Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin (ISSN: 1540-8760)
Published on 2014-08-03
© Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
§1.1. In October 2013, the author and Jeanette Fincke found themselves at the British Museum at the same time, each engaged in distinct and unrelated research projects. In a dazzling instance of serendipity, Christopher Walker, noting the presence of two students of the Nuzi texts, brought our attention to four items, not heretofore noticed, that might qualify as Nuzi or Kirkuk tablets. Three of these are indeed Nuzi/Kirkuk texts. The fourth, BM 103203, also has affinities with other Nuzi texts, and Walker had good reason to suspect its Nuzi or Kirkuk origin. However, the largely well-preserved letter exhibits a number of what would constitute anomalies in a Nuzi text. We concluded that the letter was Middle Assyrian but with some Nuzi-like elements. It is a unique and important item.
§1.2. The joint study of the Middle Assyrian letter was beset with difficulties. Although each of us benefited from the criticisms of the other, it became clear that our interpretations of this artifact were sufficiently different and irreconcilable so as to preclude a common edition of this text. Fincke intends to publish elsewhere a hand copy of the text and perhaps photographs and an edition as well. The present edition is based on my own autopsy, on photographs supplied by the British Museum, and on Fincke’s several copies based on our joint study. It is proffered because of the aforementioned differences of interpretation, and especially because of the important historical implications for the understanding of Late Bronze Age history that, I believe, inhere in this document. The historical implications are unaffected by any differences of interpretation. In the course of studying this text, I approached Dr. Jaume Llop, who specializes in Middle Assyrian letters, and requested from him his unmediated impressions of this peculiar text. He responded promptly and with acumen. I am very grateful for his cheerful response to an unexpected imposition.
§2. Text Apparatus
§2.1. BM 103203
|1.||a-na 1ut-ḫi-ia||To Utḫiya|
|2.||qi2-bi-ma um-ma||say! Thus|