New York, Park Avenue
30 May 1997
A SUMERIAN CLAY "NAIL"
early dynastic, circa 2500-2300 b.c.
The hollow, tapering object with a slightly domed head, more pronounced in the center around a central hole, with an additional hole at the midsection of the shaft, the upper zone inscribed with three columns of cunieform text, twelve lines per column, which read:
"When Lugal-amu, priest of Ishkur, was governor of Adab, Ur-X, house-born slave of Damgalnunna, mighty servant of X, mighty ..., king of ...:
When Damgalnunna chose Ur-X in her holy heart, ordered him "Build my temple!", and when Ur-X obeyed the pleasant words which she spoke,
Then Ur-X raised its foundations 6 cubits 1 span above ground level, Ur-X gave to the temple prelates, stewards and male and female slaves.
On account of this Damgalnunna promised with oath abundance for Ur-X. He asked for the health of his mother, his wife and children, and their brothers, and Damgalnunna attended to his wishes."
16in. (40.6cm.) long
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The nail was inscribed in a mature scribal hand for a king of an unknown town. The inscription records a dedication to the temple of the Mother Goddess Damgalnunna.
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