Ur III Calendars

Despite what appears to be attempts at standardisation, the formerly independent city-states, Umma, Girsu, etc., kept their own calendars after being incorporated into the Ur III state. Although some month names are identical across the calendars (ezem-dšul-gi, found in all calendars except for Nippur; and še-sag/sag(11)-ku5, found in all), most of the names were specific to the city where they were used and presumably related to local cultic calendars.

All calendars intercalated by adding an extra month ([iti] diri [mn], or [mn] min[3]), but this was not done in regular intervals, nor consistently across the empire. Though not demonstrated with certainty, very probably intercalation was employed, on average every three years, in an attempt to synchronize solar and lunar calendars.

Go here for a tabular view of Ur III month names in Drehem, Girsu, Nippur, Ur, Umma and Irisagrig (click on the head of columns to sort the names according to the named local calendars).

No generally accepted sub-divisions of the month into weeks are known from Ur III texts; the designations u4-sakar gu-la (“great crescent”), u4-sakar u4 1(u)-5(diš) (“crescent of day 15”), e2-u4-1(u)-5(diš) (“house of day 15”), and e2-u4-7(diš) (“house of day 7”), and variants of these qualifications, are suggestive of a simple division of the administrative 30-day month into two 15-day halves, and of each half into two “weeks” of 7-8 days.

We list below the month names from the different cities, with links to texts in the CDLI referencing these months names. The month names are listed in chronological order, with changes in placement noted in the comments.

Drehem month names

a2-ki-ti, "Akitu". The month of the New Year’s festival. The sixth month before Shu-Suen’s third year, and during that year. The seventh month following Shu-Suen’s third year (click here for all Drehem texts mentioning this month)

ezem-an-na, “Festival of heaven“ (click here for all Drehem texts mentioning this month)

ezem-maḫ, “Lofty festival” (click here for all Drehem texts mentioning this month)

ezem-(d)me-ki-gal2, “Festival of Mekigal“ (click here for all Drehem texts mentioning this month)

ezem-dnin-a-zu, “Festival of Ninazu“ (click here for all Drehem texts mentioning this month)

ezem-dšu-dsuen, “Festival of Šu-Suen“ (click here for all Drehem texts mentioning this month)

ezem-dšul-gi, “Festival of Šulgi“ (click here for all Drehem texts mentioning this month)

ki-siki-dnin-a-zu “Weaving-place(?) of Ninazu” (click here for all Drehem texts mentioning this month)

maš(2)-da3-gu7, “Gazelle Feast“ (click here for Drehem texts mentioning this month)

še-sag(11)-ku5, “Harvest“. Month 12 before the reforms in Shu-Suen's 3rd year. Not used in Shu-Suen year 3. Month 1 in the years following Shu-Suen 3 (click here for Drehem texts mentioning this month)

ses-da-gu7, “Piglet Feast“ (click here for all Drehem texts mentioning this month)

šu-eš(5)-ša, "…". Month 8 before the reforms in Shu-Suen’s 3rd year (click here for Drehem texts mentioning this month)

u5-bi2(mušen)-gu7, “ubi(bird) Feast“ (click here for Drehem texts mentioning this month)

diri, “Extra (month)“; the abbreviated designation for the 13th month was not employed in Drehem

Nippur month names

bara2-za3-gar, "…". (click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month)

gu4-si-su, "…". (click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month)

sig4-ga, "Brick". (click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month)

šu-numun, "Sowing". click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month)

NE-NE-gar, "…". (click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month)

kin-dinanna, "Work of Inanna". (click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month)

du6-ku33, "Shiny mound". (click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month)

apin-du8-a, "Loosening the plough". (click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month)

GAN-GAN-e3, "…". (click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month)

ku3-SZIM (var. ab-e3), "…". (click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month, and click here for Nippur texts mentioning the variant month name)

udruduru5, "…". (click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month)

še-sag(11)-ku5, "Harvest". (click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month, and click here for Nippur texts mentioning the variant writing of this month name))

diri, "Extra". (click here for Nippur texts mentioning this month)

Ur month names

še-sag(11)-ku5, "Harvest". (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month, and click here for Ur texts mentioning the variant writing of this month name))

maš(2)-da3-gu7, “Gazelle Feast“ (click here for Ur texts mentioning this month)

ses-da-gu7, “Piglet Feast“ (click here for all Ur texts mentioning this month)

u5-bi2(mušen)-gu7, “ubi(bird) Feast“ (click here for Ur texts mentioning this month)

ki-siki-dnin-a-zu “Weaving-place(?) of Ninazu” (click here for all Ur texts mentioning this month)

ezem-dnin-a-zu, “Festival of Ninazu“ (click here for all Drehem texts mentioning this month)

a2-ki-ti, "Akitu". The month of the New Year’s festival. The sixth month before Shu-Suen’s third year, and during that year. The seventh month following Shu-Suen’s third year (click here for all Drehem texts mentioning this month)

ezem-dšul-gi, “Festival of Šulgi“ (click here for all Ur texts mentioning this month)

šu-eš(5)-ša, "…". Month 8 before the reforms in Shu-Suen’s 3rd year (click here for Ur texts mentioning this month)

ezem-maḫ, “Lofty festival” (click here for all Ur texts mentioning this month)

ezem-an-na, “Festival of heaven“ (click here for all Ur texts mentioning this month)

ezem-(d)me-ki-gal2, “Festival of Mekigal“ (click here for all Drehem texts mentioning this month)

diri ezem-(d)me-ki-gal2 us2-sa, “Festival of Mekigal“ (click here for all Ur texts mentioning this month)

diri, "Extra". (click here for Ur texts mentioning this month)

Girsu month names

Umma month names

še-sag(11)-ku5, "Harvest". (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month, and click here for Umma texts mentioning the variant writing of this month name))

sig4-geši/u3-šub-ba-gar, "Brick placed in the mold". (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month, and click here for Umma texts mentioning the variant writing of this month name))

še-kar-ra-gal2-la, "Barley is at the quay". (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month)

nesag, "First fruit (offerings)". (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month)

dal, "Flight". (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month)

šu-numun, "Sowing". (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month)

min-eš(3), "Double sanctuary". The seventh month before Amar-Suen's 7th year, and after Shu-Suen's 2nd year (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month, and click here for Umma texts mentioning the variant writing of this month name))

ezem-damar-dsuen, "Festival of Amar-Suen". The seventh month in the Umma calendar from Amar-Suen's 7th year to Shu-Suen's 2nd year. (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month)

e2-iti-6(diš). "House Month-Six". (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month)

dli9-si4, "Lisi". (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month)

UR, "…". Month 10 before Shulgi's 30th year. (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month)

pa4-u2-e, "Pa-u'e". (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month)

ddumu-zi, "Dumuzi". (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month)

diri, "Extra". (click here for Umma texts mentioning this month)

Irisagrig month names

šu-gar(-gal)

gešapin

kir11-si-ak

ses-da-gu7

ezem-dli9-si4

ezem-a-bi

gi-sig-ga

ezem-dšul-gi

nig2-den-lil2-la2

ezem-a-dara4

nig2-e-ga

ezem-an-na

še-sag(11)-ku5

diri

Adab month names

ur_iii_calendars.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/25 13:41 by lafont
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