This small tablet contains entries of a commentary on an unknown text. The tablet was published a hundred years ago by J.-V. Scheil under the title “tablette scolaire d’Uruk avec gloses et vocabulaire.” An Uruk provenience of the tablet seems indeed very likely – note that tablets from Uruk started to flood European collections in 1913. Scheil did not indicate where the tablet was kept, and its current whereabouts are unknown.
The tablet contains several simple philological equations, as well as some rather long elucubrations. These elucubrations provide different alternative explanations for the same words, making use of the term šanîš, “alternatively” (ll. 13′-17′), or simply listing one interpretation after the other (ll. “19′-20′”). Some of the explanations use the technical term ša, which introduces paraphrases. Thus the difficult line qibīt pīšu inaddin, “he will give an order” (which may represent a corruption of the base text, see note ad loc.) is explained as referring to the man “who, in his disease, is given whatever he asks for” (ll. 7′-8′).
The most peculiar feature of this commentary is that its rubric consists simply of the word ṣâtu, without any indication on its base text. This is in fact the only known case of a commentary labeled as simply ṣâtu. It is at present difficult to identify the base text of the present tablet. The lemma dealt with in l. 6′, luḫ.luḫ-ut, is typical of medical tablets. If it has been correctly interpreted, the explanations in ll. 7′-8′ refer to an apodosis that is particularly common in Sagig. Interestingly enough, one of the words commented upon, rabbiš, “softly,” is attested only in the medical series Sagig (Sagig XIII iii 27), ¶ libbī libbī rab-bíš : rap-diš išassi qāt eṭemmi šaggāši imât, “If he cries out ‘my belly, my belly!’ softly (var. rapidly), hand of the ‘murderer’-demon – he will die.” This is the reason why the commentary is classified in CAD P 115b, T 123b, and Z 76b as a “commentary on diagnostic omens,” and in CAD R 15a as a “commentary on TDP.” However, N.P. Heeßel considers this doubtful, and believes that the base text could also be a therapeutic text or even a text of different nature.
Perhaps the fact that the commentary is labeled simply as ṣâtu, without giving the incipit of its base text, means that it contains comments on a variety of texts, rather than on simply one.