ur III legal texts to him.

    When A. Falkenstein published his...

  19. 15 ANCORA UN BILANCIO NEO-SUMERICO DI ORZO (pp. 145-152)
    Francesco Pomponio

    La tavoletta, la cui edizione è offerta allo Studioso cui il presente volume è dedicato, è un balanced account di orzo e di prodotti derivati dall′orzo del periodo di Ur III.¹ Marcel Sigrist ha studiato e pubblicato un gran numero di documenti di tale tipo a partire dal 1983, quando apparve la sua prima edizione di uno di questi testi (TENUS 391); tuttavia siamo certi del fatto che egli apprezzerà la presentazione di questa tavoletta: è noto che l′atteggiamento degli studiosi della documentazione neo-sumerica nei confronti dei balanced accounts è paragonabile solo a quello di C. Marius nei confronti dei...

  20. 16 NINGIRSU RETURNS TO HIS PLOW: LAGAŠ AND GIRSU TAKE LEAVE OF UR (pp. 153-158)
    Seth Richardson

    The Ur III state came to its end through a series of passive defections of individual provinces over the course of about twenty years, rather than by any single catastrophic event. This pattern of defections is nowhere better reflected than in the gradual progression of provinces abandoning the use of Ibbi-Sîn′s year names over his years 2–8. Among the cities that fell away from the control of Ur in those years were Girsu and Lagaš, where Ur III year names are not attested after Ibbi-Sîn′s sixth year.¹ Like Puzriš-Dagān and Umma (but unlike Larsa, Uruk, Isin, and Nippur), these...

  21. 17 DER EID IM GERICHTSVERFAHREN IM NEUSUMERISCHEN UMMA (pp. 159-176)
    Walther Sallaberger

    Ein Prozess vor einem Gericht wird häufig durch einen Eid im Tempel abgeschlossen. Gerichtsprotokolle aus Umma, die jüngst bekannt geworden sind, erlauben ein besseres Verständnis von Ablauf und Terminologie des Eides.¹

    Einleitend ist kurz auf die Formulierung des Eides in sumerischen Urkunden der Ur III-Zeit einzugehen. Die grundsätzliche Unterscheidung von zwei Formulierungen hat A. Falkenstein (1956, 1: 63–64) knapp zusammengefasst, Edzard (1975) sichtete kritisch die Terminologie auch der älteren Texte. Den assertorischen Eid (declaratory oath) schwören, wodurch ein Sachverhalt verbindlich vor der Gottheit bestätigt wird, lautet nam-erim₂ ku₅ „Böses (das im Falle des Eidbruchs eintritt) abschneiden“. Dagegen verpflichtet man...

  22. 18 PRIESTESSES, CONCUBINES, AND THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN: DISENTANGLING THE MEANING OF THE WORD LUKUR IN UR III TIMES (pp. 177-184)
    T. M. Sharlach

    It is both an honor and a pleasure to dedicate this article to Father Sigrist. The following study focuses on women whose lives were dedicated to the service of the gods, more specifically, women from Umma who held the title lukur. The term lukur, which can be translated “junior wife,” was applied to different sorts of women with very different duties and social statuses. On the one hand, lukur was a sort of priestess, the junior wife of a god such as Shara of Umma: the lukurs of Shara seem to have worked together as a group, possibly were celibate,...

  23. 19 JOYS OF COOKING IN UR III BABYLONIA (pp. 185-192)
    Piotr Steinkeller

    “A period for which one has neither a dress sample nor a dinner menu is dead and gone, and cannot be revived.” So declared Edmond and Jules de Goncourt in their Journals. By this characteristically French definition of what is really essential to human experience, the ancient Babylonian past remains hopelessly beyond any possibility of resurrection. There is, however, one glimmer of light in this gloomy and unappetizing picture, namely the period of the Third Dynasty of Ur, which bequeathed to us a cuneiform tablet that, while far from being a dinner menu proper, offers details about one, apparently quite...

  24. 20 QUANTITATIVE ASPECTS OF LAND TENURE IN UR III BABYLONIA (pp. 193-200)
    Benjamin Studevent-Hickman

    One of the more heated topics of debate among scholars of ancient Babylonia is land tenure, or the “form of control” of arable land (Renger 1995: 269). The debate essentially hinges on the extent of institutional control of land versus that of private ownership during the Pre-Sargonic and Ur III periods, and two related models, the “temple-state” and “state-economy,” have served as springboards for the discussion, respectively. This essay offers a simple exercise toward resolving the debate, at least for the Ur III situation. It is a pleasure to dedicate this essay to Marcel Sigrist, whose tireless work with Ur...

  25. 21 GESIEGELTE URKUNDEN DER KÖNIGLICHEN VIEHVERWALTUNG VON DREHEM UND DIE FRAGE DER LINIENUNTERTEILUNG UND SIEGELUNG DIESER TAFELN (pp. 201-216)
    M. Such-Gutiérrez

    In den letzten Jahren sind einige Studien zu Ur III-zeitlichen gesiegelten Urkunden aus den Provinzen von Lagaš, Umma und Nippur erschienen,¹ jedoch steht eine Untersuchung gesiegelter Urkunden der Archive von Drehem bislang noch aus. Daher soll im Folgenden ein Aspekt des Materials aus Drehem Gegenstand meiner Untersuchung sein: Die gesiegelten Urkunden der königlichen Viehverwaltung sollen im Hinblick auf ihre äußere Erscheinung—mit Linienunterteilung oder ohne (im Folgenden als „liniert“ und „unliniert“ bezeichnet)—untersucht werden.

    Dieses Thema habe ich für den Jubilar als Dank und als Anerkennung seines Werkes gewählt, denn M. Sigrist hat unsere Kenntnisse über die Ur III-Zeit und...

