Ur III Cuneiform Tablet
1 18 male-workers [1/3 liter pig-fat (each)];
3 6 grinding maiden –1/2 liter each;
4 its pig-fat (a total of) 9 liter.
5 (The above are) oil-rations of his male-workers and grinding maiden
6 – votive offering of the king.
8 (Issued) via Ur-dingira [gudu]-priest of the king.
9 Expenditure for
10 the [13th intercalary] month.
11 Year: Ibbi-Suen became king.
Description: Small baked tablet, measuring 3.5x4 cm. Intact, but the first (double)
line is covered with slime, and hence only partly legible. Inscribed with regular Ur III
ductus. Date formula: Ibbi-Sin 1 (=2028 BCE).
Content: Receipt for the expenditure of pig-fat (ì-šah) of 13th (intercalary) month of the first year of the reign of Ibbi-Sin (the fifth and last king of the Third Dynasty of Ur). The pig-fat is designated as "oil rations" (ì-ba) for 18 male-workers (guruš) and 6 grinding maiden (geme2 kikken2 ). The issue was controlled by Ur-dingira, a royal gudu-priest (Akkadian pāšišu, lit. "the anointed one"), and it came from the royal treasury, as a votive offering/gift (a-ru-a ) of the king (lugal).
Notes: All words in brackets are uncertain or restored. The number of the male-workers and their ration (not readable on the tablet) are computed on the basis of the assumption that we are dealing here with a team of (temple) personnel, with a ratio of one female grinder on every three male-workers. The task of the female grinders was probably to grind the barley and provide food for the whole team; the fat was for cooking the food. This ration is attested in other similar documents. The term "votive offering/gift" is somewhat obscure, but since these are temple personnel, it is natural that the king donates the pig-fat.