Puzur-hâli, Puzur-hammi, *Puzur-Haya

CDLN 2015:16

Cuneiform Digital Library Notes (ISSN: 1546-6566)

Published on 2021-02-01

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Bertrand Lafont

bertrand.lafont@cnrs.fr

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris

The worship of the god Haya, husband of Nisaba within the Sumerian pantheon, is fairly well attested in the time of the kings of Ur, and offerings are recorded for this god, notably in the texts of Ur and Drehem. W. Sallaberger recorded attestations of his worship in Kuara, Umma and Ur (Sallaberger 1993: 191). Two temples dedicated to this deity (e2 dHa-ia3) are attested, with one in Umma (UCP 9-2-2 111), and another in Ur (UET 3, 688). Without dwelling on the religious or literary texts concerning this god (especially the “Hymn to Haya” Rîm-Sîn B, ETCSL 2.6.9.2), it is interesting to note that he is found as the theophoric element in several neo-Sume0rian anthroponyms, for example in the following names: Geme2-dha-ia3, Ha-la-dha-ia3, Lu2-dha-ia3, Ur-dha-ia3, dHa-ia3-palil.

These are personal names of Sumerian origin, and for example Ur-dha-ia3 is already attested in the pre-Sargonic period (ITT 5 9202 and 9207).

Understandably, therefore, the personal name PU3.ŠA-ha-NI, attested in Ur III texts, has generally been understood as Puzur-Haya, and transliterated by most editors as puzur4-ha-ia3.

1. hâlum / hammum

However, already since the 1950s, following I.J. Gelb publication of MAD 3, it has been apparent that the same personal name is more likely constructed from the Akkadian/Amorrite word hâlum, meaning “(maternal) uncle”, and is to be transliterated in the form Puzur4-ha-li2 (Gelb 1957: 43 and 127; see Lafont-Yıldız 1996: 288 no. 3524). The main argument for the accuracy of this transliteration is given by the Girsu tablet Amherst 61, on which the name is clearly written Puzur4-ha-LI. Another argument is that, in most references, this name appears without the divine determinative, contrary to what happens systematically when the god-name Haya is meant. Therefore, the reading *Puzur-Haya should be abandoned.

The name Puzur-hâli is found in the following forms:

 Puzur4-ha-li2 (passim, around ninety attestations)

 Puzur4-dha-li2 (eight attestations)

 Puzur4-ha-li (one attestation)

Another name, Puzur-hammi, which appears to be closely related to the name Puzur-hâli, is found in the following forms:

 Puzur4-ha-mi (twelve attestations, see below)

 Puzur4-dha-mi (one attestation, AUCT 1, 486)

 Puzur4-a-mi (one attestation, OrSP 18, pl. 10 28)

 Puzur4-ha-am3-NI (? one attestation, Nisaba 16, 57)

 Puzur4-ha-am3-x (? one attestation, AnOr 12, 104 7)

These two proper names are in fact formed in the same way, around two terms used to define family ties: hâlum and hammum. This pair, Puzur-hâli and Puzur-hammi, is similar to other pairs of the type Hâlu-rabi // Hammu-rabi, frequent in the anthroponymy of the Old Babylonian period: hammum is then understood to mean “grandfather” and hâlum to mean “maternal uncle” (Durand 1992: 121 n. 174, 2001: 693, 2002: 752-4, Kogan 2014).

 2. Prosopographic investigation

The abundant administrative archives from the Ur III period allows us to go further and learn something about the individuals who held this name. The name Puzur4-ha-li2 can be found in Drehem, Umma, Irisaĝrig, in the archives of SI.A-a, and especially in the documentation from Girsu. There, it appears most often in the small accounts of the Messenger Texts category.

Within these Girsu texts, a particular sub-group deserves our attention: the one where we are dealing with a Puzur-hâli bearing the title of “captain” (nu-banda3). This group has been the subject of a study by P. Notizia, who has managed to clarify a situation that is in fact quite complex (Notizia 2009: 91-105). A number of texts record the allocation of rations (beer [kaš], bread [ninda] and sometimes oil [i3]) to two categories of individuals: those “of the guard” (ša3 en-nu) and those “of the palace” (ša3 e2-gal). All of them are placed under the supervision of a manager, himself a recipient of rations, who sometimes acts as “conveyor” (ĝiri3). In about twenty texts, from a short timespan, this manager is a captain (nu-banda3) named either Puzur4-ha-NI or Puzur4-ha-MI.

