Cuneiform, scarabs, memorial slab, and tomb figure, circa 2150 BCE -- 0100 CE

This series is part of Artifact Collection, circa 2150 BCE -- 2007 CE

Series Overview

Title: Cuneiform, scarabs, memorial slab, and tomb figure
Dates: circa 2150 BCE -- 0100 CE
Call Number: AC.003
Size: 8 Artifact(s)
Language(s): Sumerian, Akkadian, and Latin.  

Description

This series contains examples of cuneiform writing, scarabs, and a tomb figure of a pharaoh dating from circa 2150 BCE – 1924 BCE, as well as a Roman memorial slab dating circa 0100 CE.

Arrangement

No order has been imposed on this series.

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This series is open for research.

Detailed Contents List


  Title Request Materials
 
Roman Memorial Slab circa 0100 CE

John W. Zarker, Chair of the Classics Department, Tufts University (1971-1989), identified and translated the inscription. He noted that the provenance of the slab is unknown other than a notation on the back of the stone casing reading 'Mavor Collection.' To the best of his knowledge this inscription has not been published. According to John Zarker, the names are not listed in Pauly-Wissowa nor in the usual epigrphical publications or prosopographies. Date is approximate. Full text (abbreviation supplied): [D(is)] M (anibus sacrum) [L(uci)] Herenni Pto lemaei Miles C(lassis) P(raetoria) M(isenensis) (e) III (triere) Lucifero Nat(us) Aegypti Mil(itavit) an(nis) XXV Vix(it) an(nis) XLIV T(itus) Iulius Numisian(us) III (trium) libero(rum) p9ater) her(es) b(ene) m(erenti) f(ecit)> Translation: This monument is sacred to the Gods of the Underworld of [Lucius} Herennius Ptolemaeus, a soldier of the praetorian fleet stationed at Misenum from the trireme Lucifer. Born in Egypt he was a soldier for twenty five years; he lived forty four years. Titus Iulius Numisianus, father of three children, as heir set up this monument for Herennius who well deserved it.
Location: 39090011499106
Item ID: AC.014.00001
Type: Item
Access: Open for research.
Add to List
 
