Ur III Receipts

Ur III receipts are the most numerous documents from the Ur III period, and quite possibly from the entire ancient Near East. All Ur III receipts were summarized in accounts (in either the 'credits' or the 'debits' section). As a rule receipts were sealed. Unsealed receipts were presumably originally encased in a sealed envelope.

Simple Receipts

In its most simple form an Ur III receipts contained only the following elements:

product
delivering agent
recipient
seal
date


The name of the delivering agent would be framed by ki …-ta, and the name of the recipient followed by the composite verb šu ti, usually in the simple form šu ba-ti ('he received').

Sample text:

Aleppo 369 (Umma, Shulgi 37th year month 4)
obverse
1. 1(diš) udu kur-ra ba-uš2
1 sheep of the mountain (= non-indigenous), dead,
2. ki ur-ru-ta
from Urru
3. a-kal-la šu ba-ti
A(ya)-kala received.
4. iti nesag
Month: "First fruits."
reverse
(seal impression)
1. mu dšul-gi lugal-e bad3 ma-da mu-du3
Year: "Shulgi, the king, build the wall of the land".
seal
1. a-kal-la
A(ya)-kala,
2. dub-sar
scribe,
3. dumu ur-nigar{gar} šuš3
child of Ur-Nigar, chief cattle administrator.

In very many instances of course much more detail concerning the transaction was given, very frequent too, more than one item was transferred. The resulting receipts were correspondingly more complex.

Sample text:

AUCT 3, 255 (Umma, Amar-Suen 6th year)
obverse
1. 2(diš) gikid šu2 ma2
2 mats, cover for boats,
2. ki a-gu-ta
From Agu
3. ma2 siskur2 unuki
(For) the boat of offerings for Uruk
4. lugal-e-ba-an-sa6
Lugal-ebansa,
5. šu ba-ti
received.
reverse
1. ša3 bala
within the bala-period.
(seal impression) 2. mu a-ra2 2(diš)-kam ša-aš-šu2-ru-umki mu-hul
Year: "šašurum was destroyed for the second time."
seal
1. lu2-kal-la
Lu-kala,
2. dub-sar
scribe,
3. dumu ur-e11-e šuš3
child of Ur-E'e, chief cattle administrator.

Receipts mentioning a Conveyor (giri3)

Some Ur III receipts mentions a 'conveyor' (giri3), whose exact function in the transaction is unclear. The conveyor can seal the transaction.

Sample text:

BIN 3, 356 (Puzriš-Dagan, ŠS 5 - 7 - 28)
obverse
1. 2(aš) gu2 3(u) ma-na siki GI
Two gu and 30 mana of yellow wool
2. [na4] 1(aš) gu2 2(diš) ma-na-ta
according to the 1 gu 2 mana stone.
3. [bar udu] mu-kux(DU)-ra
Fleece of ‘delivered’ sheep.
4. mu-kux(DU)
mu-ku delivery.
5. lu2-kal-la
Lu-kala
reverse
1. šu ba-ti
received
2. giri3 nu-ur2-dsuen dub-sar
Conveyor: Nur-Suen.
3. u4 2(u) 8(diš)-kam
On the 28th day.
4. iti a2-ki-ti
Month: “New Year”.
5. mu us2-sa dšu-dsuen lugal uri5ki-ma-ke4 bad3 mar-tu mu-ri-iq-ti-id-ni-im mu-du3
Year following: “Šu-Suen king of Ur built the Amorite wall (called) Muriq-tidnim”.
seal
column 1
1. d[šu-d]suen
Shu-Suen
2. lugal kal-ga
Strong king
3. lugal uri5ki-ma
king of Ur
4. lugal an ub-da limmu2-ba
king of the the four quarters
column 2
1. nu-ur2-dsuen
Nur-Suen
2. dub-sar
scribe
3. dumu [i-di3-er3-ra]
son of Idi(n)-Erra

Receipt duplicates

Some 800 primary documents from the Ur III period include the technincal term gaba-ri (kišib3(-ba)), “duplicate (of the sealed document (of)).” More than a quarter of these examples stem from the ancient city of Garshana.

ur_iii_receipts.txt · Last modified: 2015/10/14 21:33 by dahl
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