A Note on the Regular Offering to Ninlil at Tummal

CDLN 2014:6

Cuneiform Digital Library Notes (ISSN: 1546-6566)

Published on 2014-04-15

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Liu Changyu ORCID logo


Zhejiang Normal University

In ASJ 8, Setsuko Oh'e gave a systematic discussion of the agricultural festival in Tummal (Oh'e 1986: 121-132). In recent years, an increasing number of new texts have become available on this subject. In this article, I will focus on the regular offering (sa2-du11) to Ninlil at Tummal by collecting all related documents and correcting several errors made in previous publications.

There are currently 13 Ur III administrative documents concerning the regular offering to Ninlil at Tummal, all of which are from Drehem, dated from Š 42 to ŠS 2. According to the date of these texts, they can be divided into two categories: one category of documents dated on the 29th day of the month (u4 30-la2-1-kam); the others, simply contained in the monthly record (iti 1-kam). Based on terms for expenditures, the documents may also be subdivided into two different categories: the first one with the terms “zi-ga / ša3 Tum-ma-al / ki PN”; the second, with the terms “ša3 Tum-ma-al / ki PN-ta ba-zi.”

The species of livestock accounted for in the documents are all barley-fed sheep and goats (mainly udu niga and maš2 gal niga, as well as a few gukkal niga, u8 niga, u8 gukkal niga, and sila4 niga). There were typically 30 sheep and/or goats recorded in all monthly records, 29 sheep and goats in all texts dated on the 29th day. In each transaction, the number of sheep is certainly higher than that of the goats, with two transactions (TCND 196 and TCND 203) transpiring entirely without goats.

There are three disbursal officials involved in these transactions, initially Ašne'u (in Š 42), then En-diĝirĝu (from Š 45 to AS 8), and finally Kurbilak (ŠS 2 and unknown). It should be noted that the texts involving Kurbilak also include a ĝiri3 official Enum-Adad, the “šar2-ra-ab-du”-official (RA 79: 26 16), but the texts involving the other two disbursal officials are without ĝiri3 officials (also see Tsouparopoulou 2009:102-106 and Tsouparopoulou 2013). Additionally, the names of the years were destroyed in two texts (PDT 2, 1268 and P313095 [unpubl.]).

The following are my corrections and comments for part of the texts:
  • TCND 196: line 4 should be iti 1-kam, not u4! 1-kam. The sign iti is clear, and the tablet is surely a monthly record. W. Heimpel's review for this publication did not refer to this error. (Heimpel 1994: 278-282)
  • TCND 199: the end of line 3 lacked la2, correctly sa2-du11 dNin-lil2-la2, by rechecking its photograph in CDLI.
  • SumTemDocs 13: the end of line 4 also lacked la2.
  • RA 9: 48 SA 99: the obverse cannot be currently available, and was probably destroyed. According to the parallel texts, it may be recovered with a total of 30 sheep and/or goats on the basis of its monthly record. The end of line 1 of the reverse lacked la2, as well.
  • Nisaba 8, 131: line 4 should be sa2-du11 dNin-lil2-la2, not ki inim-dNin-lil2-la2.
  • AUCT 1, 694: line 5 should be iti 1-kam, not u4 1-kam. (for the error, see Sigrist 1984: 53)
  • TCND 203: line 3 should be iti 1-kam, not u4 1-kam.
  • PDT 2, 1189: line 1 can be probably recovered with 20 [udu] niga; line 2 can be certainly recovered with 10-la2-[1] maš2 gal niga; the sum of animals is 29, matching the 29th day. The end of line 3 lacked la2. Finally, the left edge should be 30-la2-1 udu, not 30 udu.
  • RA 79, 26 16: for the discussion of the title šar2-ra-ab-du, see Garfinkle 2003: 171.
  • PDT 2, 1268: this text's year name was totally destroyed. Based on the presence of disbursal official Kurbilak, it probably belongs to ŠS. In addition, the ends of lines 1 and 2 lacked niga, and line 3 lacked la2. Finally, the left edge can be recovered with [30 (udu)].
  • P313095 (unpubl.): The reverse of this unpublished text from a private collection containing the name of the disbursal official, month, and year is almost destroyed. I would like to thank Prof. R. Englund and CDLI for providing me with the tablet's photograph and agreeing to publish this tablet here.
Obverse 1 11 udu niga 11 barley-fed rams
  2 2 gukkal niga 2 barley-fed fat-tailed rams,
  3 2 u8 niga 2 barley-fed ewes,
  4 1 u8 gukkal niga 1 barley-fed fat-tailed ewe,
  5 13 maš2 gal niga 13 barley-fed male goats,
  6 sa2-du11 dNin-lil2-la2 as regular offering to Ninlil,
  7 u4 30-la2-1-kam which is on the 29th day (of the month),
Reverse 8 [zi]-ga?⌝ were expended?
  9 [ša3 Tum-ma-a]l? at Tummal?
  10 [ki PN] from somebody;
  11 [iti ...] x Month of [...]
  12 [mu ...] Year: [...]
Left edge 13 30-la2-1 Sum: 29 (sheep).


