Libmonster ID: JP-1333
Author(s) of the publication: N. V. Kozyreva

The last of a number of significant historical monographs by I. M. Diakonov was devoted to the study of one of the oldest cities in Mesopotamia - the city of Ur (1). The author highlighted various aspects of the life of the ancient city in the XIX-XVIII centuries BC, having studied and analyzed the huge archaeological and documentary material obtained by the archaeological expedition of Sir Leonard Woolley. The main emphasis was placed on the study of the most thoroughly excavated areas of the city of Ur: the central temple complex and two residential areas (EM and AN on the archaeological plan). Another residential area of the Urals, due to the scarcity of material obtained in it, remained outside the scope of this monograph and is mentioned in it only in passing (2).

This third residential area of the city of Ur excavated by archaeologists was designated CLW (3) in Woolley's excavation reports. It was located on the northeastern edge of the city. Archaeologists have unearthed a group of houses stretching for more than 100 m along the city wall and partially forming this wall. The houses were probably built at the beginning of the second millennium BC, but continued to exist even in the Kassite period. Woolley called this part of the city "a poor quarter to the NE of the Temenos", but this conclusion was made before studying the documentary material found here.

A group of 29 old Babylonian documents dating from 1889-1788 BC was discovered in the CLW area. (4) Eight texts from this group are united by the name of a certain Adadgugal, the son of Ilshubani, and clearly formed his family archive UET 5 108, 144-146, 152, 181, 183, 235 (1817- 1788 years BCAt first glance, the rest of the texts are not directly related to this archive. However, a more thorough investigation reveals that many of them, if not directly included in the Adadgugal archive, then belonged to his closest neighbors and, possibly, relatives who lived nearby. Many of the names found in these texts are also mentioned in the Adadgugal archive; thus, the names of the seller and buyer in the contract for the purchase of a garden (UET 5 175) are found in the same contract from the archive (UET 5 181). The contract for the purchase of a house from a family group (UET 5 141; 1820 BC) is clearly continued in the archive, since Adadgugal himself buys the same house and from the same buyer after 6 years (UET 5 152; 1814 BC). Apparently, most of the documents of this group They reflect the activities of residents of the CLW area who are related to their neighbors and relatives.

Most likely, the group of documents found in the CLW area may also include some other texts from the Urals, whose locations remained unknown, so they were published without field numbers. With regard to one of these texts, we can probably say this quite well. This document is a property division agreement dated 1890 BC (UET 5 103), issued without a field number. One of the participants in the Cilli-Adad partition is probably the one whose contract for the purchase of a plot of land in the city, dated 1889 BC, was found in the CLW area (UET 5 160). The identity of these individuals is confirmed not only by the similarity of the name and the proximity of the dates, but also by the fact that the name of Adadgugal is also mentioned in the partition agreement. It should be noted that the name


1. Dyakonov I. M. People of the city of Ura, Moscow, 1990.

2. Ibid., p. 56,

3. Woolley C.L. The Old Babylonian Period. Ur Excavations. V. 7. Philadelphia, 1976. P. 12. Mieroop М. de. Society and Enterprise in Old Babylonian Ur. В., 1992. P. 297-299.

page 208


This is not mentioned in any other Old Babylonian texts from Ur and other cities, apart from the documents of his archive and this treaty (UET 5 103). This is certainly not the same Adadgugal who operated in 1817-1788 BC and whose archive is preserved in the CLW area, but certainly his ancestor; most likely, judging by the time gap, a great-grandfather. Many Urian families had their own "ancestral" name, which was preserved and passed down from generation to generation.

The property sharing agreement, drawn up in 1890 BC, was concluded between two brothers, Cilli-Adad and Gunanum, the sons of Ababim (5). Witnesses in such contracts were usually the closest relatives of the participants in the transaction. This document lists three witnesses. Two of them are brothers, Adadellatsu and Nurilishu, sons of Adadgugal, probably a direct ancestor of the Adadgugal whose documents found in the CLW area were compiled about 70 years later. There is no doubt that all these persons, in whose names the name of the God Adad is constantly mentioned, belonged to the same family circle. Since the partition document dates back to 1890 BC, it is obvious that this family settled on the north-eastern edge of Ur no later than the end of the 20th century BC. The contract concluded within the family between brothers is the only division of family property in Ur that mentions fields. Two agreements on the division of agricultural territories were found in the AN area, but they did not concern family property, but the division of territories between the shepherds of the temple of Nanna for grazing temple cattle (UET 5 107, 118). Section UET 5 103 deals exclusively with fields, and it does not mention other types of property. Unfortunately, the main part of the contract was preserved very poorly, only some words and lines were preserved, but judging by the fact that the term miksu was used in the contract, the fields to be divided were under the control of the palace, not the temple (6).

Perhaps the family whose members shared the farmland was one of those who settled in Ur and other cities of Southern Mesopotamia after the fall of the Second dynasty of Ur, coming here together with the Amorite kings. Such newcomers probably had no direct connections with the temple, and their source of existence could be the royal grants in the form of land plots located on the royal land. It is precisely such allotments that the Adadgugal family owned, perhaps, as early as the XX century BC. The fact that the kings were engaged in settling deserted cities is evidenced by many royal inscriptions of that time (7).

