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Pre-Sargonic Period

Pre-Sargonic Period: Early Periods, Volume 1 (2700-2350 BC)

  • Book Info
    Pre-Sargonic Period
    Book Description:

    Provides editions of all known royal inscriptions of kings who ruled in ancient Mesopotamia down to the advent of King Sargon of Akkad. The volume includes a handful of new inscriptions recently uncovered in Iraq.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8886-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Bibliographical Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xviii)
  5. Other Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  6. Object Signatures
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  7. Table I: List of Deities
    (pp. xxiii-xxxii)
  8. Table II: List of Royal And Personal Names
    (pp. xxxiii-xliv)
  9. Table III: List of Geographical Names
    (pp. vl-2)
  10. Introduction
    (pp. 3-16)

    The texts edited in this volume date from the earliest known royal inscriptions in Mesopotamia down to the advent of the reign of Sargon of Akkad. Consequently, this period is designated in historical and philological works as the Presargonic period. The corresponding label used by archaeologists is the Early Dynastic (hereafter ED) period. S. Lloyd (Lloyd, Archaeology of Mesopotamia [1978], p. 91) notes:

    This so-called Pre-Sargonid era (preceding the unification of Mesopotamia under Sargon of Akkad), has come conventionally to be divided into three phases. ‘Early Dynastic I’ (ED I), following directly upon the end of the Protoliterate, is approximately...

  11. ADAB E1.1
    (pp. 17-34)

    Ancient Adab is identified with the modern mound of Bismāya (NLat 31°57’ and ELong 45°37’).

    Adab was excavated in 1904 and 1905 by an expedition sponsored by the Babylonian and Assyrian Section of the Oriental Exploration of the University of Chicago under the direction of E.J. Banks. For a brief sketch of his excavations see Banks, Bismya, and Yang Zhi “The Excavation of Adab,” JAC 3 (1988) pp. 1–21.

    The most common writing of the city name Adab (particularly in post ED texts) is UD.NUN.KI. It occasionally occurs in early texts with the MUŠEN “bird” determinative, indicating that the...

  12. AKŠAK E1.2
    (pp. 35-36)

    The Sumerian King List assigns the six kings of the single dynasty at Akšak a total reign of 99 years.

    The location of ancient Akšak is unknown; for a possible location of the city at the large mound named Tell Sinker on the ancient Tigris bed northwest of Baghdad (site no. 016 in Adams, in Gibson, Kish, p. 189 with coordinates NLat 56° 24’ and ELat 44° 14’). See Frayne, Early Dynastic List pp. 47–48.

    As noted, the site has not been identified. Although Waterman (Tell Umar p. 6 and BASOR 32 [1928] p. 18) claims to have found...

  13. AWAN E1.3
    (pp. 37-40)

    The precise location of the city of Awan is unknown. One clue to its location is the name of year 14 of Ibbi-Sîn (see Frayne RIME 3/2 p. 364) which mentions the land of Awan together with the cities of Susa and Adamšaĥ, (for the reading Adamšah, instead of the previously read Adamdun, see Civil, “‘Adamdum’ the Hippopotamus, and the Crocodile,” JCS 50 [1998] pp. 11–14). Adamšah is likely to be located at the modern town of Andimishk not far NW of Dizful.

    Further clues to Awan’s location are found in three inscriptions of the Sargonic king Rīmuš (Frayne,...

  14. EBLA E1.4
    (pp. 41-44)

    Ancient Ebla is identified with the large mound named Tell Mardīh (NLat 35° 48’ and ELat 36° 47’) located in western Syria.

    The site has been excavated since 1964 by a team from the University of Rome headed by P. Matthiae. For accounts of the excavations one may refer to the items listed in section O Archeologia/Archeology in the bibliographies of F. B. Guardata, M. Baldacci, and F. Pomponio cited in section (e) below.

    The site was made famous by the uncovering of a huge ED IIIb royal archive during 1975. For early accounts (in English) of the discovery, see...

  15. E’EDIN E1.5
    (pp. 45-46)

    The city of E’edin appears in the writing edin with a variant din as entry 171 in the Early Dynastic List of City Names (Pettinato, Orientalia 47 [1978] p. 69 = idem, MEE 3 p. 235). The city probably occurs in the writing x-edin.KI just before the city of Ašnak in the Early Dynastic period “Dar-a-a Tablet” (see Gelb, Land Tenure pp. 113–15 no. 38 obv. i line 13). According to Matthews (Cities pp. 41–42), the city name also appears in the archaic Ur city sealings.

    Cities in the vicinity of E’edin in the area southeast of Nippur...

  16. HAMAZI E1.6
    (pp. 47-48)

    The state of Hamazi, located in the Zagros Mountain region somewhere between the Upper Zāb and Diyālā Rivers (see provisionally Edzard, RLA 4 pp. 70–71), seems to have been a major political power in ED times. An important text shedding light on its location is an Ur III text dating to year 8 of Amar-Suena (Sigrist, JCS 31 [1979] pp. 166–70). According to the research of the present author based on a study of the text published by Sigrist and modern toponyms, the city of Hamazi was likely located at the site of Kani Jowez about 10 kms...

  17. KIS E1.7
    (pp. 49-66)

    Twenty-odd mounds make up the area we now know to be ancient Kiß (see Gibson, Kish pp. 67 92; idem, RLA 5 pp. 613 20). The most prominent of these are Tell Uh¬aimir in the west (NLat 32¸ 33' ELong 44¸ 35') and Tell Ingharra in the east; the latter is located about 2 km east of Tell Uh≥aimir.

