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I will be placing here some examples of foundation cones read through my CUNEIFORM READING SERVICE.
My thanks to the collectors concerened for allowing this: it will make it less likely that you wil need to use the service! Hopefully we will be able to develop a database here which will be help those who can't read cuneiform to work out what their cones say.
Inscribed Foundation Cones, also sometimes called “nails” were utilised by the kings for only about 70 years starting with Enanatum I of Lagash around 2400 BC and ending Samsuiluna of Babylon ( 1749 BC – 1712 BC)
First, by far the most commonly available cones of Gudea of Lagash.
Written in Sumerian language; 11 lines.
1. dNin-gír-su For (the god) Ningirsu,
2. ur-sag kala-ga the mighty warrior
3. dEn-líl-lá-ra of Enlil,
4. lugal-a-ni his king,
5. Gù-dé-a Gudea,
6. ensí governor
7. Lagashki-ke4 of Lagash,
8. ní-du7-e pa mu-na-è a resplendent marvel
9. é-ninnu Anzumusen-bar6-bar6-ra-ni the Eninnu Temple “Brilliant Lion Headed Eagle"
10. mu-na-dù he (re-)built
11. ki-bi mu-na-gi4 and restored (to its former condition).
There is also a common version of this standard text written in only ten lines; which omits the line lugal-a-ni = his king.
Top photo, middle line:
E2 NINU(same sign as 50) d.IM
GI6 MUSHEN UD UD RA NI
GI6 is same as MI sign
UD sign has reading bir6 in transliterations)
Second photo, first line:
MU NA DU3 (same as NI sign)
Second line: KI BI MU NA GI4
Below, top main line you can see the commonly come across…
dingir nin gir su
second line is UR SAG KALA GA
last: d.EN LIL2 LA2 RA
Another dingir nin gir su from another cone.
And the very frequently found name, Gudea......
GU DE A
Another two examples of
GU DE A
PA.TE.SI (althree signs together are read as ensi2 = governor)
next line: SIR2.BUR.LA.KI is logogram for Lagasha last sign is KE4 genetive marker
NIG2 DU6 E PA MU
In his numerous inscriptions Gudea, governor of the city-state Lagash, related the many pious building projects he carried out and dedicated to the divinities of the city. The building of the Eninnu, the temple of Ningirsu, seems to have been the great project of his reign. Two hymns, each written on a large clay cylinder, recount different stages of its construction.
There is another very clear example of the common Gudea cones here to assist you in reading yours.
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