The family's neighbors were probably native residents of the city, closely associated with the Nanna temple. When Zilli - Adad bought a plot of undeveloped land from his neighbor in 1888 B.C., two years after the partition agreement was drawn up, he had to pay 3 shekels of silver "per seller" to the temple of Nanna (UET 5,160). The very name of the seller-Nannazimu-indicates his connection with the cult of the god Nanna. This name is mentioned twice more in documents from Ur, both times there are no dates. Once he appears in the list of grain disbursements (UET 5 583 1 20), and once in the list of debtors to the temple (?), where he is listed as 1 2/3 shekel 6 shekels of silver (UET 5 469).

The rest of the documents known to us concerning the activities of the Adadgugal family date back to the last quarter of the XIX century BC and are included in his archive. In 1817 BC, more than 70 years after the division of the fields stipulated in the treaty LJ 5 103, Adadgugal and his brother, who were probably the third generation of this family known to us, divided part of their father's property and drew up a corresponding contract (UET 5 108). Just like the treaty of 1890 BC, this document differs in many ways in its content and wording from other contracts of the same kind from Ur, although the fields are not mentioned in it, and the composition of the property itself is the usual for that time: residential buildings, utensils, wooden and wooden furniture.


5. This name, which literally means "father of the father", i.e. grandfather, is not mentioned in other Old Babylonian documents, as far as I know. There are examples of its use in New Babylonian texts (Slamm J. J. Die akkadische Namengebung. Lpz., 1959. S. 302).

6. The Assyrian Dictionary. V. 10. II. Chicago, 1986. P. 63.

7. Royal Inscriptions from Mesopotamia. V. 4. Toronto-London, 1992 (далее - RIMA).

page 209


metal, slaves. However, the size of the divisible is not comparable to other partition agreements. The two brothers share about 500 m2 of residential buildings, of which 90 m2 are located "in the pier", wooden and metal utensils, "as many as there are", and 10 male slaves, and two of them are suteytsy, i.e. representatives of the Suti tribe. Like the contract of UET 5 103, which dealt only with one type of property (fields), and this contract clearly did not cover all the property of the brothers; it is difficult to imagine that among the 10 slaves, there was not a single slave. Undoubtedly, there were other properties that were simply not mentioned in the contract, as evidenced by the subsequent activities of members of this family to buy up real estate.

UET 5 108 14 XI; 1817 BC

Then there are the names of eight other witnesses and the date.

The term te used in this agreement?.a.Se.ga.bi "i.ba.e.ne (acc. mithariS izuzzu), i.e. "in agreement they divided", is not found in any document from Ur, except for the treaty of UET 5 103 of 1890 BC, which was already mentioned above. It is also unusual for Ur to mention the oath of a personal god. At the same time, the list of witnesses is headed by two deities (which is also not found in the documents of the section from Ur),

page 210


which should probably confirm the swearing of the oath: Nergal and Gushkinband. Interestingly, in the copy of the document written on the envelope in which the tablet was enclosed, the names of the witness gods go in reverse order: igi u. zi. i. da u e.iri.gal. The latter (Nergal) was most likely one of the family gods of the royal dynasty of Larsa, to which Ur was also subordinate at that time, and the name of the first deity does not appear in documents from Ur and Larsa, with the exception of this text.

Thus, not only the size of the divisible property, but also many of the wording used in the preparation of this contract, distinguish it from other contracts of division of property from the Urals.

The rest of the documents in the Adadgugal archive are contracts for the purchase and sale of real estate dating from 1815-1813 BC. Thematically, these documents are similar to documents from the AN area (8). Four documents are contracts for the purchase of houses (UET 5 144-146, 152). Just like many residents of the AN area, Adadgugal buys houses from his neighbors and reschedules already purchased houses. In all four cases, a kakikku official is present at the conclusion of the transaction; his name and position are mentioned in the witness list. Through it, the central government exercised control over transactions with houses and land plots within the city. When buying real estate, Adadgugal encountered problems that also occurred among residents of the AN area: periodic cancellation of real estate transactions through special royal decrees (UET 5 253) (9).

A significant difference between the transactions of residents of the AN area and those of Adadgugal, whose home was probably located in the CLW area, is the scale of transactions and, most importantly, the amount of payments for these transactions. In three years, according to surviving documents, Adadgugal bought about 150 m2 of residential buildings, paying for them, according to contracts, at least two kg of silver.

For comparison, you can look at the scale of transactions of this kind and payments in contracts concluded around the same time by residents of the AN district.:

Enlilissu - 3 deals, 43 m2, 170 g silver, Nurilishu-3 deals, 47 m2, 176 g silver. Ahanirshi, who lived much earlier, at the very beginning of the XIX century BC. e. concluded four transactions and purchased about 25 m2 of buildings, paying about 500 g of silver.

Another type of property that Adadgugal acquired was gardens. There are three documents that mention this: two contracts (UET 5181, 183) and one record of the court proceedings (UET 5 253). The total area of the gardens mentioned in these documents exceeds 9 hectares, along with the gardens, another 17 hectares of uncultivated land were purchased. The figure indicating the amount of payment was preserved only in one document (UET 5181, about 300 g of silver).

