Cuneiform Digital Library Notes
2011:003
A Note on one of Kazuya Maekawa’s Ur III Contributions

Robert K. Englund
University of California, Los Angeles

Working through CDLI ATFs recently, I noticed that the project had only a partial transliteration, and an incorrect copy online of ASJ 9, 251 28, a neo-Sumerian feed-and-seed account from Girsu published by D. Snell (1987) and partially edited by T. Gomi (1997: 36), so I decided to take a moment to correct them. One thing led to another in this text, in particular to the strange and very exacting calculations of “5/6 fodder,” where we are more accustomed to the conventional fraction of 1/2 employed in Ur III agricultural texts (the common seeding rate of 300 sila3 per bur3 supplemented by 150 sila3 of plough-oxen fodder, etc.). While 5/6 fodder appears attested thus far only in this and one other text (ASJ 11, 142 BM 106112), and while the precision of the grain calculations both for furrows based on the “one seed-grain per two fingers” rule (=30 sila3 per furrow and bur3) and for their corresponding oxen fodder reaches down to the level of 1/360 of a sila3 (for which see my notes and translation here), the really interesting passage in the two, in bold below, is the clear example of ugu2 ba-a-gar ... zi-ga being posted to sag nig2-gur11-ra, as has been demonstrated by Maekawa (1988: 53-54 [and see Englund 1990: 72 n. 242]; in the present examples, sag nig2-gur11-ra is implicit following the grain totals in obv. ll. 6 and 16-18, respectively), but in accounting transactions so complex as to defy convincing comparison. In beautifully simple terms, the first of our present accounts, dealing with the office of the oxen manager Ur-mes, records within its credits (ša3-bi-ta ... zi-ga) section a sum of “1 gur 4 barig 1 ban2 barley, set to the debit section of of Ipa’e(’s account)” (rev. 5); this sum of barley is then recorded in the debits (sag nig2-gur11-ra) section of the second account, dealing with the affairs of this same Ipa’e: “1 gur 4 barig 1 ban2 from Urmes” (obv. 12). We may thus with confidence date the second text to the same year as the first, that is, to Šu-Suen 4. By stating that this forcefully logical instance of Ur III credits-and-debits organization was also recognized, and correctly analyzed by Maekawa in his treatment of BM 106112 (Maekawa 1989: 143), I note again how fundamental that scholar’s contributions to 3rd millennium Babylonian history have been; it does, however, require our close attention to appreciate them in his many table-laden publications of British Museum texts.


ASJ 9, 251 28

obv.1.5(u) 3(barig) 3(ban2) 4(diš) [sila3 še gur]50 [gur] 3(barig) 3(ban2) 4 [sila3 barley].
 2.3(aš) 1(barig) 3(ban2) gur ša3-gal [amar]3 gur 1 barig 3 ban2, fodder [of the calves],
 3.ki ka-guru7-⸢ta⸣from the grain depot manager;
 4.4(barig) 1(ban2) duh du še-bi [5(ban2)] 4 barig 1 ban2 regular bran, its barley: [5 ban2]
 5.ki uš-⸢mu⸣-[ta]from Ušmu;
     1 line blank 
 6.|ŠU+LAGAB| 5(u) 4(aš) 5(ban2) ⸢4(diš)⸣ [sila3 gur] together: 54 [gur] 5 ban2 4 [sila3].
 7.ša3-⸢bi⸣-[ta] Therefrom:
 8.1(bur3) 2(eše3) 1(iku) GAN2 1(u) ⸢2(diš)⸣-[ta]1 bur3 2 eše3 1 iku surface at 12 (furrows per running ninda) [each],
 9.1(bur3) 4(iku) GAN2 1(u) ⸢1(diš)⸣-[ta]1 bur3 4 iku surface at 11 [each],
 10.1(bur'u) 3(bur3) 2(eše3) 4(iku) 1/2(iku) 1/4(iku)
GAN2 1(u)-⸢ta⸣
13 bur3 2 eše3 4 3/4 iku surface at 10 [each],
 11.3(bur3) GAN2 1(u) la2 ⸢1(aš@45)-ta⸣3 bur3 3 iku surface at 9 [each],
 12.še-numun-bi ⸢2(u) 3(ban2) 2(diš) 1/2(diš)⸣ sila3 gurits barley seed: 20 gur 3 ban2 [2] 1/2 sila3,
 calculation:
((1 13/18) × 12 × 30) + ((1 4/18) × 11 × 30) +
((13 16.75/18) × 10 × 30) + ((3 × 9) × 30)
= 6012.5
= 20;0,1,2 1/2 [text has 20;0,3,2 1/2 = 6032.5s]
 
