Academic journal article The Journal of the American Oriental Society

The Number-Syllabary Texts

Academic journal article The Journal of the American Oriental Society

The Number-Syllabary Texts

Article excerpt

There exists a small group of texts, previously identified and dubbed "number-syllabaries," in which Syllabary A (henceforth, [S.sup.a]) signs are paired with numerical equivalents. In this article, they are referred to by the sigla, A-E.(1)

A = W22825+22808              Publication: E. von Weiher, Uruk:
                              Spatbabylonische Texte aus dem
                              Planquadrant U18, part 4 (Mainz am
                              Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern,
                              1993), 130-31,  223, no. 218.

B = Rm. 806(2)                Publication: below, fig. 1.

C = BM 47732+48191(3)         Publication: below, fig. 2.

D = BM 46603(+)46609(4)       Publication: below, fig. 3.

E = BM 77233(5)               Publication: below, fig. 4.

The publication of A provides a welcome impetus to fully publish texts B-E and to discuss the relationships among the tablets comprising this curious corpus.6

The order of syllabic signs in Sa prescribes and defines the organization of all number-syllabary texts. In number-syllabaries, as in lexical texts, one of the elements in the entry is preceded by the DIS-sign, which denotes "item:".(7) Although many lexical texts have DIS preceding the first of two (or more) entries, in the number-syllabaries, DIS precedes the second element, the syllabic sign.(8) The order of the entries, numeral - DIS - syllabic sign, is certain because of the frequency and distribution of signs within the vertical rulings which demarcate each column. Further discussion of the organization of the texts and the relationships among them is facilitated by reference to the transliterations which follow, and to the copies, which appear as figs. 14 at the end of this article.

[TABULAR DATA OMITTED]

[TABULAR DATA OMITTED]

B

        i                   ii                  iii

      []         [x+]12        [DIS SAB]
      []         [x+]12        [DIS UD]
      []         [x+]2, 41     DIS AD
      []         5, 20         DIS DA          [20]
 5    []         12, 30        DIS TA          7, [20?]
      []         12, 20        DIS TI
      []x        32, 30        DIS UM          1,[10][+x]
      []x        26, 40        DIS DUB         21, []
      []         22            DIS MIS         30[+x]
10    []         14, 50        DIS URUDU       10[+x]
                 [x+]22        DIS AM
                 [x+]2?        DIS IM

[TABULAR DATA OMITTED]

[TABULAR DATA OMITTED]

D, obverse i-iii (on BM 46603)

         i                   ii                    iii

     7       BU                              (entire column missing)
     7, 13   SUD
     3, 30   KU
     3, 40   LU
 5   3, 11   RU
     6, 40   HA     44           a.ra.kam?
     6, 50   KIR    []           IS
     4       LI     23           GA
     4, 12   LA     23, 20       GAN
10   []      LUM    13, 31       EN
                    32, 20[+x]   IN
                    []           ERI
D, obverse iv-vi (on BM 46609)

             iv               v                   vi

      12, 20    TI                           []        []
      32, 20    UM                           51        ANSE
      32, 40    DUB     56        TU         12, 30    LUL
      22        MIS     24[]      TUM        []        ALLA
5     24, 50    URUDU   26, 14    EGIR       11, 10    GUR?
                                             49        GUR       5
                                             48        DAR
D, reverse iv-vi (on BM 46603)

                          ii                       i

                                    42, 23[x]?       IDIM?
       []          SIR              []               KU?
       []          SE               []               TIK
       []          SE               []               DUR
       []          NIM              []               [SIG.sub.5]   5
       []          TUM              []               TE? … 
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