Valdosta Five - Umma, šu-Suen, Year 3, Month 2, Day 7

FRONT Translations by line
1(diš) dug dida 5(diš) sila2 kaš sag10 One pot (ca. 20 liters) of dida beer, five sila (ca. 5 liters) of high-quality beer,
1(ban2) ninda 2(diš) gin2 i3 2(diš) gin2 naga one ban (ca. 10 liters) of bread, two shekels (ca. 30cc) of oil and two shekels of alkali,
3(diš) ku6 3(diš) sa sum three fish and three bunches of onions,
a-gu-´a sukkal?` gaba-´aš` Agu'a, the messenger, (sent) to Persia.
1(diš) dug ´dida 6(diš)? sila3?` [i3] One pot of dida beer, six shekels of oil,
1(ban2) [ninda] 2(diš) ´gin2` [i3 2(diš) gin2 naga] one ban of bread, two shekels of oil, two shekels of alkali,
´3(diš) ku6` [3(diš) sa sum] three fish and three bunches of onions,
(blank space)  
i3-kal-´la sukkal` [...] Ikala, the messenger, ... .
3(diš) sila3 kaš 2(diš) sila3 [ninda] Three sila of beer, two sila of bread,
2(diš) gin2 i3 2(diš) gin2 ´naga` two shekels of oil, two shekels of alkali,
´1(diš)` ku6 1(diš) sa sum one fish, one bunch of onions,
du10-ga-mu ka-us2-sa2 Dugamu the ... .
ŠU+LAGAB 2(diš) dug dida du 1(ban2) Total: two pots of average-quality dida beer (made with) one ban (of barley);
ŠU+LAGAB 5(diš) sila3 kaš sag10 ŠU+LAGAB 6(diš) gin2 i3? total: five liters of high-quality beer; total: 6 shekels of oil;
ŠU+LAGAB 2(ban2) 2(diš) sila3 ninda ŠU+LAGAB 6(diš) gin2 i3 total: 2 ban 2 sila of bread; total: six shekels of oil;
ŠU+LAGAB 6(diš) gin2 naga total: six shekels of alkali;
ŠU+LAGAB 7(diš) ku6 ŠU+LAGAB 7(diš) sa sum total: seven fish; total: seven bunches of onions.
u4 7(diš)-kam iti sig4-geši3-šub-ba-gar On the 7th day, month: "Bricks are placed in the moulds" (Month 2)
mu us2-sa ma2 denki ba-ab-du8 The year after: "The boat of Enki was caulked" (Šu-Suen, year 3)

Valdosta Five

A rare messenger tablet (c. 2350 B.C.) on which an expense allowance for a temple messenger is recorded. Bread, dates, oil, and wine are but a few of the provisions listed on the tablet.

5.1. This is a record of distributions to sukkals, 'court messengers/officials' and a ka-us2-sa2. sukkals regularly traveled far and wide, carrying out the business of the royal court, and in this text they receive the types of food that were the standard fare: beer and bread, fish and oil. The term naga, which is conventionally translated as 'alkali', has been dealt with by Butz (1984: 283-286), where he suggests several possible interpretations, including its use as soap or as a softening agent for the dried fish that often occur in messenger texts. Or, alternatively, naga may be a cover term for a variety of plant derivatives. Yoshikawa has explained gaba-aš "to the chest" as a shorthand that was used in Umma for trips to Elam, east of Mesopotamia (Yoshikawa 1988).

Identifier Number: UA211B6#5Next Tablet