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Sumerian Economic Texts from the Third Ur Dynasty

Sumerian Economic Texts from the Third Ur Dynasty

Tom B. Jones
John W. Snyder
Copyright Date: 1961
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 442
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Sumerian Economic Texts from the Third Ur Dynasty
    Book Description:

    This is a study and catalogue of some 350 hitherto unpublished Sumerian cuneiform documents, nearly all economic in nature. The authors describe the transliterate each document and present viewpoints regarding certain important classes of the texts. The findings of the study may lead to renewed interest in the third Ur Dynasty, which scholars have long regarded as relatively unimportant because its history is the swan song of Sumerian autonomy and culture.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3709-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
    T. B. J. and J. W. S.
  3. Introduction
    (pp. v-x)

    This volume presents a catalogue of 355 previously unpublished Sumerian tablets, most of which belong to the time of the Third Dynasty of Ur. The largest single group of tablets is the property of the Rosicrucian Egyptian, Oriental Museum of San José, California; most of the other tablets are housed in the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the University of Minnesota Library, the St. Paul Public Library, the St. Paul Science Museum, the Department of Classics of Stanford University, the Department of Classics of Indiana University, the Davenport Public Museum of Davenport, Iowa; and two...

  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  5. Table of Contents
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  6. Catalogue

    • Drehem Texts (Numbers 1—116)
      (pp. 3-74)
    • Umma Texts and Others (Numbers 117—296)
      (pp. 75-184)
    • Lagash Texts (Numbers 297—321)
      (pp. 185-195)
    • Miscellaneous Texts (Numbers 322—354)
      (pp. 196-200)
  7. Commentary

    • An Early Drehem(?) Series
      (pp. 203-208)

      Eleven of the texts in this catalogue (nos. 5, 6, 7, 8, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, and 53) belong to a very early series of Ur III documents usually classified as part of the Drehem archive. About 175 texts of this kind have been published; the earliest is dated in the thirty-third year of Shulgi's reign, and the latest in year 48 of the same ruler. The series differs from the normal Drehem one in certain respects, especially in content and phraseology; moreover, few of the names of gìr and maškim officials are common to both, and the...

    • Narâm-ilī
      (pp. 209-211)

      The activities of Narâm-ilī are recorded in about seventy-five texts dated from Shulgi 27 to AMAR-Sin 2. It is clear that from Shulgi 43 onward he had dealings with the officials at Drehem, but it is doubtful that he was a member of the staff there. Throughout his career one of the duties of Narâm-ilī was to convey animals which were taken in charge (ì-díb) by various persons; Cat 4 provides a good illustration of this phase of his work. From Narâm-ilī also other persons received skins or hides (CKS 195, 206, 218, 373, 388, 647; TRU 383) and wool...

    • The Basic Organization at Drehem
      (pp. 212-238)

      The bulk of the Drehem documents fall in the quarter century between Shulgi 44 and Ibbi-Sin 2, and the most numerous texts are those which record the daily, monthly, or annual receipt and dispositions of animals. Sent to Drehem by royal authority or by priests and officials and representing tribute, offerings, and official disbursements, the animals were employed for sacrificial purposes and the sustenance of priests, officials, soldiers, foreign emissaries, and workers. Thousands of animals were brought in and sent out each month.

      In the Drehem texts the names of hundreds of persons appear. Of the nearly 2,800 names listed...

    • Balanced Accounts
      (pp. 239-241)

      Balanced accounts, the Sumerian form of double-entry bookkeeping, list the receipts and expenditures for a day, a month, or a longer period. Such accounts are known from Lagash, Umma, and Drehem, although those from the last site which have been published have been few and generally in poor condition. Including the balanced accounts in this catalogue, a total of forty-six Drehem texts are now available, but only twenty-five are sufficiently well preserved to permit detailed study; fourteen of these are to be found in this catalogue. Unfortunately, few really firm conclusions can be reached from these texts, which seem to...

