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Home > Auctions > 4th June 2024 > Proto-Sumerian Pictographic Tablet for Distribution of Sheep by the Wife of E.Kisal

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LOT 0186

Estimate
GBP (£) 4,000 - 6,000
EUR (€) 4,700 - 7,040
USD ($) 5,100 - 7,650

Opening Bid
£2,000 (EUR 2,348; USD 2,549) (+bp*)

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Bids: 0
PROTO-SUMERIAN PICTOGRAPHIC TABLET FOR DISTRIBUTION OF SHEEP BY THE WIFE OF E.KISAL
URUK III, CIRCA 3200-3000 B.C.
3 1/8 in. (72.3 grams, 80 mm).

Terracotta pillow-shaped tablet with grid to each broad face, each cell with an impressed image and a corresponding number of impressions from the tip of a rod, a list for the distribution of animals to the contrary reading:

Obverse:
Column 1
1. 2(N01) , U8 2 ewes
2. 3(N01) , UDUNITA~a 3 male sheep
3. 1(N01) , UD5~a 1 …-sheep
4. 4(N01) , MASZ2 |U4x1(N57)|# 4 goats day 1
5. , GAL~a SAL E~a (name?)

Column 2
1. 1(N01) , U8 1 ewe
2. 4(N01) , UDUNITA~a 4 male sheep
3.a. 5(N01) , MASZ2 5 goats
3.b1. 1(N01) , |U4x3(N57)|# GAL 1 large
3.b2. 4(N01) , |U4x1(N57)|# TUR 1 small
4. , |SZE~a.NAM2| …

Reverse:
Column 1
1. 1(N14) , SAL E~a [...] 1 …
2. 1(N14)# [...] 1 …

Column 2
1. 3(N01) , U8 (total) 3 ewes
2. 7(N01) , UDUNITA~a (total) 7 male sheep
3. 9(N01) , MASZ2 (total) 9 goats
4. 1(N01) , UD5~a (total) 1 …-sheep

Column 3
1. , |SIxKU~b1| 2(N14) , BA MASZ GAN2 SAL E~a KISAL~b1

(interpretation: distributed in the SI.KU settlement, the wife of E.KISAL being responsible).

PROVENANCE:
From specialised collection of cuneiform texts, formed in the 1950s-1990s.
The property of a London gentleman and housed in London, thence by descent to family members.

Examined by Professor Wilfrid George Lambert FBA (1926-2011), historian, archaeologist, and specialist in Assyriology and Near Eastern archaeology, in the late 1980s and 1990s.
The collection is exceptional for the variety of types, including some very rare and well preserved examples.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by a search certificate number no.12117-215351.

PUBLISHED:
Salvatore Monaco, Archaic Cuneiform Tablets from Private Collections, CUSAS 31, p. 97, no. 74 (CDLI 464160).

LITERATURE:
Cf. for a similar example in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession no.1988.433.3.

CONDITION