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Journal Article

Būr-Sîn or Amar-Suʾena: Was There a “Historical Omen” of Būr-Sîn of Isin?

Nils P. Heeßel
Journal of Cuneiform Studies
Vol. 68 (2016), pp. 99-105
DOI: 10.5615/jcunestud.68.2016.0099
Stable URL:
Page Count: 7

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Topics: Omens, Writing tablets, Orthographies, Palaces, Logographs, Fingers, Scribes, Liver, Weapons
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Būr-Sîn or Amar-Suʾena: Was There a “Historical Omen” of Būr-Sîn of Isin?
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A new fragment of a Neo-Assyrian extispicy text from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago contains selected omens from different chapters of the extispicy series bārûtu. One of these omens appears to be a parallel to a so-called historical omen thought to refer to King Būr-Sîn of Isin. The new omen, however, calls this interpretation into question, because it describes events otherwise attributed in the omen literature to King Amar-Suʾena of the Third Dynasty of Ur. This raises serious doubts on the very existence of any Mesopotamian “historical” omens concerning King Būr-Sîn of Isin.

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