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The tablets shown in the photos in this section, placed here between 2006 and 2009, are in private collections in various countries and are not offered for sale.
Most, apart from just a few which are in my own collection, were sent to me many years ago to take better photographs to aid reading of them. I placed these photos here to illustrate the types of tablet which were on the market at this time when the cuneiform reading service was launched. We very much encourage collectors to have their tablets read and to share them with academic resources. I thought that by showing how very interesting such tablets can be, this would encourage collectors to have their tablets read.
An extremely interesting fragmentary URII tablet whose text refers indirectly to two Sumerian deities.
It is an account of barley from the field of the deity Nililduma.
There appear the names of two recipients of provisions from the field, Lugal-kuzu and Lu-shara. In addition mention is made of [name] priest of Ninhursag -kamari
Text on one side of the fragment only.
70mm x 60mm.
Nililduma is a deity mentioned in "The Curse of Agade"
This was written within one or two generations after the fall of the city of Akkad (or Agade) and the collapse of its empire during the reign of Shar-kali-sharri ( cica 2217 BC - 2193 BC), and this famous poetic Sumerian text called lays blame for the destruction of Akkad on Shar-kali-sharri's father, Naram-Sin. In the poem Naram-Sin has a dream in which he sees Enlil, the chief god of the Sumerians, who had given kingship to the great king Sargon (c 2334 BC - 2279BC Naram-Sin's grandfather. Enlil is now determined to "not let the kingdom of Agade occupy a pleasant, lasting residence, that he would make its future altogether unfavourable, that he would make its temples shake and would scatter its treasures." In a vain effort to alter Enlil's pronouncement, Naram-Sin destroys the god's residence, the E-kur temple in Nippur.
In this lengthy poem these lines appear:
May your clay be returned to its abzu, may it be clay cursed by Enki ! May your grain be returned to its furrow, may it be grain cursed by Ezinu ! May your timber be returned to its forest, may it be timber cursed by Ninilduma ! May the cattle slaughterer slaughter his wife, may your sheep butcher butcher his child! May water wash away your pauper as he is looking for......!
In Sumerian mythology, Ninhursag who is often called "Queen of the Mountain" was the Sumerian earth and mother-goddess, one of the seven great deities of Sumer and a goddess of fertility who created all vegetation. She is the consort of the supreme god Enki . Ninhursag is one of the oldest members of the Sumerian pantheon and has prestigious titles such as 'mother of the gods' and 'mother of all children'..Temple hymn sources identify her as the 'true and great lady of heaven' and kings of Sumer were 'nourished by Ninhursag's milk'. She is typically depicted wearing a horned head-dress and tiered skirt, often with bow cases at her shoulders, and not infrequently carries a mace or baton surmounted by an omega motif or a derivation, sometimes accompanied by a lion cub on a leash. She was the tutelary deity of the Sumerian rulers, who styled themselves "children of Ninhursag"..
The naming of the priest on this tablet about the produce of a field is interesting as Ninhursag ensures the fertility of fields.
A priest of Ninhursag -kamari is also mentioned on a tablet in the Arizona State Museum. Reference 88(ASM12111).
There is an interesting publication on this corpus here
This is Imdugud, a lion-headed eagle, from the Temple of Ninhursag near Ur in southern Iraq. It's made from beaten copper over a wooden core . It is in the British Museum
This bull, also beaten copper over wooden core and also in the British Museum, was discovered in 1923 by Leonard Woolley at the small site of Tell al-'Ubaid, close to the remains of the city of Ur. The bull was found among a group of objects at the foot of a mud brick platform. The platform had originally supported a temple building dedicated to the goddess Ninhursag. The objects were found beside the platform-stairs. The bull had been squashed flat by the weight of the brickwork which had fallen from the temple above.
Careful examination of of the several other fragments in the collection this came from revealed another smaller fragment in the same hand and fabric.
The full reading of these fragments:
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