CDLI Literary 000764, ex. 006 (P346126)

Literary tablet excavated in Ur (mod. Tell Muqayyar), dated to the Old Babylonian (ca. 1900-1600 BC) period and now kept in British Museum, London, UK

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Chemical Data

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Museum Collection(s)

British Museum, London, UK

Museum Number

BM —

Period

Old Babylonian (ca. 1900-1600 BC)

Provenience

Ur (mod. Tell Muqayyar)

Artifact Type

Tablet

Material(s)

Clay

Genre / Subgenre(s)

Literary (ETCSL 5.03.05 Debate between Bird and Fish (witness))

Language(s)

Sumerian

Measurements

-

Witness

tablet
obverse
1. 2(disz@t)-kam-ma-sze3! muszen-e ku6-ra in# [...]
 en: A 2nd time the bird insulted the fish
2. ku6 lipisz tuku a2 nam-ur-sag-ga2#!? [...]
 en: The fish, possessed of anger, trusting in the heroic might of the deep water(?)
3. muru9 dugud-gin7 ni2 ki bi2-ib2-us2 [...]
 en: Like a heavy rain cloud it set itself on the ground, it stood in an adamin contest
4. in muszen-e a-na mu-ni-in-dub2-ba sza3-sze3! nu-mu-un#-na#-an-gid2
 en: Whatever insults the bird had struck it with, in did not ponder
5. gu2 surx(SAG) ba-da-an-gar inim BUR2-bi im-me
 en: It was able to(?) submit furious(ly)(?), it was speaking freely/humbly(?)
6. 2(disz@t)-kam-ma-sze3! ku6-e muszen-ra mu-na#-ni-ib-gi4-gi4
 en: A 2(diš)nd time fish was answering the bird
7. a2-ur2 gu2-guru5 giri3 su#?-ul-su#!?-ul KA x eme sal-sal
 en: (Possessor of) trimmed limbs, crippled(?) feet, a ... mouth/beak, and a thinned out/flattened(?) tongue
8. nam-nu-zu-a-ta KA e-da-ra-HAR ni2-zu umun2 li-bi2-ak
 en: By means of ignorance you have been able to sneer/shout/chew(?), (but) you yourself have not contemplated(?)
9. mah gu7-gu7 sag#? szu zi bi2-ib2-du11-ga kisal-e szed6! si-si
 en: Eating way too much, ..., filling the courtyard with feces
10. kisal-luh tur e2 sa# lax(ME)-e esz2! mu-ri-ib2-sar-re
 en: The young courtyard sweeper who is sweeping in the temple is braiding(?) a rope for you
11. muhaldim {lu2}lunga?-e i3-du8 e2 ti-la zi mu-da-ri-esz
 en: The cook, the brewer, and the gatekeeper who reside in the temple are distressed with (you)
12. muszen nam-mah-gu10 egir-bi nu-zukumx(|LAL2.SAR|)-zukumx(|LAL2.SAR|) bar-ga2 en3 li-bi2-tar
 en: Bird, (you are one who) my greatness does not tread behind, (you are one who) does not inquire after me
13. si-ga kal-ga-ga2 nu-mu-e#-da#-zu#? inim# u3-bu-bu-ul i3-bala!
 en: You cannot know (either) my weakness(?) or my strength, (you) have conversed in an inflammatory manner(?)
reverse
1. nig2-ak-ga2 ki-bi nu-mu-x-x diri-sze3! ni2 sun5-ni-ib
 en: You have not sought the site of my deeds, (now) humble yourself excessively!
2. inim-zu nam-bur2-ra im-da-ab#?-tum3 ni2-zu ad# li-bi-gi4
 en: Your word has brought “release,” you have not taken counsel with yourself
3. ga2-e ku6-me-en he2-gal2 AB sikil-la tesz2-bi gar#-gar#?-me-en
 en: I, the fish, am the one who piles up(?) the abundance of the pure shrine/sea(?) together
4. du8 mah nindaba gal-gal dingir-re-ne-ka sag il2-la DU?-me-en
 en: At(?) The supreme mound(?), I am the one who brings/goes/stands among(?) the great nindaba offerings of the gods proudly
5. {d}asznan-gin7 sza3#?-gar#? kalam-ma-ke4 ba-gal2-e-en [...]-tah#-ni ga2-e-me-en
 en: Like (the grain goddess) Ašnan (I) am here as the sustenance of the land, I am her helper
6. ug3-e gesztux(|GISZ.TUG2|)-ga ma-du3-du3 igi-bi mu-e-szi-gal2
 en: The people have listened to me, they have looked to me
7. kur ezem-gin7 mu-e-da-hul2!?-e en3 tar-gu10 i3-gal2
 en: The land(?) rejoices with me as if (it was) a festival, my inquirer is there(?)
8. nig2-gal-gal a-na me-dim2-ma-zu gur4-ra-zu#? ga-ri-ib-zu
 en: Bird, what is your great thing that (you) accomplished? I will make you know your (over) exuberance
9. sun7-na inim# lul-la bala-zu szu-zu ga-ba-ni-ib-si
 en: I want to give (back into) your hand your arrogance and false speech
10. u4-bi-a ku6-e muszen-ra sa2 im-si-si-ge
 en: At that time the fish was setting plans in place against the bird
11. si-ga# lul-ba a2-ba mu-un-DU-DU
 en: Silently and deceptively(?) it went on its “arms”
12. u4 muszen gud3-bi zi-ga-a-gin7 amar-bi-sze3! nig2#-gu7-bi tum3-de3
 en: When the bird got up from its nest in order to bring (back) food for its chick
13. ku6-e ki si-ga a2-ba mu-un-[...]
 en: The fish sought? the place silent(ly) “on its arms”
  double ruling
  blank space