  26. 22 DIVINE STATUES IN THE UR III KINGDOM AND THEIR “KA DU₈-HA” CEREMONY (pp. 217-222)
    Ozaki Tohru

    The polytheism of the Ur III period is reflected not only in the personal names of people, but also in texts that record many kinds of daily offerings to deities and during festivals and ceremonies. Which deities′ statues can we find in texts from this period? And what did people do in order to invest newly made statues with life? Although I cannot offer a definitive answer, I would like to approach this problem as someone working on the past while living in the modern polytheistic society of Japan. It is a special pleasure to dedicate this humble note to...

  27. 23 ORTHOGRAPHY AND POLITICS: ADDA, “CARCASS” AND KUR₉, “TO ENTER” (pp. 223-230)
    Niek Veldhuis

    The calendrical and cultic reforms that took place in the year Šu-Suen 3 coincided with a number of terminological and orthographic changes, in particular at Drehem. In this contribution, I will argue that the orthographic changes are diagnostic for changes in personnel, motivated by broader political circumstances. The signs/words to be discussed are adda “carcass” (§1) and kur9 “to enter” (§2). I will argue that the change in orthography for adda may be attributed to one individual, while the distribution of the different orthographies for kur9 (first discussed by Watson 1986: 79–85) points at the royal chancellery as the...

  28. 24 RASSAM′S ACTIVITIES AT TELLO (1879) AND THE EARLIEST ACQUISITION OF NEO-SUMERIAN TABLETS IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM (pp. 231-244)
    Lorenzo Verderame

    The present contribution is dedicated to Marcel Sigrist, who has spent many years working in the Students Room of the Department of the Middle East at the British Museum cataloging and editing Neo-Sumerian texts, particularly the thousands of fragments that fill the storerooms of museums. This is an exhausting task that continues to be burdened by the first impression of these documents that led H. Pognon to describe them as “laundry lists.”¹ This paper, which starts from one of those small fragments, wishes to show how this field of research is a source of great surprise and emotion for those...

  29. 25 DIE HALTUNG DER SCHREIBER VON UMMA ZU KÖNIG ŠUSUEN (pp. 245-250)
    Hartmut Waetzoldt

    Es ist mir eine große Freude, diesen Beitrag Marcel zu widmen. Seit dreieinhalb Jahrzehnten verbindet uns eine kollegiale Freundschaft. Wie kein anderer hat er die Erforschung der Ur III-Zeit durch seine zahlreichen Textpublikationen, Handbücher, und Textkataloge vorangetrieben.

    Vor vielen Jahren beobachtete ich bei den Arbeiten an MVN 14 und 16, daß die Schreiber dieser Verwaltungstexte bei Jahresdaten immer mal wieder das Gottesdeterminativ vor dem Königsnamen Šusuen (=ŠS) wegließen. Für diesen Beitrag untersuchte ich dieses Phänomen genauer, denn ich vermutete, daß es sich wegen der relativ großen Anzahl nicht um Versehen der Schreiber handeln könne.

    Beim Datum ŠS 1 ergibt sich...

  30. 26 THE MEMORY OF SARGONIC KINGS UNDER THE THIRD DYNASTY OF UR (pp. 251-260)
    Joan Goodnick Westenholz

    It gives me great pleasure to offer this contribution in honor of Marcel and to attempt to find my way through the intricate halls of the Ur III bureaucracy. In addition to being a scholar, Marcel is a human being of extraordinary warmth and humility, a man of great personal integrity and honesty; kind, gentle and helpful to all.

    Of the many interesting and fascinating aspects of the one hundred years when the Third Dynasty of Ur held sway over Sumer, the subject of this contribution is the memory of the preceding Akkadian Dynasty during that period.¹ The focus of...

  31. 27 DER KAUF VON GÜTERN DURCH DEN „STAATLICHEN“ HAUSHALT DER PROVINZ UMMA ZUR ZEIT DER III. DYNASTIE VON UR: EIN BEITRAG ZU „MARKT UND ARBEIT IM ALTEN ORIENT AM ENDE DES 3. JAHRTAUSENDS VOR CHRISTUS“ (pp. 261-286)
    Claus Wilcke

    In einer Studie zu Marktgeschehen und Arbeitsorganisation am Ende des 3. Jahrtausends v.Chr.¹ bin ich darauf eingegangen, dass der Haushalt des Stadtfürsten von Umma in nicht geringem Maße Güter der Art einkaufte, wie er sie selbst produzierte, und habe das vor allem am Beispiel der Rohr-Käufe demonstiert.²

    Denn ‚staatliche′ Haushalte der Ur III-Zeit brachten zwar zweifellos das meiste, was sie benötigten, selbst hervor, und sie verbrauchten auch wieder das Gros ihrer Produkte. Sie waren jedoch keineswegs autark und mussten viele Waren—nicht nur ‚exotische′ und Luxusgüter—hinzuerwerben und auch menschliche wie tierische Arbeitskräfte und Geräte (z.B. Pflugrinder und Boote samt...

  32. 28 CONTEXT AND TEXT: NIPPUR AREA TB LEVEL IV AND THE “ARCHIVE” OF LAMA-PALIL (pp. 287-302)
    Richard L. Zettler

    The overwhelming majority of written sources bearing on the ancient past of the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are excavated artifacts. As with any other objects that come out of the ground, context and association are significant components of the information load of tablets and other inscribed artifacts and key to our reading of them. But, as every introductory archaeology text emphasizes, the characteristics of contexts vary radically. Primary contexts, (largely) undisturbed subsequent to deposition, are intrinsically more informative about the activities that generated them than secondary contexts. The house of Ur-Utu at Tell ed-Der, Sippar-Amnanum, excavated by...