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Boundary stone (kudurru)


Height: 51.000 cm
Width: 24.000 cm

ME 90829

Middle East

    Boundary stone (kudurru)

    Kassite dynasty, about 1186-1172 BC
    From Sippar, southern Iraq

    The gift of farmland to a senior Babylonian official

    The cuneiform text records an extensive royal gift of farmland (50 gur) by Meli-Shipak (reigned 1186-1172 BC), a king of the Kassite dynasty ruling Babylonia, to Khasardu, the son of Sume. The land was situated on the bank of the Royal Canal. The deed was drawn up in the presence of seven high officials who are listed in the cuneiform inscription by name. The stone is given its own name in the text as: 'O Adad [the storm god], mighty lord, bestow abundant streams'. As is typical with documents of this type, the text ends with curses against anyone who ignores the legal contents or damages the stone. The columns of writing are presented as if on the walls of a fortress.

    Further protection is given by thirteen gods who are invoked to guard the document. In addition, eighteen divine symbols are carved on the upper part of the kudurru. These include a figure with twisting legs and a two-headed, two-tailed winged centaur, a precursor of Sagittarius, drawing a bow.

    L.W. King, Babylonian boundary stones and (London, Trustees of the British Museum, 1912)


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