 13.mur-gu4 5/6(diš)-bi 1(u) 6(aš) 3(barig) ⸢4(ban2)⸣
7(diš) sila2 5(diš) gin2 [gur?]
its fodder at 5/6 (that of seed grain): 16 [gur?] 3 barig 4 ban2 7 sila3 5 shekels,
 calculation:
6032.5s × 5/6
= 5027.083s
= 16;3,4,7 5/60 (exact)
 
 14.gu4-e uru4-a (seed-)plowed by oxen;
 15.4(iku) GAN2 1(u) 2(diš)-ta4 iku field at 12 (furrows per running ninda) each,
 16.še-numun-bi 1(barig) 2(ban2)its barley seed: 1 barig 2 ban2,
 calculation:
4/18 × 12 × 30
= 80 (exact)
 
 17.gešgaba-tab-e uru4-a(seed-)plowed by gabatab;
 18.a-ša3 da-ummakifield of Da-Umma.
reverse
 1.5(bur3) 1(eše3) ⸢4(iku) GAN2 1(u) 2(diš)⸣-ta5 bur3 1 eše3 4 iku surface at 12 (furrows per running ninda) each,
 2.še-numun-bi ⸢6(aš) 3(barig)⸣ 2(ban2) gurits seed grain: 6 gur 3 barig 2 ban2,
 3.mur-gu4 5/6(diš)-bi 5(aš) 2(barig) ⸢4(ban2)⸣ 6(diš)
2/3(diš) sila3 gur
its fodder at 5/6 (that of seed grain): 5 gur 2 barig 4 ban2 6 2/3 sila3
 calculation:
2000s × 5/6
= 1666.67
= 5;2,4,6,2/3 (exact)
 
 4.a-ša3 a-pi4-sal4kifield of Apisal.
 5.1(aš) 4(barig) 1(ban2) še gur ugu2 i7-pa-e3 ba-a-gar1 gur 4 barig 1 ban2 barley, set to the debit section of of Ipa'e('s account).
     blank space 
 6.|ŠU+LAGAB| 5(u) 1(aš) 5(ban2) 6(diš) sila3 1(u) 5(diš)
gin2 še gur
Together: 51 gur 5 ban2 6 sila3 15 shekels barley
 7.zi-ga-am3booked out,
 8.la2-ia3 2(aš) 4(barig) 5(ban2) 8(diš) 2/3(diš) sila3 5(gin2)
še gur
deficit: 2 gur 4 barig 5 ban2 8 2/3 sila3 5 shekels barley,
     blank space 
 9.nig2-ka9 ak še-numun mur-gu4account of seed grain and fodder
 10.ur-mes nu-banda3 ⸢gu4of Urmes, the oxen manager.
 11.a de2-aFlooded.
 12.mu si-ma-[num2ki] ⸢ba⸣-[hul]Year: “Simanum was destroyed.” (ŠS 4)
     single ruling 

