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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > Danny S. Jones > Misc. Ancient Coins and Artifacts
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Ur III Cuneiform Tablet
Obverse
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.

Reverse:
7 Received.
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 (-ah) 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" (-ba) for 18 male-workers (guru) and 6 grinding maiden (geme2 kikken2 ). The issue was controlled by Ur-dingira, a royal gudu-priest (Akkadian pāiu, 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.

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Date added:
Sep 22, 2013
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cicerokid  [Sep 22, 2013 at 06:15 PM]
Great object and write-up. well done
Jay GT4  [Sep 23, 2013 at 01:29 AM]
Very interesting thanks for sharing
Noah  [Oct 04, 2013 at 11:59 AM]
cool acquisition!
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