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date: 22 September 2020

(p. ix) Figures

(p. ix) Figures

  1. 0.1 Map of the ancient Near East, showing the major places mentioned in this book xxviii

  2. 0.2 Map of ancient Mesopotamia, showing the major places mentioned in this book xxx

  3. 1.1 Clay tablets containing different inclusions 7

  4. 1.2 A sample of the variety of shapes and sizes of clay documents 9–10

  5. 1.3 The folds in a tablet, showing the method of manufacture 12

  6. 1.4 Rulings made on clay tablets by a stylus and by string 15

  7. 1.5 Nail and hem impressions on clay tablets 16

  8. 1.6 ‘Firing holes’ in a Neo-Assyrian scholarly tablet 17

  9. 1.7 Fragment of a clay envelope and a tablet inside its envelope 20

  10. 1.8 Two Neo-Assyrian scribes (detail of a stone relief from Tiglath-pileser III's palace at Kalhu, modern Nimrud, Iraq) 24

  11. 1.9 Fragment of a Neo-Assyrian prism, showing the layers of its construction 26

  12. 2.1 Overview of the chronology and historical developments of the earliest literate periods in Babylonia 34

  13. 2.2 Denise Schmandt-Besserat's schema of the history of writing 35

  14. 2.3 Formats of the proto-cuneiform texts 37

  15. 2.4 Proto-cuneiform numerical sign systems 39–40

  16. 2.5 The administrative exercise tablet MSVO 4: 66 and the calculations implicit in the text 42

  17. 2.6 The account MSVO 1: 93 from Jemdet Nasr 43

  18. 2.7 Equivalencies in grain accounts 45

  19. 2.8 Accounts of domestic ‘herds’ of slaves 47

  20. 2.9 Numerical qualification of young animals and humans 48

  21. 3.1 Two Neo-Assyrian officials weigh what may be round metal bars on a balance scale (detail from the Rassam Obelisk) 54

  22. 3.2 Metrological table written by the scribe Warad-Sin 56

  23. 3.3 The evolution of the discrete counting system 59

  24. (p. x) 3.4 The number 546,702 in the discrete counting system 59

  25. 3.5 Inscribed jar excavated by André Parrot at Mari 64

  26. 4.1 Fragments of an Old Babylonian copy of the archaic list of professions Lu A 78

  27. 4.2 Neo-Assyrian list of archaic sign forms, accompanied by contemporary signs 80

  28. 4.3 Old Babylonian school text: list of animals 84

  29. 5.1 Calcite vessel from Ur, c. 2050 bc, with an inscription of Šuqurtum, one of king Šulgi of Ur's lukur-women 93

  30. 5.2 Nail with an inscription relating the construction work undertaken by the en-priestess Enanedu at Ur in the early second millennium bc 95

  31. 5.3 Writing exercise, now known as Syllable Alphabet A, written by a girl, probably at Sippar, c. 1750 bc 100

  32. 5.4 Cylinder seal (and its modern impression) of Pu-abi, queen of Ur, c. 2600 bc 106

  33. 7.1 House rental contract: the only text written by Ipiq-Aya as a contract scribe 149

  34. 7.2 Ipiq-Aya's family tree 154

  35. 7.3 The seals of Ipiq-Aya, his sons, and father 158

  36. 8.1 Lapis lazuli cylinder seal with a banqueting scene (from the so-called Queen's Grave of the Early Dynastic Royal Cemetery of Ur) 168

  37. 8.2 The top scene from the ‘Peace panel’ of the so-called ‘Standard of Ur’, showing a banquet with seated men drinking to the accompaniment of a musician playing a lyre 169

  38. 8.3 Administrative tablet from ancient Garšana, recording the delivery of beer, bread, meat, and various soup ingredients for five banquets in honour of five different deities 172

  39. 8.4 Fragment of a drinking straw made out of a bent bronze sheet (c. 1 mm thick) (from a cremation burial excavated at Dur-Katlimmu, modern Tell Sheikh Hamad, Syria) 174

  40. 9.1 E-hursag-tilla, the temple of Ninurta at Babylon, after excavation and minor restoration 185

  41. 9.2 Commemorative stela set up in honour of a priest by his son 188

  42. 9.3 Student's copy of a legal document, referring to a temple office 192

  43. 12.1 The reception suite (‘salle du trône’) of the ‘Small Eastern Palace’ at Mari, where Asqudum had his living quarters 249

