A Note on the "Chariot's Crescent"

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  • A Note on the "Chariot's Crescent"Author(s): Maria deJ. EllisSource: Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 90, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1970), pp. 266-269Published by: American Oriental SocietyStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/598142 .Accessed: 12/06/2014 23:43

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  • BRIEF COMMUNICATIONS

    A Note on the "Chariot's Crescent" *

    In a recent issue of this journal mention was made of the "Chariot's Crescent," u 4 - s a k a r X(SAR) gisg i g i r - r a, as an aspect of lunar cultic activities. The term to date occurs only once in that form in published texts. The text presented here is offered with the view of enlarging the known body of evidence.

    YBC 4179 is a balanced account of grain used in the preparation of beer ( s e - k as ). The text covers the twelve years from Sulgi 43 through Amar-Suen 6. Payments are recorded for the u4-sakar1(SAR) gigigjrira in each year, at a rate which comes to 201k s i 1 a per month, with additional amounts-once 201 k and four times 1961 s i 1 a-listed for intercalary months. Smaller amounts are listed merely as deliveries ( m u - t ui m) . These deliveries are entered separately for the last two years, Amar- Suen 5 and 6, and as a total for the years Sulgi 43 through Amar-Suen 4 (III 5-6). All the indi- vidual amounts are totalled in III 7. The entries of annual expenditures also show a certain incon- sistency on the part of the scribe. Years Sulgi 43 through 47 (III 9-16) have their expenditures listed separately, whereas a lump sum is given for Sulgi 48 through Amar-Suen 4 (III 17-19). The scribe then discovered that he had omitted the amount for Amar-Suen 3 and added it as a separate entry (III 20-21) before giving the totals for years 5 and 6 together (III 22-24). The text concludes with the grand total of ex- penditures, the amount overdrawn, and the state- ment that the grain was received by Lu-Ninsubur (kisib L. [III 19]) for the u4-sakar1 (SAR) gilg i g i r - r a for the stated years (IV 4-7).

    Apart from this text, u 4 -sakar. (SAR) gi~g i g i r- r a occurs only in Contenau, HEU 43 2, a delivery text for S e - k as . This is

    also the only other attestation for A e - k a known to me. Like HEU 43, YBC 4179 comes from Umma. The u 4 -sakar (SAR) ofvar- ious days of the month, and the gil gi gi r U 4 - 6 / 7 are otherwise known,' and it seems likely that in these instances g i g i r is actually shortfor u4-sakar.(SAR) giigigir-ra the "chariot's crescent." 2

    The official Lu-Ninsubur who received the grain accounted for by YBC 4179 may well be the Lu-Ninsubur who is known to have been a g I r -6fficial at Umma during the years Amar- Suen 4 through 8, at least,3 and who served in connection with incoming s e - u r 5 - r a de- liveries.

    YBC 4179, though in form a balanced account, is actually not really balanced. The gaps in the obverse can be restored without much difficulty.

    * I must thank Prof. W. W. Hallo for his kind permis- sion to publish this text, which I copied in April 1967. It is published here in view of the reference to the the U 4 - s a k a r 1(SAR) gisg i g i r - r a by Civil in JAOS, 88/1 (= Essays in Memory of E. A. Speiser, AOS, 53, 1968), 3 n. 13.

    1 See now Civil, JAOS, 88 (1968), 3 nn. 12-13 and the references cited there, as well as Oppenheim, Eames Coll., pp. 32-33, 48-49, 258. In addition to the u 4- s a k a r 1(SAR) and u 4 - gi~g i g i r both the 6 U 4 s a k a r x (SAR) (see Schneider, Or., 18, 28 #L53; all ref- erences from Drehem) and the 6 gisg i g i r (VAB I 32, Ent. Door Pivot D 6, 9) occur. The latter, which is not necessarily connected with the u 4 - gieg i g i r, is part of the e - n i n n u at Laga?. Prof. Hallo draws my attention to the existence of a sanctuary of dINNIN. GIS.GIGIR "Istar of the Chariot" at Sippar during the time of Nebuchadnezzar; see CT 44 71:12, which records offerings made on the 20th day of the 12th month of Nebuchadnezzar's first year, and JCS 19 (1965), 58 n. 4.

    2 Prof. Hallo suggests that the phrase might also be taken as coordinate, since in texts like Or. 47:357 U4-sakar1(SAR) gula ("newmoon") andu4- sakar1(SAR) U4-15 coordinate with gisgigir U 4 - 6 / 7. In that case perhaps the genitive ending on g i g i r does service for both nouns, governed by 9 e - k a s'.

    I Jones and Snyder, Sumerian Economic Texts, p. 266, citing IB 62 (Or. 15 62) and Fish, Cat. 690.

    266

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  • Brief Communications 267

    But there remains a certain discrepancy between the totals given: when the expenditures (IV 1) of 113 g u r 291- s I1 a are subtracted from the total receipts (III 7) of 108 g u r 290 s il a, the amount of deficit is not 5 gu r 75 s I l a (1 PI 15 s I l a) as stated in IV 3, but rather comes to 5 gur 1 1 sil a. This last number, however, is reflected in the trial balance in the gap following IV 3, which expresses this amount, with the number of s I1 a given in sexagesimal notation, by placement: 1, 30. In agreement with the trial balance in the mar- ginal note, therefore, the amount of deficit in

    line IV 3 must be corrected to read 5 g u r

  • 268 Journal of the American Oriental Society, 90.2 (1970)

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  • Brief Communications 269

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