ASJ 11, 142 BM 106112

obv.1.5(u) ⸢2(aš)⸣ 3(barig) 3(ban2) ⸢5(diš)⸣ [sila3 še gur]52 [gur] 3 barig 3 ban2 5 [sila3 barley,]
 2.[3(aš)] ziz2 [gur][3 gur] emmer,
 3.[1(barig)] ⸢1(ban2)⸣ 2(diš) sila3 [gig][1 barig] 1 ban2 2 sila3 [wheat,]
 4.⸢še⸣-numun mur-[gu4]seed grain and fodder,
 5.1(aš) 2(barig) gur ša3-gal ⸢amar⸣1 gur 2 barig, fodder of the calves,
 6.4(aš) 3(barig) 3(ban2) gur ša3-gal gu4 ⸢HI⸣-[da]4 gur 3 barig 3 ban2, fodder of the ...-oxen,
 7.ki ka-guru7-⸢ta⸣from the grain depot manager;
 8.4(barig) 1(ban2) dug du še-bi 5(ban2)4 barig 1 ban2 regular bran, its barley: 5 ban2
 9.ki uš-mu-tafrom Ušmu;
 10.4(barig) 2(diš) 1/2(diš) sila3 še ki lugal-nesag-[e]-⸢ta⸣4 barig 2 1/2 sila3 barley from Lugal-nesage,
 11.2(barig) 3(ban2) ki lugal-e2-mah-e-ta 2 barig 3 ban2 from Lugal-emahe,
 12.1(aš) 4(barig) 1(ban2) gur ki ur-mes-ta1 gur 4 barig 1 ban2 from Urmes,
 13.2(barig) 8(diš) 1/3(diš) sila3 ki ku3-ga-ni-ta2 barig 8 1/3 sila3 from Kugani,
 14.2(aš) 4(ban2) 3(diš) sila3 1(u) 1(diš) 2/3(diš) gin2 gur2 gur 4 ban2 3 sila3 11 2/3 shekels
 15.ki ur-gešgigir dumu a-si-lu-tafrom Ur-gigir, son of Asilu;
 16.|ŠU+LAGAB| 1(geš2) 4(aš) 3(barig) 2(ban2) 9(diš) sila3 1(diš) 2/3(diš) gin2 še gurtogether: 64 gur 3 barig 2 ban2 9 sila3 1 2/3 shekels barley,
 17.|ŠU+LAGAB| 3(aš) ziz2 gurtogether: 3 gur emmer.
 18.|ŠU+LAGAB| 1(barig) 1(ban2) 2(diš) sila3 gigtogether: 1 barig 1 ban2 2 sila3 wheat.
 19.ša3-bi-taTherefrom:
 20.1(eše3) 2(iku) GAN2 1(u) 2(diš)-ta1 eše3 2 iku surface at 12 (furrows per running ninda) each,
 21.1(bur'u) 2(bur3) 2(eše3) 1/2(iku) 1/4(iku) GAN2 1(u)-ta12 bur3 2 eše3 3/4 iku surface at 10 each,
 22.2(bur3) 1/2(iku) GAN2 1(u) la2 1/2(diš)-ta2 bur3 1/2 iku surface at 9 1/2 each,
 23.9(bur3) 2(iku) GAN2 1(u) la2 1(diš)-ta9 bur3 2 iku surface at 9 each,
 24.2(bur3) 3(iku) GAN2 a-ša3 bala-a 1(u)-ta2 bur3 3 iku surface, bala field, at 10 each,
reverse
 1.še-numun-bi 2(u) 3(aš) 3(barig) 5(ban2) 8(diš) 1/3(diš)
5(diš) gin2 gur
its barley seed: 23 gur 3 barig 5 ban2 8 1/3 (sila3) 5 shekels,
 2.ziz2-numun-bi 3(aš) gurits emmer seed: 3 gur,
 3.gig-numun-bi 1(barig) 1(ban2) 2(diš) sila3its wheat seed: 1 barig 1 ban2 2 sila3,
 4.mur-gu4 5/6(diš)-bi 2(u) 1(aš) 1(barig) 2(ban2) 3(diš) 2/3(diš) sila3 5/6(diš) gin2 gurits fodder at 5/6 (that of seed grain): 21 gur 1 barig 2 ban2 3 2/3 sila3 5/6 shekel,
 calculations ll. 1-3:
((8/18) × 12 × 30) + ((12 12.75/18 × 10 × 30)
+ ((2 0.5/18) × 9.5 × 30) + ((9 2/18 × 9) × 30)
+ ((2 3/18 × 10) × 30)
= 7660.4167s
= 25;2.4.25/60
= 23;3.5.8 25/60 + 1/2! × 3;0.0 + 0;1.1.2
(exact, when ziz2 is halved [meaning unclear to me])
calculation l. 4:
7660.4167s × 5/6
= 6383.68s
= 21;1.2.3 40.83/60 (exact)
 