The group contains a total of about twenty texts, spread over a period of one and a half month, between month II day 5 and month III day 24, falling in a year that is never named. Notizia has also shown that a parallel group existed for months IV to IX (most of the time again without specifying the year, but under the responsibility of another individual: the Elamite Danupi (Dan-u2-pi2).

For months II and III, the appearance of the captain Puzur-haMI/NI, who is probably responsible for the guards (ša3 en-nu) and for those looking after the local palace (ša3 e2-gal), is summarised in the following table (incidentally the data also shows that rations were probably allocated on a daily basis):

date

name

title

function

text ref.

05/ii

Puzur4-ha-mi

DAS 196

11/ii

Puzur4-ha-mi

nu-banda3

RTC 397

12/ii

Puzur4-ha-li2

nu-banda3

ĝiri3

DAS 172

13/ii

Puzur4-ha-li2

nu-banda3

ĝiri3

Ist L 6268

14/ii

Puzur4-ha-li2

nu-banda3

ĝiri3

DAS 175

15/ii

Puzur4-ha-li2

ĝiri3

DAS 149

19/ii

Puzur4-ha-li2

nu-banda3

ĝiri3

TCTI 2, 3524

20/ii

Puzur4-ha-li2

nu-banda3

ĝiri3

MVN 11, L

22/ii

Puzur4-ha-li2

nu-banda3

ĝiri3

DAS 174

23!/ii

Puzur4-ha-li2

nu-banda3

ĝiri3

DAS 202

24/ii

Puzur4-ha-li2

nu-banda3

ĝiri3

RA 19, 40 n°39

 

26/ii

Puzur4-ha-li2

ĝiri3

DAS 194

03/iii

Puzur4-ha-mi

CTPSM 1, 167

07/iii

Puzur4-ha-mi

ĝiri3

DAS 168

08/iii

Puzur4-ha-mi

ĝiri3

Ist L 5579

12/iii

Puzur4-ha-mi

ĝiri3

DAS 189

13/iii

Puzur4-ha-mi

ĝiri3

DAS 179

18/iii

Puzur4-ha-mi

ĝiri3

DAS 178

20/iii

Puzur4-ha-mi

ĝiri3

Ist L 5602

22/iii

Puzur4-ha-mi

ĝiri3

DAS 182

24/(iii?)

Puzur4-ha-mi

nu-banda3

ĝiri3

TSU 99

From an archival point of view, we can note the coherence of this group of texts: most of them are kept in the Louvre Museum or the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul, and thus probably come from the same groups of documents recovered during the official excavations in Tello.

From this table two questions emerge:

(1) what is the year(s) covered by these twenty texts

(2) are we dealing with one or two different individuals holding the title captain.

3. Chronology and identity

The question of chronology was dealt with by P. Notizia, who, in the absence of a year name in these texts, managed to reconcile them with other documents bearing a complete date (Notizia 2009: 100-3). On the basis of a prosopographic and archival analysis of the data, he came to the conclusion that this group of texts should be ordered in a sequence between the last year of the reign of Amar-Sîn (AS 9) and the first year of the reign of Šu-Sîn (ŠS 1).

He therefore proposed a reconstruction starting with the series of months IV to IX of the year AS 9, with Danupi in charge, and continuing with the series of months II and III of the year ŠS 1, with Puzur-hâli and Puzur-hammi in charge.

But nothing prevents us from suggesting that this group is structured on a single continuous sequence, from month II to IX of the same year (AS 9): the series would then begin with Puzur-haNI/MI (AS 9 months II-III), and continue with Danupi (AS 9 months IV-IX).

This leads to the intriguing question of the identity of our character(s), and one point in particular stands out from the outset: the only attestations of the name written Puzur4-ha-MI in the entire Ur III documentation, are precisely those that appear in this group: no other Puzur-haMI is, to my knowledge, attested beyond this group.

Consequently, and in view of the consistency of the above table and the overlapping nature of the documents in the group, there is good reason to consider that we are dealing not with two (as proposed by P. Notizia) but with one and the same individual, whose name, Puzur-hâli (a writing to be retained as the primary in view of all the other attestations of this name in that form), would have been written by one of the scribes of the administration, for a few weeks, in the form Puzur4-ha-MI.

