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Breasts Depicted in Sumerian: A Database

Breasts Depicted in Sumerian: A Database

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Published by Jennifer Ball

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Published by: Jennifer Ball on Nov 16, 2011
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07/29/2013

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© Jennifer Ball, May 3, 2011 - 1Breasts depicted in Sumerian: a database. Rev. 25 May 2011 9:11 AM
Breasts depicted in Sumerian:a database
by Jennifer Ball
 
© May 3, 2011Breasts are depicted in a variety of ways in cuneiform. This is a database of every example of 
breasts in cuneiform. The rst example will be the
dumu
depiction, as seen above.
 Dumu
means“child” in Sumerian more than 28,000 times. Could this word mean “of mother”? “De” means“of” or “belongs to” in Latin-based languages. In Chinese, “de” with no accent means “of” andit functions as a possessive; “de2” means “get, obtain”; “di4” means “bull’s eye”: a metaphoricaldescription of possession. These meanings are all very close because possession, as we know, is9/10s of the law. Imagine what possession meant before laws existed or even a fair adjudicator toenforce them.
Dumu - Childrotated 90° cw
Cuneiform and denitions are from http://psd.museum.upenn.edu/epsd/index.html : “The Penn
-
sylvania Sumerian Dictionary Project is carried out in the Babylonian Section of the Universityof Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. It is funded by the National Endow
-ment for the Humanities and private contributions.”
 
2 - © Jennifer Ball, May 3, 2011Breasts depicted in Sumerian: a database. Rev. 25 May 2011 9:11 AM© Jennifer Ball, May 3, 2011 - 3Breasts depicted in Sumerian: a database. Rev. 25 May 2011 9:11 AM
 
4 - © Jennifer Ball, May 3, 2011Breasts depicted in Sumerian: a database. Rev. 25 May 2011 9:11 AM© Jennifer Ball, May 3, 2011 - 5Breasts depicted in Sumerian: a database. Rev. 25 May 2011 9:11 AM
Tur
—the next grouping—uses the same graphic as
dumu
, and the meaning is often breast-related,
but this character is dened as “small” by the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary. “Small” is aeuphemism for “breasts,” but the meaning is “small.” Euphemism and metaphor are the ways in
which humans could use pictures to stand for sounds and ideas: how we can read.“Breasts as a metaphor” is a common motif because when something is important, eve-ryone wants to be a part of that importance. Food was key in the beginning of man, and milkallowed for civilization to get a jump start. The ratio of a woman’s breasts to her physical size as
measured with any other primate shows how signicant the increased proportion meant to our
culture’s survival. Comparing primates to all mammals shows that there was a evolutionary pref-erence for the teats to enlarge, reduce in number to two, and to move to a more visible position.
The eyes and the breasts have as close a relationship as do lips and breasts. Eyes of the male see
breasts of the female and produce offspring whose lips receive life from those same mammaries.This underpinning of sustenance shows up in all scripts as a duple usually, a mound or t-shaperepeated. The evidence of “breasts” being used metaphorically is seen in Sumerian words thatsignify for diminution (child, junior, offshoot, cub, small), kinship, and an association with milk.
Tur - Smallrotated 90° cw
Breasts are important,so there are a variety of 
words that signiy or are
associated with them:
ama, eme, didi, dumu,ga, gaba, gala, genna,nar,
and
tur.
No doubt there are more.

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