Consult previous versions and their differences
Consult sign list of Old Babylonian (ca. 1900-1600 BC)
Consult word list of Old Babylonian (ca. 1900-1600 BC)

  • Artifact type: Tablet
  • Material: Clay
  • Measurements (mm):
  • Weight:
  • Artifact Preservation:
  • Condition Description:
  • Join Information:
  • Seal no.:
  • Seal information:
  • Artifact comments:

  • Genre(s): Literary (ETCSL 5.03.05 Debate between Bird and Fish (witness))
  • Language(s): Sumerian


  • history: UET 6, 0041

    [Gadd1963] Gadd, Cyril J., and Aaron Shaffer. 1963, 1966.

  • Composite No.:
  • Museum No.: BM —
  • Accession No.:

  • Provenience: Ur (mod. Tell Muqayyar)
  • Elevation:
  • Stratigraphic Level:
  • Excavation No: U 16886
  • Findspot Square:
  • Findspot Comments:

Created Creator Type Authors Project Reviewer Status Action
2023-06-28 at 23:15:35 Rattenborg, Rune Artifact Hafford, William B.; Rattenborg, Rune Geomapping Landscapes of Writing Rattenborg, Rune approved View
2023-06-15 at 20:34:30 Rattenborg, Rune Artifact Rattenborg, Rune Geomapping Landscapes of Writing Rattenborg, Rune approved View
2019-06-12 at 08:57:29 Englund, Robert K. Atf Englund, Robert K. CDLI approved View
2019-06-01 at 14:34:09 Englund, Robert K. Atf Peterson, Jeremiah CDLI approved View
2019-05-29 at 21:01:58 Englund, Robert K. Atf Englund, Robert K. CDLI approved View
2006-11-02 at 00:00:00 CDLI Artifact Foxvog, Daniel A.; Guerra, Dylan; Peterson, Jeremiah; Veldhuis, Niek; Wolfe, Jared N. CDLI approved View

This artifact is a witness to the following composite(s):

Composite Score
CDLI Literary 000764 (Debate between Bird and Fish) composite (P478958) View the score

General Notes: -
CDLI Notes: -
Cite this Artifact
“CDLI Literary 000764, Ex. 006 Artifact Entry.” (2006) 2023. Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). June 28, 2023. https://cdli.ucla.edu/P346126.
CDLI Literary 000764, ex. 006 artifact entry (No. P346126). (2023, June 28). Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). https://cdli.ucla.edu/P346126 (Original work published 2006)
CDLI Literary 000764, ex. 006 artifact entry (2023) Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). Available at: https://cdli.ucla.edu/P346126 (Accessed: July 14, 2024).
@misc{2023CDLI,
	note = {[Online; accessed 2024-07-14]},
	year = {2023},
	month = {jun 28},
	title = {CDLI {Literary} 000764, ex. 006 artifact entry},
	url = {https://cdli.ucla.edu/P346126},
	howpublished = {https://cdli.ucla.edu/P346126},
}

TY  - ELEC
DA  - 2023/6/28/
PY  - 2023
ID  - P346126
LB  - CDLI:P346126
M1  - 2024/7/14/
TI  - CDLI Literary 000764, ex. 006 artifact entry
UR  - https://cdli.ucla.edu/P346126
ER  - 
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