  44. 12.2 Clay liver models from Mari 254

  45. 12.3 The cylinder seal of Kabi-Addu, son of Asqudum 263

  46. (p. xi) 13.1 When Ur-Utu's house was on fire, the way out 279

  47. 13.2 The tablets from the special box in Ur-Utu's house 281

  48. 14.1 Silver lyre from the Early Dynastic Royal Cemetery of Ur, third millennium bc 291

  49. 14.2 Statue of the ‘august musician’ Ur-Nanše, c. 24th century bc, excavated at Mari 298

  50. 14.3 Old Babylonian clay plaque, probably from Ešnunna, showing a pair of acrobatic dancers (huppûm) 302

  51. 14.4 Modern impression of an Old Babylonian cylinder seal, showing a dance performance reminiscent of the wild dance (guštum), which was performed annually in the streets of the city of Larsa 304

  52. 15.1 Obverse of a clay tablet bearing inscription L4 315

  53. 15.2 Assurbanipal with his wife, Libbali-šarrat (detail from the so-called ‘Garden Party relief’ from Assurbanipal's North Palace in Nineveh) 325

  54. 15.3 Assurbanipal slaying a lion (detail of a stone relief from Assurbanipal's North Palace at Nineveh) 327

  55. 16.1 The top part of a stone stela inscribed with the Laws of Hammurabi of Babylon 336

  56. 16.2 Old Babylonian judicial document from Sippar, recording the verdict in a paternity dispute 346

  57. 17.1 Stela of Bel-Harran-belu-us.ur (from Dur-Bel-Harran-belu-us.ur, modern Tell Abta, Iraq) 360

  58. 17.2 Letter from the correspondence of Sargon II, found with its envelope intact 362

  59. 17.3 Administrative record from the royal archives of Nineveh listing forty-five scholars at court 367

  60. 17.4 Funerary stela of Tarhunpiyas, showing him in a state of eternal bliss in his mother's embrace 369

  61. 17.5 Sargon II in conversation with a magnate, probably crown prince Sennacherib (detail of a stone relief from the royal palace at Dur-Šarrukin, modern Khorsabad, Iraq) 370

  62. 17.6 Sennacherib's military camp in 701 bc, with an extispicy taking place in one of the tents (detail of a stone relief from the Southwest Palace at Nineveh) 373

  63. 18.1 The heroic king in court dress, leading the charge, and his chariot crew in full armour (details of a stone relief from Assurnasirpal II's Northwest Palace at Kalhu, modern Nimrud, Iraq) 382

  64. (p. xii) 18.2 Battering rams at work (details from (a) a stone relief from Assurnasirpal II's Northwest Palace at Kalhu, modern Nimrud, Iraq, and (b) bronze band IX of Shalmaneser III's Balawat Gates, ancient Dur-Imgur-Enlil, Iraq) 397

  65. 18.3 Assyrian soldiers celebrating victory, dancing with severed enemy heads and wearing lion costumes (detail of a stone relief from Assurnasirpal II's Northwest Palace at Kalhu, modern Nimrud, Iraq) 398

  66. 20.1 Modern impression of a Neo-Assyrian seal, 9th–8th century bc 424

  67. 20.2 Neo-Assyrian bronze amulet against the demon Lamaštu 428

  68. 20.3 Neo-Assyrian manuscript of the ritual Maqlû, tablet I, 7th century bc (from the library of Assurbanipal at Nineveh) 435

  69. 21.1 Late Babylonian tablet, with a drawing of the constellations Corvus and Virgo, with the planet Mercury in attendance 448

  70. 21.2 Assyrian diviner extracting entrails from a sacrificial animal (detail of a stone relief from Assurnasirpal II's Northwest Palace at Kalhu, modern Nimrud, Iraq) 462

  71. 21.3 Extispicy commentary, with an illustration of special markings on the liver, Neo-Assyrian manuscript, 7th century bc (from the library of Assurbanipal at Nineveh) 464

  72. 22.1 The thin lunar crescent at its first visibility shortly after conjunction 471

  73. 22.2 Late Babylonian copy of the first tablet of the series MUL.APIN 476

  74. 22.3 Late Babylonian collection of month lengths and related data 480

  75. 23.1 Archival letter from the Ur III period, ordering the delivery of some wool 487

  76. 23.2 Old Babylonian manuscript of a letter from the Royal Correspondence of Ur 492–3

  77. 23.3 Two Old Babylonian manuscripts with extracts of a literary letter to king Lipit-Eštar of Isin (r. 1934–1924 bc) 494

  78. 23.4 Poorly preserved Old Babylonian collective tablet from Sippar, containing four letters of the Royal Correspondence of Ur 497

  79. 24.1 Impression of a cylinder seal owned by a royal scribe from the time of Šulgi, with the king depicted sitting on a throne 511

  80. 24.2 Stela of Nabonidus 515

  81. 24.3 List of sages serving famous kings, from Hellenistic Uruk 517

  82. 24.4 Reverse of a clay tablet, with an oracle query, originally owned by Nabu-zuqup-kenu, but later transferred to the library of Assurbanipal at Nineveh 524

  83. (p. xiii) 25.1 The western part of Nebuchadnezzar's South Palace at Babylon 538

  84. 25.2 Reconstruction drawing of housing at Merkes, Babylon 542

  85. 28.1 Typical Hittite tablet reverse, showing, in the bottom left corner, a colophon belonging to the scribe Hanikkuili, active in the mid-13th century bc 602

  86. 28.2 Plan of Hattusa 607

  87. 28.3 Hieroglyphic writings of Hittite/Luwian tuppala- ‘scribe’ 610

  88. 31.1 Relief from a cultic vase, from late fourth-millennium bc Uruk, relating the elements of urban civilization in a hierarchical order 664

  89. 31.2 Agricultural zones and population densities in Mesopotamia and Syria 666

  90. 31.3 Major towns, environmental regions, and reconstructed watercourses of southern Mesopotamia 667

  91. 31.4 Clay tablet from mid-third-millennium bc Fara, showing a map of the world 673

  92. 31.5 The late fourth-millennium bc cuneiform sign for ‘(irrigated) field’ 674

  93. 31.6 Impression of a cylinder seal, second half of the third millennium bc, showing the thunder-god Iškur on his chariot, cracking a whip, and his naked wife, Šala, on a storm demon (the lion-dragon), showering rain 675

  94. 31.7 Impression of a cylinder seal, second half of the third millennium bc, showing the netherworld god Ninazu on his snake-dragon ‘Dreadful Snake’, holding a plough 677

  95. 31.8 Impression of a cylinder seal, second half of the third millennium bc, showing the vegetation-god Dumuzi returning from the steppe (death) to civilization (life) 678

  96. 31.9 Impression of a cylinder seal, first half of the first millennium bc, showing two men ploughing and sowing, and the thunder-god Adad offering ears of barley to his wife, Šala 681

  97. 32.1 Neo-Assyrian tablet, with chapter 3 of Uruanna = maštakal, the handbook of medicinal plants (from the library of Assurbanipal at Nineveh) 692

  98. 32.2 Assyrian parkland, planted with various tree species, probably depicting the pleasure gardens created by Sennacherib at Nineveh (detail of a stone relief from Assurbanipal's North Palace at Nineveh) 701

  99. 34.1 Brick of Nebuchadnezzar II (r. 604–562 bc), one of several million baked bricks used to rebuild his capital, Babylon 727

  100. (p. xiv) 34.2 Clay cone of Nabopolassar (r. 625–605 bc), written in archaizing cuneiform script, and reporting how the king extended the course of the Euphrates at Sippar to provide the city god Šamaš with abundant fresh water 728

  101. 34.3 The Sun-god Tablet of Nabu-apla-iddina, a 9th-century king of Babylon, shown installing Nabu-nadin-šumi as temple-enterer of Šamaš 736

  102. 34.4 Stela from the Ezida temple at Borsippa, showing Assurbanipal, king of Assyria (r. 668–c. 630 bc), holding a work basket above his head, while helping in the restoration of the temple 738

  103. 34.5 Stone monument depicting the gods Nanaya and Mar-biti appointing a new priest for Nabu's temple at Borsippa 743

  104. 35.1 The remains of the Ešgal temple at Uruk in spring 2001 753

  105. 35.2 Map of Uruk, showing the position of the Hellenistic archives 754

  106. 35.3 Graeco-Babyloniaca tablet, with Sumerian and Akkadian words for ‘canal’, written in cuneiform and in Greek alphabetic script 768