 5.gu4-e uru4-a(seed-)plowed by oxen;
 6.1(eše3) 2(iku) GAN2 1(u) 2(diš)-ta še-numun-bi
2(barig) 4(ban2)
4 iku field at 12 (furrows per running ninda) each, its barley seed: 1 barig 2 ban2,
 calculation:
4/18 × 12 × 30
= 80 (exact)
 
 7.gešgaba-tab-e uru4-a(seed-)plowed by gabatab;
 8.a-ša3 da-ummakifield of Da-Umma.
 9.5(bur3) 2(iku) GAN2 1(u) 2(diš)-ta5 bur3 2 iku field at 12 (furrows per running ninda) each,
 10.3(bur3) 1(eše3) 3(iku) GAN2 1(u) 1(diš) 1/2(diš)-ta3 bur3 1 eše3 3 iku field at 11 1/2 each,
 11.še-numun-bi 1(u) 4(ban2) 7(diš) 1/2(diš) sila3 gurits barley seed: 10 gur 4 ban2 7 1/5 sila3,
 calculation:
5 2/18 × 12 × 30 + 3 3/19 × 11.5 × 30
= 3047.5
= 10;0.4.7 1/2 (exact)
 
 12.mur-gu4 5/6(diš)-bi 8(aš) 2(barig) 1(ban2) 9(diš) 1/2(diš) sila3 5(diš) gin2 gurits fodder at 5/6 (that of seed grain): 8 gur 2 barig 1 ban2 9 1/2 sila3 5 shekels,
 calculation:
3047.5s × 5/6
= 2539.583s
= 8;2.1.9 35/60 (exact)
 
 13.a-ša3 a-pi4-sal4kifield of Apisal.
 14.1(aš) 2(barig) gur ša3-gal amar1 gur 2 barig fodder of the calves.
 15.|ŠU+LAGAB| 1(geš2) 5(aš) 3(barig) 9(diš) sila3
1(u) 5/6(diš) gin2 gur
Together: 65 gur 3 barig 9 sila3 10 5/6 shekels (barley),
 16.⸢|ŠU+LAGAB| 3(aš)⸣ ziz2 gurtogether: 3 gur emmer,
 17.⸢|ŠU+LAGAB|⸣ [1(barig) 1(ban2)] ⸢2(diš)⸣ sila3 gigtogether: [1 barig 1 ban2] 2 sila3 wheat,
 18.[zi]-⸢ga⸣-am3booked out,
 19.[diri 4(barig) 4(ban2)] ⸢5/6(diš)!⸣ sila3 8(diš) 1/3(diš) gin2[surplus: 4 barig 4 ban2] 5/6 sila3 8 1/3 shekels,
 calculation with emendation:
65;3,0,9 10.83/60 - 64;3,2,9 12/60
= 0.4,4,0 58.83/60
 
 20.[nig2-ka9 ak] ⸢še-numun mur-gu4[account] of seed grain and fodder
 21.[i7-pa]-⸢e3 dumu lugal-ušurx(|LAL2.TUG2|)⸣of Ipa'e, son of Lugal-ušur.
 22.[a de2-a][Flooded.]
 23.[mu si-ma-num2ki ba-hul][Year: “Simanum was destroyed.” (ŠS 4)]



BIBLIOGRAPHY

Englund, Robert K.
1990Organization und Verwaltung der Ur III-Fischerei. BBVO 10. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag.
Gomi, Tohru
1997“A Note on Some Kinds of Fodder for Cattle in the Ur III Period.” AoF 24, 35-38.
Maekawa, Kayuza
1988“New Texts on the Collective Labor Service of the erín-people of Ur III Girsu.” ASJ 10, 39-94.
1989“The Agricultural Texts of Ur III Lagash of the British Museum (VI).” ASJ 11, 113-143.
Snell, Daniel C.
1987“The Ur III Tablets in the Emory University Museum.” ASJ 9, 203-275.
ISSN 1546-6566    © Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative | Posted: 31 March 2011