    The mounds of Kiß were excavated in large part by two archaeological expeditions. One by de Genouillac in 1912 examined the ziqqurrat at Tell Uh¬aimir and an area of Old Babylonian houses around it. A section of the Neo-Babylonian temple at...

  18. Rulers with the Title “King of Kiš” Whose Dynastic Affiliations Are Unknown E1.8
    (pp. 67-76)

    The example of inscription E1.13.5.1, in which Mes-Ane-pada, king of Ur, refers to his father Mes-KALAM-du as “king of Kiš,” reveals that the title “king of Kiš” could be adopted by Early Dynastic period rulers who did not have Kiš as their original dynastic capital.

    A handful of inscriptions from cities in the Sumerian south name rulers who use the title “king of Kiš,” but who are unattested in the Sumerian King List as being rulers of Kiš and whose dynastic home is not known from other sources.

    The exact significance of the term “king of Kiš” in these inscriptions...

  19. LAGAŠ E1.9
    (pp. 77-292)

    The GN Lagaš referred in ancient times to both a city, Lagaš proper (modern al-Hibā, NLat 31° 25’ ELong 46° 24’), and to a larger district (greater Lagaš) in the southeastern part of Sumer.

    In more specific terms, greater Lagaš was divided (in Ur III times, when our most explicit descriptions of the province are found) into three tracts: (a) the Ğirsu district in the northwestern region, (b) the Ki-nu-NIR/Niğin district in the middle region, and (c) the Gu’aba district in the southeastern region. The name of the last, gú-ab-ba = Sumerian “shore of the sea,” indicates it was readily...

  20. Mari E1.10
    (pp. 293-348)

    Ancient Mari is identified with the modern mound of Tell H¬ar®r® located on the Middle Euphrates just north of the present-day Iraqi-Syrian border (NLat 34¸ 33' and ELong 40¸ 53').

    The site has been unearthed by a long series of French expeditions during the years 1933 38, 1951 54, and 1961 74 (under the director A. Parrot), and 1979 82 (under the director J. Margueron); for the details of the publication of the preliminary reports of the campaigns, see G. Lehmann, BAFSL p. 334. For a popular account of the excavations in general, see Parrot, Mari capital fabuleuse, and for...

  21. Nippur E1.11
    (pp. 349-356)

    Ancient Nippur is identified with the modern mound named Nuffar (NLat 32° 08’ and ELong 45° 15’).

    The site was excavated by a joint expedition of the University of Pennsylvania and the Babylonian Exploration Fund from 1889 to 1900, and by a joint expedition of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania in the years following 1948.

    The city name Nippur (Sumerian Nibru, Akkadian Nippur) is written EN.LÍL.KI in post Ur III sources; for earlier writings, see the discussion below. The logogram is, according to Michalowski’s understanding, is to be...

  22. Ğiša and Umma E1.12
    (pp. 357-376)

    Although they are not mentioned in the SKL, the neighbouring cities of Ğiša and Umma were important players on the stage of late Presargonic history.

    Complicating our understanding of the royal inscriptions of the rulers of these two cities is the fact that it now seems reasonably clear that two distinct GNs have been subsumed by modern scholars under the one name Umma; this was because of lexical glosses in Proto-Diri and Diri which (erroneously) indicated thatğišKÚŠU.KI is to be read: um-me-en, um-ma, um-me, or um-mi.

    As is pointed out in W. Lambert’s study of the names of Umma...

  23. UR E1.13
    (pp. 377-408)

    Ancient Ur (Sumerian and Akkadian Urim) has long been identified with the modern mound al-Muqayyar (NLat 30° 57.5’, ELong 46° 6.5’). The modern site name, meaning “provider of pitch,” clearly refers to the layers of pitch which were used in the construction of the ancient ziqqurrat.

    The site has been examined and/or excavated by a large number of researchers, including: J.B. Fraser in 1835, W.K. Loftus in 1850, J.E. Taylor in 1853–55, W.H. Ward in 1885, the British Museum in 1888, the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania and the Babylonian Exploration Fund Philadelphia in 1890, J.H. Haynes...

  24. Uruk E1.14
    (pp. 409-440)

    Ancient Uruk is identified with the modern mound named Warkā’ (NLat 31° 19’ and ELong 45° 40’).

    The city was scientifically excavated by teams of archaeologists from the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, Berlin, 1912–13 and 1925–1939, and the Deutsches Archäologische Institut, Berlin and the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, Berlin from 1954.

    While the ED period levels of this E-anna temple at Uruk are now completely covered by the massive rebuilding of the ziqqurrat undertaken by Ur-Nammu of the Ur III dynasty, traces of ED architecture employing planoconvex bricks were found in probe trenches dug by H. Lenzen into the core of the...

  25. Unattributed E1.15
    (pp. 441-444)

    A vase fragment from Nippur names the son(?) of a certain [P] ussussu (for the name type, see Römer Orientalia NS 57 [1988] pp. 224–25, note to Ki 6) as “vanquisher of Óamazi.” Since epithets celebrating military victories are normally reserved for city rulers, it is likely that this piece is part of a royal inscription. Hilprecht thought that the fragment joined the “Uhub” inscription copied as BE 1/2 no. 108 (and edited here as E1.7.42), but collation by J.Cooper (Iraq 46 pp. 92–93 and pl. V) reveals that the two pieces cannot belong to the same vessel,...

  26. Index of Museum Numbers
    (pp. 445-452)
  27. Index of Excavation Numbers
    (pp. 453-456)
  28. Concordances of Selected Publications
    (pp. 457-464)