    • Cat 112
      (pp. 242-243)

      Both Cat 112 and Cat 200 serve to emphasize the fact that a large number of the officials connected with Drehem dealt in wool as well as animals. In the partial list of such texts that appears in Table 5, it may be noted that the name ofdŠUL-gi-mi-šar is very prominent. Both he anddŠUL-gi-uru-mu, who appears with him in CKS 377, are mentioned in two large wool texts from Ur (UET III 1504 and 1505). It is interesting to see also the early association ofdUtu-usum-gal withdŠUL-gi-mi-šar in Cat 200, which is dated in Shulgi 41....

    • Animal Texts from Umma
      (pp. 244-246)

      The published texts from Umma which concern animals are not numerous in comparison with those of Drehem; because of their scarcity, little can be deduced from them. An early series of these texts are accounts of an official named Ba-ša6who flourished during the reign of Shulgi: Cat 145 provides an example of one type of these texts. A later series, the accounts of A-lu5-lu5, is better represented both in this catalogue and in the published texts. A-lu5-lu5was an agent of Inim-dŠara (see Cat 142), who in turn was connected with the Shara temple at Umma. Although A-lu5-lu5first...

    • Silver Texts from Umma and Lagash
      (pp. 247-248)

      Just as there is a lack of similarity between the animal texts from Umma as opposed to those from Lagash, so also the patterns of the silver texts differ. In the more than fifty silver texts from Umma, one finds that the recipients of silver are largely limited to four persons: A-kal-la (Shulgi 35 to 46), Da-da-ga (Shulgi 47 to AMAR-Sin 3), Lú-kal-la (AMAR-Sin 4 to Shu-Sin 6), and Gu-du-du (Shu-Sin 7 to Ibbi-Sin 4). At Lagash šu-ba-ti texts are rare for transactions in silver; the more common type is an account which has to do with silver "brought into...

    • še-ur5-ra
      (pp. 249-279)

      The many questions concerning the real nature of the Sumerian state have been much discussed in the modern literature. Notice may be taken here of the fact that whatever may have been true in constitutional theory concerning charismatic¹ or divine² rulers, or whatever in practice may have developed in the economic life³ and commercial organization⁴ of the state, the possibility for conflict not only among the rulers but also between the rulers and the priestly aristocracy had already arisen before the time of the Third Ur Dynasty.⁵ It is the purpose of the discussion in these pages to point to...

    • ‟Messenger” Texts
      (pp. 280-310)

      The "messenger" texts form a class of Ur III economic document which have long been known for their characteristics of shape, size, and content. They have received this general designation because they record the payments of foodstuffs, undoubtedly rations, to various individuals who are often described as couriers, messengers, and the like. At times in the Lagash material, they are even en route to a given destination. The provenance of the tablets is limited to the two cities of Lagash and Umma, and between these two sites some interesting differences as well as similarities exist, which will form the basis...

    • Urda
      (pp. 311-321)

      The sign ÌR appearing as a personal name requires some comment. When not a personal name, but having the phonetic value urda, it is the loanword from Akkadian meaning "servant,"¹ and as such is well attested: it is used in the larger seals of the period where the official to whom the seal belonged describes himself as the "servant" of the king (arad-zu);² CCT P 2³ offers the phrase še-ba gemé URx-da-šè, "rations for male and female slaves"; GDD 470 lists eleven personal names which are then characterized as NIM-urda-me, "slave 'Elamite' garrison troops"; and finally, Nik 401 affords "eight...

    • Ur-e11-e
      (pp. 322-344)

      Table 7 (pp. 324ff.) is a list of the occurrences of the personal name Ur-e11-e¹ from the texts of this collection and from the published documents of the Ur III period, arranged according to the various categories of activity with which it appears. The list does not include the few instances where the name occurs in a non-distinctive context, but it does contain some duplication, where more than one category of information appears on the same text.

      A glance at the table will show that all these references apply to one and the same person. All the instances where the...

  8. Bibliography
    (pp. 347-352)
  9. Concordance
    (pp. 353-354)
  10. Indexes
    (pp. 357-421)