CCP 6.1.13.B.b - Aa II/5 (pirsu 13) B

Catalogue information
British Museum
BM 55490
Sippar(Sippar), 82-7-4 consignment [Babylon (?)]
Base text: 
Aa II/5 (pirsu 13)
Commentary no: 
Tablet information
1 (or >)
a 14, b 12
6,66 × 6,35 cm
Chaldean / early Achaemenid (late 7th / 6th cent) (mostly "Sippar Collection")

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 261, 311

Leichty, 1986E. Leichty, Catalogue of the Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum. Volume VI: Tablets from Sippar 1. British Museum Publications, 1986.
: 177

Wagensonner, 08/2018 (Transliteration)
Wagensonner, 08/2018 (Translation)
Wagensonner, 08/2018 (Introduction)
By Klaus Wagensonner | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Wagensonner, K., 2018, “Commentary on Aa II/5 (pirsu 13) (CCP 6.1.13.B.b),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed June 24, 2024, at DOI: 10079/gqnk9nq
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

The present text, a small fragment in the British Museum’s “Sippar Collection,” but possibly originating from Babylon, contains short comments on entries from Aa II/3, II/4 and II/5. It is thus the only known commentary of the lexical series Aa that covers more than one “section” (Akk. pirsu). This fact suggests that the present tablet is a commentary on Ea rather than Aa.

For the first few lines of the present tablet, which deal with simple numerical notations of multiples of the horizontal wedge , the base text Aa II/3 does not preserve any entries (see MSL 14, 276-278), but corresponding entries can be gleaned from Ea II, 140-144. Aa II/3 is also commented upon in the large commentary tablet CCP 6.1.11.A, which however does not reach until the entries listed in our text, but ends with the sign idim (= Ea II, 124). Although there is no catch-line preserved on this tablet, it is plausible to assume that our commentary started in entry Ea II, 125: di-id-li : 2× : de-el min-na-bi : ma-ʾ-du-tu, “Two horizontal wedges read /didli/ (with the sign name) del minabi means ‘numerous’.” There might be no more than five lines missing from the break at the beginning of the the present tablet.

The base text Aa II/4 corresponds to Ea II, 146-188, and is much better known thanks to the perfectly preserved Achaemenid tablet BM 92693 (CT 12, 1-3) from Sippar. This part of Aa deals with the sign u and leads up to u-gunû or bùr. Aa II/4 is commented upon in the very small fragment BM 38525 (CCP 6.1.12).

The transition between the commentary of Aa II/4 and Aa II/5 lies in the break at the end of line 2′ on the fragment’s reverse. The second part of this entry, however, is still sufficiently preserved: [gi-in : kur :] ku-ú-ru : šá za.gìn el-lu, which also corresponds to the catch-line on the afore-mentioned manuscript of Aa II/4, BM 92693. The base text to Aa II/5 is again rather fragmentary (see MSL 14, 287), but there are various commentaries dealing with its entries. Of particular interest among them is BM 42271(+) (CCP 6.1.13.B.a), which meticulously expounds on various entries in the base text; others are BM 68583 (CCP 6.1.13.A) and BM 48261+ (CCP 6.1.13.C).

It is not clear how far our commentary reached into Aa, but it is likely that he ended with Aa II/5, whose last entry would correspond to Ea II, 265. Aa II/6 starts with the sign ḫal. This latter section is commented on in CCP 6.1.14.


Compared to many other Aa-commentaries, the present text is rather modest. It hardly preserves more than equations. Nonetheless, it adds occasionally sign names such as ku-ú-ru min-na-bi i-gi-gub-bu-ú for reduplicated kur, whereas the second kur is turned by 180 degrees (line r 7′)1 or de-el te-nu-ú for the slanted single wedge (line r 9′). In those areas where we have the base text amply preserved, it seems that this commentary follows more in line with Ea than Aa.

Besides the sign names there are no other technical terms preserved. An intriguing feature occurs in the section on the number “10”. After the sign u the commentator left a round stylus impression. Assuming that this is neither a firing hole (which would be unusual on late commentaries) nor an insect digging its way through a tablet in the soil,2 the scribe might have wanted to represent the old sign form of the number “10” here.

This commentary, as far as it is preserved, does not provide any substantial additional information that would go beyond its base text.