This L/M alternation in the writing of the PN of an individual would not be unique in the Ur III corpus: the famous “Hulibar of DuhduhNE” (alias Duduli), attested in more than 130 texts in the archives of this period (Notizia 2010 and 2011) and whose name is usually written Hu-li-bar or Hu-li2-bar, appears clearly in the form Hu-MI-bar in ITT 3, 6508. However, this L/M alternation remains difficult to explain from a strict phonetic point of view. One can perhaps imagine the recurring mistake of a single scribe who “misheard” the name to be transcribed and therefore spelled it incorrectly on several occasions, but other possibilities may exist.

A final question remains: would it be possible to suggest that all references to a “Puzur-hâli/haMI” with the title “nu-banda3” in the Ur III corpus referred to one person? This does not seem impossible given the relative rarity and the very “grouped” situation of the attestations of this captain's name. Apart from the Girsu's “en-nu / e2-gal” group, we find the following attestations to a Puzur-hâli/haMI:

 at Girsu, mentioned as one of the officers of the Garšana garrison (TCTI 2, 3543, no date)

 at Drehem as recipient of cattle (NYPL 326, Trouvaille 25, Hermitage 3, 188, texts dated between Š 48 and ŠS 2)

– in the SI.A-a/Tûram-ilî's archive (JCS 54, 63 1 and 2, TIM 3, 149), and here it is important to remember the close ties between SI.A-a and the neo-Sumerian military institution and its officers

 in seven Irisaĝrig texts (dated between AS 7 and IS 2).

It is therefore not impossible that, in the end, all these examples concern the same individual, a Puzur-hâli, captain of the army of the kings of Ur.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Durand, J.-M.
  1992 “Unité et diversités au Proche-Orient à l'époque amorrite”, in D. Charpin, F. Joannès (eds.), La circulation des biens, des personnes et des idées, CRAAI 38, p. 97-128.
  2001 Annuaire du Collège de France, Cours et travaux - Assyriologie, p. 693-705.
  2002 Annuaire du Collège de France, Cours et travaux - Assyriologie, p. 741-61.
Gelb, I. J.
  1957 Glossary of Old Akkadian, Materials for the Assyrian Dictionary, vol. 3.
Kogan, L.
  2014 “Les termes sémitiques de parenté dans les sources cunéiformes”, in L. Marti (ed.), La famille dans le Proche-Orient ancien, CRRAI 55, p. 87-111.
Lafont, B.
  1985 Documents Administratifs Sumériens, provenant du site de Tello et conservés au Musée du Louvre.
Lafont, B., Yıldız, F.
  1996 Tablettes cunéiformes de Tello au Musée d’Istanbul, datant de l’époque de la IIIe Dynastie d’Ur. Tome II. PIHANS 77.
Notizia, P.
  2009 “Il dossier ‘en-nu/e2-gal’ ”, Nisaba 22, p. 91-105.
  2010 “Hulibar, Duhduh(u)NI e la frontiere orientale”, in M. Liverani, M.-G. Biga (eds), Ana Turri Gimilli, Studi dedicati a Padre Mayer, Quaderni del Vicino Oriente V, p. 269-91.
  2011 “Addenda a ‘Hulibar, Duhduh(u)NI e la frontiere orientale’ ”, NABU 2011/72.
Sallaberger, W.
  1993 Der Kultische Kalender der Ur III-Zeit, UAVA 7/2.

 

Cite this Article
Lafont, Bertrand. 2015. “Puzur-Hâli, Puzur-Hammi, *Puzur-Haya.” Cuneiform Digital Library Notes 2015 (16). https://cdli.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/articles/cdln/2015-16.
Lafont, B. (2015). Puzur-hâli, Puzur-hammi, *Puzur-Haya. Cuneiform Digital Library Notes, 2015(16). https://cdli.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/articles/cdln/2015-16
Lafont, B. (2015) “Puzur-hâli, Puzur-hammi, *Puzur-Haya,” Cuneiform Digital Library Notes, 2015(16). Available at: https://cdli.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/articles/cdln/2015-16 (Accessed: April 17, 2024).
@article{Lafont2015Puzur,
	note = {[Online; accessed 2024-04-17]},
	address = {Oxford; Berlin; Los Angeles},
	author = {Lafont, Bertrand},
	journal = {Cuneiform Digital Library Notes},
	issn = {1546-6566},
	number = {16},
	year = {2015},
	publisher = {Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative},
	title = {Puzur-h{\^ a}li, {Puzur}-hammi, *{Puzur}-{Haya}},
	url = {https://cdli.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/articles/cdln/2015-16},
	volume = {2015},
}

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