An Early Achaemenid Administrative Text from Uruk

CDLB 2004:1

Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin (ISSN: 1540-8760)

Published on 2004-04-05

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Cyrus, Warka, Neo-Babylonian


§1. I take this opportunity to make known an Achaemenid record from Uruk (dated 23.vii.2 Cyr, 27.10.537 B.C., entered in CDLI as P235704) in the collection of Catherine Oliviero of Banning, CA.




mša2-dINANNA-t,ub-bu lu2qal-la ša2 ms,il-la-a


A-šu2 ša2 mLU2-dna-na-a a-na mni-din-tu4-dEN


lu2ŠA3.TAM E2.AN.NA A-šu2 ša2 mdAG-GIN-NUMUN A mda-bi-bi


˹u mdAG˺-ŠEŠ-MU lu2SAG LUGAL lu2EN pi-qit-tu4 E2.AN.NA


[iq]-˹bi˺ um-ma ina itiSIG4 u itiŠU MU 2.KAM




[x x] x-e ša2 dGAŠAN ša2 UNUGki ša2 ina KUR pi-qu-du


[(x) mx (x)] x A-šu2 ša2 ms,il-la-a DUMU EN-ia


[x x (x)] ˹˺-pu-ra-an-ni ina ŠUII lu2DUMUmeš mba-ne2-˹e˺


[x (x) KUR pi]-qu-du ki-i!? e-se-ru






[lu2mukinnū m]˹d30-APIN˺ [A-šu2 ša2]


[mdAG]-MU-SI.SA2 A mDU3-DINGIR [(x)]


[mx (x)] x (x) A-šu2 ša2 mna-din A mna?-[x x (x)]


mZALAG2-d30 A-šu2 ša2 mdAG-DU3-ŠEŠ


A mZALAG2-d30 mmu-ra-nu A-šu2 ša2


ša2 mdAG-DU3-ŠEŠ A mE2.KUR-za-kir


lu2UMBISAG mna-di-nu A-šu2 ša2 mdEN-ŠEŠmeš-BAša2


A me-gi-bi UNUGki itiDUL


UD 23.KAM MU 2.KAM mku-ra-aš2



§ 2.

obv. 1: For the name of the slave cf. Tallqvist, NN p. 248 no. 80.
obv. 7: At the beginning perhaps [ina ka-re]-e “from the storehouse”?
obv. 10: Or restore the personal name [mni]-qu-du at the beginning? But the involvement of a third person does not seem very likely. ki-i possibly written over an incomplete erasure.


Figure 1: Copy of the text P235704 (click on the image for an enlargement)


§3. Translation

Ša-Ištar-tubbu, the slave of Sillaya, (2) son of Amēl-Nanaya, (5) spoke (2a) to Nidinti-Bēl, (3) the chief administator of the Eanna temple, son of Nabû-mukīn-zēri of the Dabibī family, (4) and to Nabû-aha-iddin, the royal supervisor of the Eanna temple, (5a) as follows: “In the months Siman and Dûzu of the 2nd year (6) [of  Cyr]us, King of Babylon and the Lands ([late May until early July 537 B.C.]), 20kur ([about 3600 litres]) of barley (7) [from the storehouse] of Our-Lady-of-Urukin the Piqūdu region, (8) [concerning which (PN)], the son of Sillaya, the son of my master, (9) sent me [a message/order, saying] (10a) ‘When I collected (it) (9a) from the citizens (10) [of the] Piqūdu  region, (11) [I] gave (it) to him.’ ”

(12-17) witnesses   Sîn-ēreš/[Nabû]-šumu-līšir/Ibni-ilī
(18f.) scribe   Nādinu/Bēl-ahhē-iqīša/Egibi



Statement of a slave before the two highest-ranking administative officials at the main temple of Uruk (šatammu and ša-rēš-šarri bēl-piqitti) concerning the whereabouts of 20 kur of barley from the area of Piqūdu. The barley is owed to the temple. The slave had assisted his master’s son in collecting. In the record he declares to have handed it over to his master's son.


§4.1. The administrators and witnesses are well known from other texts of the same period.


§4.2. The šatammu Nidinti-Bēl is attested from year 6 Cyrus to 6  Cambyses (San Nicolò, Prosopographie, p. 17); the ša-rēš-šarribēl piqitti Nabû-aha-iddin from 17 Nabonidus to 4 Cambyses (ibid.,pp. 19-20)


§4.3. The first witness could be identical with Sîn-ēreš/Nabû-šumu-līšir/Ibni-ilī known from M. Geller, Festschrift Greenfield, pp. 531-542, l. 3, cf. H. M. Kümmel, Familie Beruf und Amt, pp. 143263, 150-152. For the 3rd witness (attested acc. Nabonidus to 4 Cyrus) cf. ibid., pp. 26-27; for the 4th witness (12 Nabonidus to 5 Cyrus, ṭupšar Eanna [official temple scribe] from 1 Cyrus on) cf. ibid., pp. 118, 130, 144. The scribe appears in documents between acc. Neriglissar and 6 Cambyses (as tupšar Eanna from 12 Nabonidus), cf. ibid., pp. 122,144.


§4.4. The master of the protagonist, Silla-ya, son of Amēl-Nanaya also appears e.g. in TCL 13, 227: 17 (where he is involved in official commodity deliveries from the Sealand during the time of Nabonidus) and TBER 112: 24 (a list without date).


§4.5. The area KUR pi-qu-du where the barley comes from is well attested, at least from Neo-Assyrian sources, cf. R. Zadok, RGTC 8, p. 251 s.v. Puqūdu. This Aramaic tribe is known to have dwelt during the reign of Sargon II in the marshes of the river Uqnû on the border of Elam. Later sources attest to their activities in the vicinity of Uruk (Frame, Babylonia 689-627, pp. 44-45), and a large number of Puqudians are known to have been dedicated to Ištar of Uruk (BIN 2 132, quoted Babylonia 689-627, p. 46).


Version: 5 March 2004

Cite this Article
Wunsch, Cornelia. 2004. “An Early Achaemenid Administrative Text from Uruk.” Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin 2004 (1).
Wunsch, Cornelia. (2004). An Early Achaemenid Administrative Text from Uruk. Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin, 2004(1).
Wunsch, Cornelia (2004) “An Early Achaemenid Administrative Text from Uruk,” Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin, 2004(1). Available at: (Accessed: December 7, 2023).
	note = {[Online; accessed 2023-12-07]},
	address = {Oxford; Berlin; Los Angeles},
	author = {Wunsch,  Cornelia},
	journal = {Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin},
	number = {1},
	year = {2004},
	publisher = {Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative},
	title = {An {Early} {Achaemenid} {Administrative} {Text} from {Uruk}},
	volume = {2004},

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J2  - CDLB
SN  - 1540-8760
T2  - Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin
TI  - An Early Achaemenid Administrative Text from Uruk
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Y2  - 2023/12/7/
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