Scarabs and tablet cuneiform (Sumerian) circa 2112 -- 2050 BCE

1: The Small Tablet:
Introduction: This tablet is written in Sumerian, a language with no linguistic affiliation to any other language known to us. The script used is called cuneiform. The tablet itself can be dated to the Ur III period (ca. 2112-2004 BCE) of ancient Mesopotamia. It contains no further information for more precise dating, except that it was written in the 3rd month (about May-June) of a certain year. Based on the peculiar name of the month, this tablet may well have come from ancient Umma, a Ur III province approximately 300 km south of Baghdad today. In terms of genre, this tablet is an administrative document of the period, a period from which tens of thousands records like this tablet were preserved and a period that is considered one of the most richly documented era throughout the history of Mesopotamia.
Transliteration and Translation: Legends: ( )word not written down but implied [ ] broken and unrecognizable signs ? ? signs partly broken, but can be restored with certainty ? signs with uncertain reading ! signs not written in the way as might be expected from the context, probably resulting from the mistake or confusion of the scribe Capital Letters: literal reading of the sign, without really understanding its meaning in context Italicized Letters: Sumerian proper names adopted in English translation
1. 1 (bán) 5 sìla še lugal 10+5 liters of barley 2. UD? ŠA NI IB DU ? meaning of this line unclear 3. šà-gal-ne-ne as their fodder 4. a-hu-ma-ti Ahumati 5. kaskal-ta ì-im-du-a who will travel 6. šu ba-ti received (them) 7. iti še-kar-?ál Month III (Umma)
Identified and translated by Xiaoli Ouyang, a Ph.D. student working at the Harvard Semitic Museum, March/April 2006.
Because the cuneiform cone had never been clearly identified or translated (information was based on what the donor, J. Welch had sent with the items), Susanne Belovari, archivist for reference and collections, asked the Semitic Harvard Museum to look at the cone. This is how Ms. Ouyang came to identify and translate this and all other cuneiform.
2. The Medium-Sized Tablet: Introduction: This tablet is written in Sumerian and uses the cuneiform script. It dates to the Ur III period, more precisely, to the 8th month (about October-November) of the 8th year of Amar-Sîn, the third king of this dynasty (approx. mid-21st century BCE). Based on the appearance of Abbašaga, an official well-known in Puzriš-Dagan (modern Drehem, south of Baghdad today), this tablet could well have been excavated there. It is an administrative text concerning the withdrawal of domestic animals. Obv. 1. 5 udu 5 sheep 2. 5 máš-gal 5 (male) goats 3. me-dištaran Me'Ištaran ? 4. ?ìr a-na-ti sukkal conveyed by Anati, secretary; 5. lugal-kù-zu maškim Lugal-kuzu is the one who approves; 6. šà mu-DU lugal from the royal delivery; lower edge: ?ud?-25-kam on the 25th day; Rev. 7. ki ab-ba-ša6-ga-ta from Abbašaga ? 8. ba-zi withdrew. 9. blank 10. iti šu-eš5-ša Month VIII 11. mu en eriduki ba-hun AS 8
Explanation: Me-Ishtaran withdrew 5 sheep and 5 goats, either from a group of animals known as the royal delivery, or as part of his contribution to the royal delivery. They were conveyed by Anati and Lugal-kuzu approved this transaction.
Identified and translated by Xiaoli Ouyang, a Ph.D. student working at the Harvard Semitic Museum, March/April 2006.
Because the cuneiform cone had never been clearly identified or translated (information was based on what the donor, J. Welch had sent with the items), Susanne Belovari, archivist for reference and collections, asked the Semitic Harvard Museum to identify and transcribe this and all other cuneiforms.
3: an Egyptian clay tablet.
3 Artifact(s)
Location: 39090011500382
Item ID: AC.017.00006
Type: Item
Access: Open for research.
Add to List
 
Clay cone, cuneiform circa 2150s -- 2110s BCE

Top tray. The Well-Preserved Cone: Introduction: This cone is written in Sumerian and uses the cuneiform script. In ancient Mesopotamia, clay cones were often buried as foundation deposits for temples or palaces. Only gods were supposed to read them. This cone can be dated to the late 22nd century BCE, slightly before or contemporary with the Ur III period. Judging from its content, it must have been excavated at the site of Tello, situated in the South of raq today and the central part of a city-state named Lagaš. This text is a typical royal inscription, usually recording what a ruler does to please his god(s), so that the effort of the ruler can be recognized and reciprocated. 1. dnin-gír-su 2. ur-sa? kalag-ga 3. den-líl-lá-ra 4. gù-dé-a 5. énsi 6. lagaški-ke4 7. ní?-du7-e pa mu-na-è 8. é-ninnu dIM.DUGUDmušen-bábbar-ra-ni 9. mu-na-dù 10. ki-bi mu-na-gi4 Translation: For Ningirsu (tutelary god of Lagaš), valiant warrior of Enlil (head of the then pantheon), Gudea, governor of Lagaš, made things splendid as they used to be, built the temple Eninnu, his (=Ningirsu's) white thunder-bird (a metaphor referring to the temple), and restored it to its place. Identified and translated by Xiaoli Ouyang, a Ph.D. student working at the Harvard Semitic Museum, March/April 2006. Because the cuneiform cone had never been clearly identified or translated (information was based on what the donor, J. Welch had sent with the items), Susanne Belovari, archivist for reference and collections, asked the Semitic Harvard Museum to identify and transcribe this and all other cuneiforms. late 22nd century, BCE
Location: 39090011500390
Item ID: AC.039.00006
Type: Item
Access: Open for research.
Add to List
 