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BM 055490

o (missing)
o 1'1'

[...] x ú x (x) [...]

o 2'2'

[...] x a-a-tu₄ [...]

o 3'3'

[...] x : * i-mi-in : 7() : MIN<(de-el)> [i-mi-na-ku? : si-bit? : * us-su : 8() :] 1

[...] (The sign) 7 times read /imin/ (Ea 2, 140) (with the sign name) /del [iminaku/ means "seven"; (The sign) 8 times read /ussu/ (Ea 2, 141)]

o 4'4'

[MIN<(de-el)> us-sa-ku? :] šá?-ma?-na?-tu? : * i-lim-mu : 9() : MIN<(de-el)> i-[lim-mu-ku : ti-še-et? :]

[(with the sign name) /del ussaku/] means "eight"; (The sign) 9 times read /ilimmu/ (Ea 2, 142) (with the sign name) /del i[limmuku/ means "nine"]

o 5'5'

[...] x : * ú ú-ba-[an : * ú? : e-še-ret? :]

o 6'6'

[* a? :] MIN<(gi-gu-ru-u)> : MIN<(e-še-ret)> : ḫa-a : U ( o ) MIN<(gi-gu-ru-u)> : [MIN<(e-še-ret)> :]

o 7'7'

[ma-ʾ]-du-tu₄ : * ge-e : U mi-iḫ-ṣa-[tu₄ : mi-ḫi-il-tu₄ : ...]2

[... means ...]...; (The sign) U read /ge/ (Aa II/4, 41 = Ea 2, 150) means "wedges" [, "wedge", ...]

o 8'8'

[* šu-u : U : MIN<(gi-gu-ru-u)> : e-re-bu] šá dUTU-ši : e-re- šá UD-[mi : * šu- : U : MIN<(gi-gu-ru-u)> :]

[...; (The sign) U read /šu/ means "to set" said] of the sun (Aa II/4, 67) and "to become dusky" said of the weather (Aa II/4, 68), [...]

o 9'9'

[sa-ḫa-pu?] : * ú-mun : U MIN<(gi-gu-ru-u)> : be-[e-lu EME.SAL : ...]

[...]; (The sign) U read /umun/ (Ea 2, 153) (with the sign name) /giguru/ means "lord" [in Emesal;...]

o 10'10'

[...] x : * gi-gur : U : MIN<(gi-gu-ru-u)> šap!-lu [...]

[...; (The sign) U read /gigur/ (Ea 2, 154) means "low" [...]

o 11'11'

[... :] * bur diš : U DIŠ : MIN<(gi-gu-ru-u)> de--še-ku : 1(u) IKU [: * bur ni- : 2(u) :] 3

[...] (The signs) U and DIŠ read /bur diš/ (Ea 2, 157 = Aa II/4, 150) (with the sign name) /gigur deššeku/ mean "10 iku"; [(The sign) 2 times U read /bur niš/]

o 12'12'

[MIN<(gi-gu-ru-u)> MIN.NA.BI :] 2(u) IKU : * šu-šá-na : 2(u) : MIN<(gi-gu-ru-u)> MIN<(MIN.NA.BI)> [: šu--šá-an :]

[(with the sign name) /gigur minabi/] means "20 iku"; (The sign) 2 times U read /šušana/ (with the sign name) /gigur minabi/ [(also) means "one-third"];

o 13'13'

[...] x x en x [...]

r (missing)
r 1'1'

[... * bur niš : Ug] Ug IKU : * BUR ÙŠU [: Ug Ug Ug IKU]

[... /bur niš/ (is the reading of) 20 bur₃ IKU; /bur ušu/ (is the reading of) [30 bur₃ IKU];

r 2'2'

[* bur nimin : Ug] Ug Ug Ug IKU : * BUR NINNU : Ug Ug [Ug Ug Ug IKU : * gi-in : KUR :]

[/bur nimin/ (is the reading of)] 40 bur₃ IKU; /bur ninnu/ (is the reading of) 5[0 bur₃ IKU. (The sign) KUR read /gin/]

r 3'3'

ku-ú-ru : šá ZA.GÌN el-lu : * ku-ur : KUR : [MIN<(ku-ú-ru)> : MIN<(KUR-ú)> ...]