We can compare these figures with similar data from the AN region, considering that not all the figures have been preserved here either: Ahanirshi - 3 transactions, 2.7 ha, 110 g of silver, Enlilissu-3 transactions, 2 ha, 160 g of silver.

Thus, in about five years (1815-1810 BC), Adadgugal acquired more than 150 m2 of residential buildings in the city of Ur and more than 9 hectares of gardens and 17 hectares of land for gardens in the suburbs, paying for all at least three kg of silver. This amount is almost the same as that obtained if we add up all the payments for real estate purchase and sale transactions known to us from the AN region for 1902-1787 BC. e. Even taking into account the fact that not all documents have been preserved and not all the figures in the texts can be read, we can not but agree that the funds, The money that Adadgugal had at his disposal was incomparable to that of even the most active participants in the transaction from the AN area.

This is probably due to the fact that the Adadgugal family, as we have tried to show above, has long been closely connected with the royal economy. Probably, other inhabitants of the CLW area were also connected with the highest circles of the royal power. About this


8. Deacons. Uk. soch. p. 93-95.

9. Ibid., p. 209.

page 211


two letters found here also provide indirect evidence (UST 5 19, 28). Both emails are addressed to the same person. At least one of them was sent from the capital city of Larsa. The correspondent of this letter bears the Elamite name Kuksigat. In documents from Ur and Larsa, Elamite names are rare and usually belong to the highest representatives of the royal administration, which is not surprising, considering that the Lars dynasty itself was closely connected with Elam. The Elamite Kook-Shuku applies his seal to the most important documents of the temple of Nanna (UET 5 476). Perhaps he was a representative of the royal administration at the temple. A certain Kukshugallit is mentioned in the expenditure record of grain distribution to the top staff of the royal household in Lars from 1813 BC (YOS 5 191). The correspondent of this letter was probably also one of the Elamite nobles who were close to the king, especially since the addressee was apparently close to the royal family.

The name of the addressee of both letters-Allarapi-is purely Amorite. In addition to the letters, it is mentioned in Ur once more: on a bull with a dedicatory inscription to the god Amurr from Allarapi, for the health of King Varad-Sin, found in the area of the central temple complex (10). Such gifts to the temple were usually made by relatives or close associates of the king, who probably included the addressee of two letters found in the CLW area.

In the inscription on the bull, the Amorite Allarapi appeals for the king's health to his Amorite god; judging by the location of the find, the chapel of this god, like many other gods, was located on the territory of the main temple of the city. Two documents from Ur mention the temple of the god Amurru and its staff. One of them is a contract for the sale of a position in the Amurru temple (UET 5 194, 1803 BC). Where this document was found is unknown, since the field number is missing, but the contract is witnessed by persons from among the senior staff of the Nanna temple; from this we can conclude that it is a question of selling the position in the sanctuary of the god Amurru, located on the territory of the temple of Nanna.

The second document, which refers to the personnel of the Amurru Temple, comes from the CLW area. This is a loan agreement, according to which two women, "weavers of the god Amurru", named Amatsherim and Khizitum, borrow 450 liters of grain in the temple of the god Sin (UET 5 393). Sin is probably a Semitic version of the name of the Sumerian god Nanna. It is probably no accident that it is here on the outskirts of the city that a text appears mentioning the servants of the god Amurru, and calling the Sumerian god Nanna by his Semitic name. Interestingly, the responsibility for repaying the interest-free loan is borne by a person whose name also mentions the god Amurru, this is Cilli-Amurru, who may be a descendant of the same relative of the Adadgugal family mentioned above in connection with the section document.

Thus, summing up the information we have given, we can assume that the north-eastern outskirts of the city of Ur at the end of the XX century BC were settled by new inhabitants who probably came here together with the Amorite kings. Some representatives of this population group probably had large material resources, land plots donated or transferred to their possession by the king, significant amounts of silver on that scale, which allowed them to expand their possessions and eliminated the need to be included in the citywide temple structure, membership in which ensured a stable existence for the majority of citizens. It is possible that many of the inhabitants of the area who remained associated with the cult of the god Amurru were of Amorite origin.


10. R1MAV. 4. p. 262.

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AN ARCHIVE FROM THE CLW AREA OF THE CITY OF UR N.V. Kozyreva

The article treats the Old Babylonian documents found in one of the residential areas of the city of Ur (CLW on the archaeological maps). These North Eastern suburbs of the city were possibly inhabited at the end of the 20th с. ВС mostly by the new-comers who came to South Mesopotamia with the Amorite kings (the family of Adadgugal). This family groups probably owned considerable resourses and could spend large amounts of silver bying urban real estate and gardens.


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N. V. Kozyreva, ARCHIVE FROM THE CLW DISTRICT OF UR // Tokyo: Japan (ELIB.JP). Updated: 17.06.2024. URL: https://elib.jp/m/articles/view/ARCHIVE-FROM-THE-CLW-DISTRICT-OF-UR (date of access: 19.07.2024).

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