Clay tablet, cuneiform (Sumerian) circa 2112 -- 2004 BCE

Top tray. The Biggest Tablet: Introduction: This tablet is written in Sumerian and uses the cuneiform script. It can be dated to the Ur III period, but except for this, no further information about dating is available. As for provenance, it should come from southern Mesopotamia. It seems to deal with withdrawal of flour, butter, beer and beer-related material from warehouses located in different places. Obv. 1. […] zì-kala [X liters] of kala-flour 2. […] sìla zú-lum X liters of dates 3. […] eša 2 (bán) […] X (liters) of eša-flour (and) 20 liters of … 4. […] ?sìla? ì-nun 2 sìla ?kaš!? […] X liters of butter and 2 liters of beer 5. 1 sìla ?eštin-babbar 1 sìla kaš! še 1 liter of white wine and 1 liter of barley beer 6. 1 (bán) kaš! sig5 1 (bán) kaš!-ge6 ?sig5? 10 liters of high-quality beer and 10 liters of high-quality beer 7. šà é-duru5 ZÌ (from) the village; 8. 3 (bán) zì-kala 5 sìla zú-lum 30 liters of kala-flour and 5 liters of dates 9. 1 (bán) eša 2 (bán) zì še 10 liters of eša-flour and 20 liters of barley flour 10. 1 sìla ì-nun 1 sìla kaš sig7 1 liter of butter and 1 liter of malted? beer 11. 1 sìla kaš! še 3 (pi) 2 (bán) dida ?in-a 1 liter of barley beer and 200 liters of ordinary malt 12. šà kisal from the Courtyard; 13. 2 (bán) zì-kal 2 sìla zú-lum 20 liters of kala-flour and 2 liters of dates 14. 2 sìla eša 3 sìla zì-še 2 liters of eša-flour and 3 liters of barley Flour 15. 1/2 sìla ì-nun 1/2 sìla kaš!-sig7? Half a liter of butter and half a liter of malted beer 16. 1/2 sìla kaš! še 3 (pi) 1 (bán) dida ?in-a Half a liter of barley beer and 190 liters of ordinary malt 17. ki ki? […] A AŠ from…; 18. 2 (bán) ?eša? […] zì še 20 liters of eša-flour X …barley flour The reverse is too broken to read. Identified and translated by Xiaoli Ouyang, a Ph.D. student working at the Harvard Semitic Museum, March/April 2006. Because the cuneiform cone had never been clearly identified or translated (information was based on what the donor, J. Welch had sent with the items), Susanne Belovari, archivist for reference and collections, asked the Semitic Harvard Museum to identify and transcribe this and all other cuneiforms. Date is approximate: 2112-2004 BCE
Location: 39090011500390
Item ID: AC.039.00007
Type: Item
Access: Open for research.
Add to List
 
Tomb figure of Pharaoh Setekhy I circa 1375 -- 1202 BCE

Top tray. Documentation (in file) has history of Egypt, ca. 1375-1202 BC.
Location: 39090011500390
Item ID: AC.039.00009
Type: Item
Access: Open for research.
Add to List
 
Clay cone, cuneiform (Akkadian) circa 1934 -- 1924 BCE

Top tray. The Largely Reddish Cone: Introduction: This text uses the cuneiform script and is written in Akkadian, the earliest attested Semitic language. It can be dated to the reign of Lipit-Ištar (ca. 1934-1924 BCE), a ruler of the city-state Isin during the Isin-Larsa period, when various local powers in southern Mesopotamia proper and on its periphery fought with each other for hegemony after the collapse of the Ur III dynasty. This period ends when Hammurabi reunited southern Mesopotamia around 1750 BCE and brought the Old Babylonian Kingdom to its heyday. The signs on this cone are too broken to read. But based on parallels, the text supposedly records that Lipit-Ištar fashioned a pair of pot stands dedicated to the god Enlil and goddess Ninlil, the leading couple of the then pantheon. Identified and translated by Xiaoli Ouyang, a Ph.D. student working at the Harvard Semitic Museum, March/April 2006. Because the cuneiform cone had never been clearly identified or translated (information was based on what the donor, J. Welch had sent with the items), Susanne Belovari, archivist for reference and collections, asked the Semitic Harvard Museum to identify and transcribe this and all other cuneiforms. Date is approximate: 1934-1924 BCE
Location: 39090011500390
Item ID: AC.039.00010
Type: Item
Access: Open for research.
Add to List