On EREN2+X(S. 161b, “KIŠ”), attested in ATFU 60, 63, 65 and perhaps ATFU 13, O0202, see also: Krebernik (1998: 276, fn. 461) and Mittermayer (2005: 81-85) with bibliography (cf. Pomponio 1980 for a value lumx; Steinkeller 1986: 29 for a reading zu(m)x); add: Bauer (1987b: 7-8) and Marchesi (2006: 22-23).
As first suggested by Burrows (1935: 16, Occupation 54 and 22, Place 16), EREN2+X.KI refers in the archaic texts from Ur to a geographical name. The documents published in ATFU mention a new graphical variant of this term, which consists of a ligature of the sign KI and a Tierkopfzeichen, either S. 161 or S. 163 [note that the tablet recently edited by Bartash, CUSAS 23, 144 may also have the sign S. 161b: O0202. 1N1 NIG̃2 Amar-S. 161b, interpreted by the author as PEŠ2. The shape of this sign seems nevertheless similar to UET 2, 9: O0201]. Similarly, the writing of this term undergoes slight differences in the texts published in UET 2.
Notwithstanding the previous comments in ATFU [Lecompte (2013: 139)], the signs showing a ligature of KI and S. 161/163 in ATFU 60, 63 and 65 (in both without EREN2) are likely to match the expression EREN2+X (S. 161b). As suggested by Burrows (1935: 16, Occupation 52) and Bauer (1987a: 5, 1987b: 7), the official from this place designated by the sign PA might be identical with the title ensix, “governor” (PA.SI). Also note that similar officials of Ur and Dugin2 can be called either PA or PA.SI. The attestation in ATFU 63 of the ensix of S. 161b+KI, tallies with such an identification. Nevertheless, in other occurrences, the sign PA might also merely refer to an overseer, ugula, who is in charge of a troop, EREN2, however missing in ATFU 63.
The alternative use of different signs representing animal head in this expression is somewhat puzzling, as shown in Table 1.
Nevertheless, the sign PIRIG (= S. 162) also presents some similarities with the first variant of S. 161b, although the gunû of the rear part are vertical in the former, horizontal in the latter. The second variant of the sign S. 161b and the sign S. 163 also present a similar shape, the latter having in addition a kind of MA upon the “head” of the sign.
With regard to the interpretation of this term in the archaic texts from Ur, it has been assumed that it represents a geographical name associated with its administrator, either ugula or ensix, followed by the sign EREN2:
Turning now to the identification of this geographical name, Steinkeller 1992: 265 cautiously suggested that EREN2+Xki referred to the gentilic Tidnum and was “an alternative logogram for ditānu/tidānu, which originated in archaic Ur”. However, since the geographical scope presented in the archaic texts from Ur seems limited to Southern Babylonia, this place name is more likely to refer to a city located in Sumer, or in the region of Kiš. On the other hand, the existence of a city ruler, ensix, might indicate that this place corresponded to an independent state, probably mighty enough to be mentioned in the documents from Ur. As long as the value of this sign cannot be determined, any attempt to identify this place name remains speculative. Furthermore, EREN2+S. 161b does not refer anymore in the sources from the Fāra period to a city, but is mainly part of personal names or designates an epithet of Šamaš (Krebernik 1992: 112; Steinkeller 1992: 258-264). While uncertain, the value of the sign S. 161b, regarded by E. Burrows as KIŠ, cannot be discarded in view of the attestations in UET 2, 112. O0522, ATFU 60. O0405, ATFU 63. O0202, and was therefore kept in ATFU. Furthermore, according to Mittermayer 2005: 82-83, two variants of the sign “X” occur in texts from Fāra, SF 63, and Abū Ṣalābīḫ, IAS 503, the former with KIŠ, the latter with a sign similar to ANŠE, which might point out ties with the sign KIŠ. The term should nevertheless be transliterated in the archaic texts from Ur as S. 161b/S. 163+KI and EREN2+S. 161b/162.
In a document recently published by Steinkeller 2013, a geographical name, read by the author PIRIG KALAM (v. ii), can be compared to S. 161b/163+KI from the archaic texts from Ur, namely with the first variant of S. 161b.
It may be speculated that the sign “PIRIG” from the aforementioned inscription and S. 161b+KI refer to the same place, although the former lacks any horizontal gunû inside its “head”. Since the document published by Steinkeller probably originates from Northern Babylonia, the comparison between both terms tallies with the hypothesis suggested by the same scholar that the sign S. 161/X was adopted or created within the frame of the “Kišite” tradition (Steinkeller 1992: 263-265). Needless to say, the uncertainty pertaining to the interpretation of both signs makes it difficult to reach any firm conclusions as to whether both geographical names are identical or connected with the logograms representing Tidnum, KIŠ PIRIG and GIR3.GIR3. Also note that Steinkeller 2013: 140 identified the sign KIŠ in the aforementioned inscription with a sign considered as a variant of ZATU219 (= “GIR3”). It could, however, also be compared to the sign S. 163 in UET 2 (= ALIM?).
A brief analysis of the context of the occurrences of the terms EREN2+S. 161b and S. 161b+KI permits me to highlight further aspects:
Apart from S. 161b+KI, four other places attested in the archaic texts from Ur have been managed by an official called ensix or PA, as already observed by Bauer (1987a: 5-6): Dugin2, BU-MA, Larsa and the city of Ur itself. It is therefore possible to draw two conclusions from the topic of the present article: