You are on page 1of 28

Old Babylonian Economic Texts and Letters from Tell Harmal

Maria de J. Ellis
Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Vol. 24, No. 3. (1972), pp. 43-69.
Stable URL:
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-0256%281972%2924%3A3%3C43%3AOBETAL%3E2.0.CO%3B2-J
Journal of Cuneiform Studies is currently published by The American Schools of Oriental Research.

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at
http://www.jstor.org/about/terms.html. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained
prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in
the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.
Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at
http://www.jstor.org/journals/asor.html.
Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed
page of such transmission.

The JSTOR Archive is a trusted digital repository providing for long-term preservation and access to leading academic
journals and scholarly literature from around the world. The Archive is supported by libraries, scholarly societies, publishers,
and foundations. It is an initiative of JSTOR, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help the scholarly community take
advantage of advances in technology. For more information regarding JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

http://www.jstor.org
Sat Dec 1 08:30:29 2007

OLD BABYLONIAN ECONORIIC TEXTS AND LETTERS FROM TELL HARNAL


~ I A R I DE
A J. ELLIS
Yale University

I n vzemorium A. G'oetze

6K8 The texts include twelve letters (nos. 6374);


the remainder are economic texts. These fall
~h~ excavations at ~ ~ ~~~~~l
1 1 conducted ill
(1) those
into
five main
categories:
G
~ yielded ~
~
~
~ dealing with
~
the late 1940~sby the
:ibJu
('-lo
'
)
;
(2)
those
accounting
for carts
many tablets dating to the Old Babylonian period
( G I S . ~ I A R . GD.DA;
~
nos. 13-20); (3) lists of
before and during the time of Hammurapi. 111harvesters
(GURUS
SE.GUR~,,.KU~;
nos. 21-36);
cludcd among these texts were several date lists;
(U
lists
of
lvorkers
(GURUS:
nos.
37-56); and
texts,' as
a geographical list,3 and
(5)
memoranda
listing
disbursements(?)
of beer
as the
famous copies of the L~~~ of
P
C
~
PN
(nos.
57-61).1
Texts
11
and
12
deal
Egnunna, which LVere published by A. Goetze.5
~f'ith
JiPku,
a
type
of
bread,"
lvhilf'
no.
62
records
The great bulk of the texts, holvever, LVere arcllival
the division of
inheritance.
in nature, including economic texts, contracts,
The present article is intended merely to make
and a quantity of letters. Fifty of these letters
the texts public, and to that end corlsists only of
LVerc publislled by ~~~t~~ in sumer
14,6 but a
this introduction, a catalogue of the texts exconsiderable number remain unpublished. xone
c e r ~ t e dfrom the Iracl Aluscum General Register,
of the economic texts from the offjcial excavatiorls
and the autograph copies of the texts. The d('cihave so far beerl published, but transliteratiorls
sion for this form of publication is based 011 several
and translations of ~~~~~l texts lThich mere acreasons. Some of the texts should be treatcd
quired from dealers ill the 19201~arid 301~and
are
in the yale ~
~
bcollection
~
l
~extensively,
~
i while
~ others
~ require little or nothing
mcrc prcserited by S. Simmons in JCS 12 and 14;7
8 . I am indebted to officials of the Ilirectorate-(;ellcopies of these tablets mill appear in a volume of
era1 of Antiquities of Iraq and of the Iraq Museum,
Early Old Babylonian texts to be published by
especially to Sayyid Fuad Safar, D r . Faraj Basmachi,
the l'ale Babylonian Collection.
and Dr. Fauzi Keschid, for permission to copy and publish these tablets, and for their kindness and help d11r1ng
Goetze made preliminary transliterations of almy visit to Iraq to work on the texts.
most a thousand of the economic texts and letters
9 . These texts are an important addition to the corpus
from Tell Harmal ; in 1967 he turned seventyof attestations for the term iibiu. As such they, w ~ t h
four of these texts over to me for publication. I
some further as yet unpublished material from Tell
copied them during a stay in Baghdad in 1967Harmal, are treated extensively in my study of LIesopo
1. For preliminary publications of the excavations,
see Sumer 4 137-39, as well as the pamphlet of the I>irectorate-General of Antiquities entitled: Tell Harmal
(1959).
2. Teha Baqir, Sumer 5 34-85 136-43.
3 . Cf . Selim J . Levy, Sumer 3 50-83.
4 . Cf. e.g. Taha Baqir, Sumer 6 39-54; 130-48; 7 28-45;
-4. C;oet,ze, Sumer 7 126-55; W. von Soden, Sumer 8 49-56;
F:. LI. Bruins, Sumer 9 241-59.
5 . See the definitive publication in AASOK 31 and the
recent comnierlts by B. Landsberger, Symbolae David 2
65-105. Cf. a review of the latter, with further comments
by J. J. Finkelstein in JAOS 90 245ff. The text has recently been treated by R. Yaron, The Laws of EBnunna.
li. Sumer 14 3-78 ( = pp. 1-76 in the separate reprint),
plus pls. 1-24. The article includes a di_scussion of the
administrative organization of ancient Saduppum, pp.
3-9.
7 . See JCS 13 71-93; 105-119; 14 23-32; 49-55.

tamian agricultural revenues (to be published as a volume in the series Studia Pohl)
10. No 59 was assigned to me under the impressio~~
that it also deals with pat PN. I rather tend to douht
this, on several grounds. First, the pat texts deal exclusively with beer; no 59 is a list of grain Secol~dly,
the texts are cast in the form amount - beer - pat
P N - date; if more than one person is listed, the notlce
1s repeated zn toto, with the exception of the day 111 the
date. No. 59 is a list of several persons, with a sub-total
The signs must probably be taken as part of the first
personal name listed, although a t the moment I cannot
suggest what it may have been.
11. These texts were originally assigned to me under
the impression that Bibiu was also mentioned in them.
but study of the texts has shown that they are concerned
with ii-zp-ku rather than with Bi-ib-izr. For Bipku, and
a similar confusion of it and BibBu, see e.g. ARhI 9 234;
-4RMT 11 266, 277, 280, 281, 283, 286-91.

in the way of edition; among these are the lists of


harvesters and workers. An extended discussion
here would therefore be very uneven in balance.
I t would also not allow the material to be used
to the best effect, since the texts, especially the
lists and letters, are best studied in the context of
the cntire archive from Harmal. I have now
begun such a study, using A. Goetze's preliminary
transliterations as well as some others, which I
made in 1967, of texts not seen by Goetze.I2
The texts published here will bc discussed with
the rest of the archive.
Catalogue and extract from the Iraq Museum

General Register

Text

Seal no. 13

Ibl number

Findspot
IM register

Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room
Court
Room
Room
Room
Room
Room

to

134, Level I1
134, Level I1
134, Level I1
134, Level I1
129, Level I 1
134, Level I1
134, Level I 1
133, Level 11
143, Level I 1
143, Level I 1
134, Level I 1
134, Level I1
133, Level TI
133, Level I1
136, Level I 1
136, Level I1
133, Level IT
133, Level TI
136, Level TI
110, Level I1
5, Level I1
5, Level I 1
5, Level I 1
5, Level I1
133, Level TI

12. Among the inscriptional material found during


the excavations a t Tell Harmal were also a group of
brick-bullae, which I transliterated but did not copy in
1967. These texts are_ of some interest for the economic
situation of ancient Saduppum and its surroundings.

68
69
70
71
72
73
74

14, case

lLoom 109, Level I 1


I'loom 136, Level I 1
Iloom 109, Level I1
Iloom 109, Level I1
Room 136, Level I 1
Room 136, Level I1
Room 101, Level I1
Room 136, Level I1
lloom 133, Level I1
lloonl 109, Level I1
ILoom 136, Level I1
Surf ace
Itoom 133, Level I1
Room 133, Level I1
lloom 133, Level I1
lloonl 109, Level I1
Square 5K, Level I1
Room 109, Level TI
Room 133, Level I1
Iloom 82, Level I 1
Room 133, Level I1
Room 133, Level I1
lloom 133, Level I1
Iloom 109, Level 11
I<oom 101, Level IT
Hoom 133, Level I 1
Room 101, Level 11
ltoom 134, Level 11
Iloom 118, Level I1
Room 133, Level I1
I'loom 136, Level I1
Room 143, Level I1
Room 143, Level TI
Room 109, Level TI
Room 133, Level IT
Hoom 134, Level IT
ltoom 133, Level IT
Room 5, Level IT
Room 155, Level l I
lPoom 191, Level TI
lioom 11, Level IT
Room 100, Square 10,
Level TI
Room 11, Level I1
Room 11, Level I1
Room 211, Level TI
Room 197, Level TI
Room 133, Level I1
Room 11, Level 11
Room 211, Level I1

13. There are illegible seal traces on texts 11, 13, 16,
and 60.

Re*.

lo.e

Obu

e F & /[w g#

JL.

$8RH4+

@pyp-%~Wq#

J3+4

U.C.

* &

Obu.

ELLIS:OLD B A B Y L O N ECOXOMIC
I~~N
TEXTSA X D

Obu.

R..

Obo

ep&

LETTERSFROM TELLHARMAL

49

Ob".

i$+&
F-

P-

Lo e .

'leu. r

u e. uuce

wnsat'cd, brcs
n- A e s h o

Rev.

Ob".

ELLIS:OLDBABTLONIAU
ECONOMIC
TEXTSAND LETTERS
F ROM TELLHAR~IAL

61

Coo.

RL).

-PI.