This tablet contains a commentary on chapters 57 and 58 (according to the tablet’s tally, 45 and ) of the series of terrestrial omens Šumma ālu ina mēlê šakin, “If a City is Set on a Height.” These chapters deal mainly with ominous events that occur in a garden or palm grove.
The present tablet is very similar to other ṣâtu commentaries on Šumma Ālu written in Babylonian script and found in Ashurbanipal’s libraries: CCP 3.5.17 (Ālu 17-20), CCP 3.5.30 (Ālu 30-32), CCP 3.5.41 (Ālu 41-44), CCP 3.5.73 (Ālu 72-74), CCP 3.5.94 (on Ālu 94 alt [ṣâtu 2c]), and CCP 3.5.103 (Ālu [...], 103, 104 alt, and [...] [ṣâtu 2c]). All of them are small tablets with no colophon, which contain commentaries on three or more chapters of Šumma Ālu. All of them bear a ṣâtu 2b or 2c rubric. It is conceivable that all these tablets originally stemmed from the same library, and were brought to Nineveh at a later point. More information on their provenance may be obtained from the study of the numeration of the chapters of Šumma Ālu reflected in their rubrics, which differs to a large extent from that of the Assyrian copies of Šumma Ālu found in Nineveh.
The main concern of the present commentary is to explain obscure logograms, words, writings, and expressions in the base text. Occasionally the logograms are rendered syllabically, and then a further Akkadian interpretation is appended (thus ll. 5′, 8′-9′, and 26′-27′). The tablet contains several paratextual notes referring to its Vorlage: thus, ll. 3′-4′ state that a certain explanation “was not preserved on the tablet, (and) I could not read it” (ina tuppi ul šalim ul alsīš); l. 17′ calls an explanation “unclear” (ul murruq); and l. 31′ contains a ḫepi-gloss, indicating a textual lacuna in its Vorlage. Interestingly, the explanation given in l. 23′ is said to stem from “oral lore” (šūt pî).
The only technical term used in this text is ša, used to introduce paraphrases in ll. 22′ and 36′. In the former line (l. 22′), the hapax legomenon irtānû is explained first as a variant of ištānû (the shift št > rt, and vice versa, is common in Neo-Babylonian); secondly, it is said to mean “he who has breasts,” as an adjective derived from irtu, “breast.”