(with the sign name) kuru means "pure regarding lapis lazuli". (the sign) KUR read /kur/

r 4'4'

MIN<(ku-ú-ru)> : MIN<(KUR-ú)> : * šá-du-ú : KUR : MIN<(ku-ú-ru)> : MIN<(KUR-ú)> : * šá-ḫa-an : KUR : [MIN<(ku-ú-ru)> : dKUR : * a-nu-bu : KUR :] 4

.... (The sign) KUR read /šahan/ (Ea 2, 193) [(with the sign name) Ditto (i.e., kuru) is a deity (written) KUR (i.e., Šahan). (The sign) KUR read /anubu/ (Ea 2, 194)]

r 5'5'

MIN<(ku-ú-ru)> : dKUR : * zi-za-an : KUR : MIN<(ku-ú-ru)> : dKUR : * ra-am-ma-[nu : KUR : MIN<(ku-ú-ru)> : dKUR : * ra-a-šu : KUR :]

(with the sign name) Ditto (i.e., kuru) is a deity (written) KUR (i.e., Anubu). (The sign) KUR read /zizan/ (Ea 2, 195) (with the sign name) Ditto (i.e., kuru) is a deity (written) KUR (i.e., Zizanu). [(The sign) KUR] read /ramanu/ (Ea 2, 196) [(with the sign name) Ditto (i.e., kuru) is a deity (written) KUR (i.e., Ramanu). (The sign) KUR read /rašu/ (Ea 2, 197)]

r 6'6'

MIN<(ku-ú-ru)> : dKUR : * am-ma : KUR : MIN<(ku-ú-ru)> dKUR : * ge-e : KUR : [MIN<(ku-ú-ru)> : ... : * gu-di-bir : KUR@KUR :]

(with the sign name) Ditto (i.e., kuru) is a deity (written) KUR (i.e., Rašu). (The sign) KUR read /amma/ (Ea 2, 198) (with the sign name) Ditto (i.e., kuru) is a deity (written) KUR (i.e., Amma). (The sign) KUR read /ge/ [(with the sign name) Ditto (i.e., kuru) means .... (The compound sign) KUR.KUR180 read /gudibir/]

r 7'7'

MIN<(ku-ú-ru)> MIN.NA.BI i-gi-gub-bu-ú <:> nu!-kúr!-tu₄ [: * ... : KUR@KUR :]

(with the sign name) kuru minnabi igigubbû (i.e., the sign KUR, reduplicated with the second one turned by 180 degrees) means "enmity". [(The compound sign) KUR.KUR180 read /.../]

r 8'8'

MIN<(ku-ú-ru)> MIN<(MIN.NA.BI)> i-gi-gub-bu-ú : er-ṣe-tu₄ : ni-lu?-tu₄ -e-[... : * ú-pu : t :]

(with the sign name) Ditto ditto (i.e., kuru minnabi igigubbû) means "earth" ... [... (The sign) t read /upu/ (Ea 2, 200)]

r 9'9'

de-el te-nu-ú : x x x [...]5

(with the sign name) dil tenû (i.e., the sign , slanted) means "..."

r 10'10'

... : * de- : t : MIN<(de-el)> MIN<(te-nu-ú)> [:] MIN?<(-ten)> [: * di-li : t :]

r 11'11'

MIN<(de-el)> MIN<(te-nu-ú)> : MIN<(-ten)> [:] * -ten : t : MIN<(de-el)> MIN<(te-nu-ú)> : MIN<(-ten)> : * sag-ta-[ak] : [ : ...]

r 12'12'

[...] x x du BAL-ú MIN [...]

r 13'13'

[...] x x BAL-ú MIN [...]

r 14'14'

[...] x BAL-ú MIN [...]

r 15'15'

[...] x [...]


1The sign name for 2(aš) in Ea II, 125 is de-el min-na-bi. There are no sign names attested for higher combinations of AŠ, but we do have sign names for the multiples of U. 7(u) in Ea II, 179 is given as [MIN(gi-gur)] i-mi-na-ku.

2Unfortunately, the sign after MI is damaged. Therefore U could also be equated here with mihiltu, for which compare Ea II, 150 and its subcolumn 3: šaGI.Emi-hi-il-tu.

3The addition of the sign DIŠ to U does not appear in the base text: Aa II/4, 150 only contain U in subcolumn 2, which is represented by the sign name MIN(gi-gu-ru-u) in subcolumn 3. The equivalent is given there as 10 bu-urGAN₂.

4Note that CCP 6.1.13.B.a reads for the KUR's reading /šahan/ in line 7': * { +ša₂-ha-an}KUR : {d}{ +ŠU-ma}KUR. The same can be gleaned from CCP 6.1.13.C. It seems that in our text only {d}KUR is used as "equivalent". Ea II, 193–198 has ŠU in each entry. For this and the subsequent divine names, each written with the sign KUR see also the god-list An : Anum VI, 244-249.

5The sign name dili tenû also occurs in the fragmentary commentary CCP 6.1.13.C r,10': AŠtdi-li-te-nu-u, and in CCP 6.1.13.B.a r,9': šu-šur ZIB di-li-te-en-[nu-u?]. In the subsequent lines the parts of this sign name will be referred to as MIN MIN.

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum