ancientart
ancientart:

An extremely old stamp.
This ancient stamp dates to the 22nd century BC, and is from the holy city of Nippur, located southeastern Iraq. Nippur was the religious centre of Mesopotamia for thousands of years, and was believed to have been where Enlil created mankind.
Translated, the inscription on the stamp reads: Narâm-Sîn built the house/temple of the god Enlil. As the British Museum state: “Such stamps were used to impress or mark the bricks of important religious and public buildings. They are therefore an important source for the identification of architecture and a valuable criterion for the date of a building.” The impression in front of the stamp is modern.
Artefact courtesy of & currently located at The British Museum, London. Photo taken by Klaus Wagensonner.

ancientart:

An extremely old stamp.

This ancient stamp dates to the 22nd century BC, and is from the holy city of Nippur, located southeastern Iraq. Nippur was the religious centre of Mesopotamia for thousands of years, and was believed to have been where Enlil created mankind.

Translated, the inscription on the stamp reads: Narâm-Sîn built the house/temple of the god Enlil. As the British Museum state: “Such stamps were used to impress or mark the bricks of important religious and public buildings. They are therefore an important source for the identification of architecture and a valuable criterion for the date of a building.” The impression in front of the stamp is modern.

Artefact courtesy of & currently located at The British Museum, London. Photo taken by Klaus Wagensonner.

archaicwonder
archaicwonder:

Assyrian Foundation Plaque, reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I, c.1243-1207 BC
On gypsum alabaster in cuneiform. The text says:
 Tukulti-Ninurta, king of the universe, strong king, king of Assyria, king of kings, lord of lords, rulers of rulers, prince, lord of all, conqueror of the rebellious — those who do not submit (to him and) who are hostile to Ashur —, defeater of the prince of the Qutu as far as the land Mehru, disperser of the forces of the land of the Shubaru and the remote lands Nairi as far as the border of Makan, strong king, capable in battle, the one who shepherds the four quarters at the heels of the god Shamash, I; son of Shalmaneser (I), king of the universe, king of Assyria; son of Adad-narari (I) (who was) also king of the universe and king of Assyria: At that time the temple of the Assyrian Ishtar, my mistress, which Ilu-Shumma, my forefather, the prince, had previously built — that temple had become dilapidated and I cleared away its debris. I changed its site. I founded (it) in another place. I made it more outstanding than ever before. As an addition I built the room of the Shahuru and lofty towers. I completed that temple from top to bottom. I built within a lofty dais (and) an awesome sanctuary for the abode of the goddess Ishtar, my mistress, and I deposited my monumental inscription. May a later prince restore it (and) return my inscribed name to its place. (Then) the goddess Ishtar will listen to his prayers. As for the one who removes my inscription and my name: May the goddess Ishtar, my mistress, extinguish his sovereignty, break his weapon, cause his manhood to dwindle away, (and) hand him over to his enemies.
Tukulti-Ninurta I was a king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian Empire. He succeeded Shalmaneser I, his father, as king and won a major victory against the Hittite Empire at the Battle of Nihriya in the first half of his reign, appropriating Hittite territory in Asia Minor and the Levant. He retained Assyrian control of Urartu, and later defeated Kashtiliash IV, the Kassite king of Babylonia and captured the rival city of Babylon to ensure full Assyrian supremacy over Mesopotamia. Tukilti-Ninurta I set himself up as king of Babylon, thus becoming the first native Mesopotamian to rule there, its previous kings having all been non native Amorites or Kassites. He took on the ancient title “King of Sumer and Akkad” first used by Sargon of Akkad.

THIS IS FOR SALE????!How?

archaicwonder:

Assyrian Foundation Plaque, reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I, c.1243-1207 BC

On gypsum alabaster in cuneiform. The text says:

Tukulti-Ninurta, king of the universe, strong king, king of Assyria, king of kings, lord of lords, rulers of rulers, prince, lord of all, conqueror of the rebellious — those who do not submit (to him and) who are hostile to Ashur —, defeater of the prince of the Qutu as far as the land Mehru, disperser of the forces of the land of the Shubaru and the remote lands Nairi as far as the border of Makan, strong king, capable in battle, the one who shepherds the four quarters at the heels of the god Shamash, I; son of Shalmaneser (I), king of the universe, king of Assyria; son of Adad-narari (I) (who was) also king of the universe and king of Assyria: At that time the temple of the Assyrian Ishtar, my mistress, which Ilu-Shumma, my forefather, the prince, had previously built — that temple had become dilapidated and I cleared away its debris. I changed its site. I founded (it) in another place. I made it more outstanding than ever before. As an addition I built the room of the Shahuru and lofty towers. I completed that temple from top to bottom. I built within a lofty dais (and) an awesome sanctuary for the abode of the goddess Ishtar, my mistress, and I deposited my monumental inscription. May a later prince restore it (and) return my inscribed name to its place. (Then) the goddess Ishtar will listen to his prayers. As for the one who removes my inscription and my name: May the goddess Ishtar, my mistress, extinguish his sovereignty, break his weapon, cause his manhood to dwindle away, (and) hand him over to his enemies.

Tukulti-Ninurta I was a king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian Empire. He succeeded Shalmaneser I, his father, as king and won a major victory against the Hittite Empire at the Battle of Nihriya in the first half of his reign, appropriating Hittite territory in Asia Minor and the Levant. He retained Assyrian control of Urartu, and later defeated Kashtiliash IV, the Kassite king of Babylonia and captured the rival city of Babylon to ensure full Assyrian supremacy over Mesopotamia. Tukilti-Ninurta I set himself up as king of Babylon, thus becoming the first native Mesopotamian to rule there, its previous kings having all been non native Amorites or Kassites. He took on the ancient title “King of Sumer and Akkad” first used by Sargon of Akkad.

THIS IS FOR SALE????!
How?

richard-miles-archaeologist

richard-miles-archaeologist:

Ancient Worlds - BBC Two

Episode 1 “Come Together”

Kudurru (boundary stone) from the Temple of Marduk in Babylon, dating from around 900-800 BC. It is a commemorative monument set up in honour of a private individual called Adad-etir, an official in the temple, known as ‘the dagger bearer’, and this stela was erected by his son.

The figures carved in relief on the front represent the father and son together. Their shaven heads show that they are both priests, it being normal in ancient Mesopotamia for a son to adopt his father’s profession. There are three divine symbols above the two priests: a winged solar disc representing the sun-god Shamash, a crescent of the moon-god Sin and a lion-headed mace on a pedestal.

The cuneiform inscription includes a curse upon anyone who defaces the stela. It translates:

"May Marduk, the great lord, in anger look upon him, and his name and his seed may he cause to disappear.
May Nabu, the scribe of all, curtail the number of his days.
But may the man who protects it be satisfied with the fulness of life.”

British Museum, London, UK 

massarrah
massarrah:

Brick Stamp of Naram-Sîn
This pottery stamp for bricks records a royal inscription of the Old Akkadian ruler Naram-Sîn (r. 2254-2218 BCE), the grandson of the founder of the Akkadian empire, Sargon. Naram-Sîn is famous for having been the first known Akkadian ruler to deify himself during his own lifetime, and later legends about the Kings of Akkad tell cautionary tales about his hubris.
The inscription above, written in Old Akkadian cuneiform, commemorates the construction of the temple to Sîn, the moon god. (Source)
Old Akkadian, 2254-2218 BCE.
British Museum.

massarrah:

Brick Stamp of Naram-Sîn

This pottery stamp for bricks records a royal inscription of the Old Akkadian ruler Naram-Sîn (r. 2254-2218 BCE), the grandson of the founder of the Akkadian empire, Sargon. Naram-Sîn is famous for having been the first known Akkadian ruler to deify himself during his own lifetime, and later legends about the Kings of Akkad tell cautionary tales about his hubris.

The inscription above, written in Old Akkadian cuneiform, commemorates the construction of the temple to Sîn, the moon god. (Source)

Old Akkadian, 2254-2218 BCE.

British Museum.

richard-miles-archaeologist

richard-miles-archaeologist:

Archaeology: A Secret History - BBC Four

Episode 2 “The Search for Civilisation”

During excavations in Mesopotamia in the 1850s, thousands of photographs were taken of cuneiform tablets which had been found there. The inscriptions were written in a mysterious language which nobody yet understood. The photographs were distributed all over Europe, and all of its finest scholars quickly got to work, in a race to try and decipher this mysterious code.

The French-German scholar Julius Oppert (together with other 19th century Assyriologists) made decisive contributions to the decipherment of cuneiform inscriptions. In 1855, he published Écriture Anarienne, advancing the theory that the language spoken originally in Assyria belonged to the Ural-Altaic group (non-Semitic) and he classified it as Casdo-Scythian. In 1869 he renamed it Sumerian language -based on the known title “King of Sumer and Akkad”, reasoning that if Akkad signified the Semitic portion of the kingdom, Sumer might describe the non-Semitic annex-. He also asserted that the entire system of cuneiform writing was Sumerian in origin

Sumerian is generally regarded as a language isolate (a language that has no known historical or linguistic relationship to any other language family) and is the oldest written language in existence. Sumerian was spoken in Sumer, in southern Mesopotamia, from perhaps the 4th millennium BC and it flourished during the 3rd millennium BC. Sumerian was replaced as a spoken language by Semitic Akkadian (Assyro-Babylonian) but continued in written usage almost to the end of the life of the Akkadian language, around the beginning of the Christian era.

Some of the very first pictures of cuneiform tablets took during excavations in Mesopotamia in the 1850s

French National Archives, Paris, France

rsbenedict
rsbenedict:

This week’s Sumerian sign is ĝeš, which means tree or wood. It’s an important sign that was used a lot.
ĝeš is one of a collection of signs that are written but not spoken as silent signifiers of a noun’s type or class. This sign often appears before objects made out of wood, like weapons or tools.
So in isolation, ĝeš would be pronounced, but if it came before another noun, it would probably be unspoken, meant only as a signal to the reader to help interpret the following sign, since many signs had multiple meanings and pronunciations.
There are a lot of signs that do this. There’s a sign that appears before gods’ names. There’s a sign that goes before birds or bugs (I think maybe the Sumerians classified flying insects as a kind of bird maybe?), a sign that goes before things made of stone, a sign that goes before people’s names, and many more. There’s also a sign that goes after place names. 
When we transliterate these signs, we write them in a superscript to show that they’re silent. For instance, we’d write ĝešaš-te to mean (wooden) chair, even though in the original cuneiform the signs are all the same size.
The closest analogy to English writing, I guess, would be like using capital letters for proper nouns. It’s a way to signal something important to the reader.

rsbenedict:

This week’s Sumerian sign is ĝeš, which means tree or wood. It’s an important sign that was used a lot.

ĝeš is one of a collection of signs that are written but not spoken as silent signifiers of a noun’s type or class. This sign often appears before objects made out of wood, like weapons or tools.

So in isolation, ĝeš would be pronounced, but if it came before another noun, it would probably be unspoken, meant only as a signal to the reader to help interpret the following sign, since many signs had multiple meanings and pronunciations.

There are a lot of signs that do this. There’s a sign that appears before gods’ names. There’s a sign that goes before birds or bugs (I think maybe the Sumerians classified flying insects as a kind of bird maybe?), a sign that goes before things made of stone, a sign that goes before people’s names, and many more. There’s also a sign that goes after place names. 

When we transliterate these signs, we write them in a superscript to show that they’re silent. For instance, we’d write ĝešaš-te to mean (wooden) chair, even though in the original cuneiform the signs are all the same size.

The closest analogy to English writing, I guess, would be like using capital letters for proper nouns. It’s a way to signal something important to the reader.