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Lot 2327: Western Asiatic Old Babylonian Lexical Tablet

Antiquities: Day 4

by TimeLine Auctions

December 9, 2016

London, United Kingdom

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Description: 20th-19th century BC. A cuneiform clay tablet with text to both broad faces and one edge; accompanied by an old scholarly note, typed and signed by W.G. Lambert, late Professor of Assyriology, University of Birmingham, 1970-1993, which states: ’Clay Tablet, 96 x 54 mm. with Cuneiform Inscription. This is an oblong tablet, written on both sides. The surface is abraded in parts so that no co[m]plete decipherment is possible, but its character can be ascertained and some of it can be translated. The text is of ten sections of three lines each, 6 on the obverse, four on the reverse, with four extra lines of different character as a kind of colophon. The ten sections are set out like a lexical text: a Sumerian sign is written as the first sign of the line, then after a gap the line is completed with a group of signs: in some sense rendering the initial sign. The first line of each section has such Sumerian signs, the second and third only one. They are: ŠITA, DIŠ, and Ù. The Babylonian complement is always an Old Babylonian personal name, and never the same name twice. Two sections will illustrate this: SITA-a-ap-xx a-li-ilu-ki-in/ DIŠ e-pe-es-ilu/ Ù a-pil-ili-su / ŠITA.nam èr-ra-da-pi-in/ DIŠ a-……-i-mi-id/Ù i-li-ip-pa-al-sa-am. This is so far unique in Old Babylonian lexical texts, and it is not clear how the names came to be mated to the signs in the first column, nor what was being achieved thereby. This is thus a rare document so far without parallel.' 158 grams, 96mm (3 3/4"). From a North London collection; acquired in the 1970s.

Condition Report: Fine condition, some abrasion. Very rare.

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