Appendix: chronological listing of texts
on the regular offering to Ninlil at Tummal

Date Text Animals Officials Term
Š42 vi - TCND 196 30 udu niga Ašne'u zi-ga
Š 45 vii 29 TCND 199 27 udu niga, 2 maš2 gal niga En-diĝirĝu zi-ga
Š 47 ix - SumTemDocs 13 26 udu niga, 2 u8 niga, 2 maš2 gal niga En-diĝirĝu zi-ga
AS 3 vi - RA 9 48 SA 99 [...] En-diĝirĝu ba-zi
AS 5 xii 29 Nisaba 8, 131 13 udu niga, 1 gukkal niga, 15 maš2 gal niga En-diĝirĝu zi-ga
AS 6 iii 29 TCND 403 18 udu niga, 11 maš2 gal niga En-diĝirĝu zi-ga
AS 7 v - AUCT 1, 694 17 udu niga, 2 gukkal niga, 11 maš2 gal niga En-diĝirĝu zi-ga
AS 7 viii - TCND 203 30 udu niga   zi-ga
AS 8 i 29 BPOA 7 2505 17 udu niga, 2 gukkal niga, 10 maš2 gal niga En-diĝirĝu zi-ga
AS 8 iii 29 PDT 2 1189 20 [udu?] niga, 9 maš2 gal niga En-diĝirĝu zi-ga
ŠS 2 xii 29 RA 79 26 16 25 udu niga, 1 u8 niga, 3 maš2 gal niga Kurbilak ba-zi
XX iv - PDT 2, 1268 17 udu niga, 13 maš2 gal niga Kurbilak ba-zi
XX X 29 P313095 11 udu niga, 2 sila4 niga, 2 u8 niga, 1 u8 gukkal niga, 13 maš2 gal niga [PN] [zi-ga(?)]



Garfinkle, S.
  2003 “SI.A-a and His Family: the Archive of a 21st Century (BC) Entrepreneur”. ZA 93:161-198.
Heimpel, Wolfgang
  1994 “Review of Testi cuneiformi neo-sumerici da Drehem, n.0001-0412 by Alfonso Archi; Francesco Pomponio”. JAOS 114:278-282.
Oh'e, S.
  1986 “An Agricultural Festival in Tummal in the Ur III Period”. ASJ 8:121-132.
Sigrist, Marcel
  1984 Neo-Sumerian Account Texts in the Horn Archaeological Museum, Volume 1, AUCT 1. Andrews University Press: Berrien Springs.
Tsouparopoulou, Christina
  2009 The material face of bureaucracy: Writing, sealing and archiving tablets for the Ur III state at Drehem. PhD Dissertation, Cambridge University.
  2013 “A Reconstruction of the Puzriš-Dagan Central Livestock Agency”. CDLJ 2013: 2.
Cite this Article
Liu, Changyu. 2014. “A Note on the Regular Offering to Ninlil at Tummal.” Cuneiform Digital Library Notes 2014 (6). https://cdli.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/articles/cdln/2014-6.
Liu, C. (2014). A Note on the Regular Offering to Ninlil at Tummal. Cuneiform Digital Library Notes, 2014(6). https://cdli.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/articles/cdln/2014-6
Liu, C. (2014) “A Note on the Regular Offering to Ninlil at Tummal,” Cuneiform Digital Library Notes, 2014(6). Available at: https://cdli.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/articles/cdln/2014-6 (Accessed: April 14, 2024).
	note = {[Online; accessed 2024-04-14]},
	address = {Oxford; Berlin; Los Angeles},
	author = {Liu, Changyu},
	journal = {Cuneiform Digital Library Notes},
	issn = {1546-6566},
	number = {6},
	year = {2014},
	publisher = {Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative},
	title = {A {Note} on the {Regular} {Offering} to {Ninlil} at {Tummal}},
	url = {https://cdli.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/articles/cdln/2014-6},
	volume = {2014},

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PY  - 2014
ET  - 2014/4/15/
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J2  - CDLN
SN  - 1546-6566
T2  - Cuneiform Digital Library Notes
TI  - A Note on the Regular Offering to Ninlil at Tummal
UR  - https://cdli.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/articles/cdln/2014-6
VL  - 2014
Y2  - 2024/4/14/
ER  - 
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