Sumerian Cuneiform Foundation Cone: Ishme-Dagan

Sumerian Cuneiform Foundation Cone: Ishme-Dagan

An ancient Sumerian cuneiform inscribed clay foundation cone of Ishme-Dagan, fourth king in the First Dynasty of Isin, in which the ruler dedicates the building the city walls of Isin. The text reads: "Ishme-Dagan, the strong warrior, the king of Isin, the king of the four quarters of the world, when he, Nippur, beloved city of Enlil, completely built, his troops in military service working around Isin, built these walls: 'Ishme-Dagan thanks Enlil and (rules) with the strength of his name.'"

Reign of Ishme-Dagan, ca. 1889?1871 BC.
From Isin, Southern Mesopotamia.
Length: 5 7/8 in. (15 cm).
Intact.

The site of Isin was occupied at least as early as the Early Dynastic Period in the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, and possibly as far back as the Ubaid period. The text in two columns:
TRANSLITERATION..................TRANSLATION
1. Is-me-da-gan..............................Ishme-Dagan
2. nita-kal-ga...................................the strong warrior,
3. lugal-i-si-in-na.............................the king of Isin,
4. lugal-an-ub--da-limmu-ba-ke......the king of the four quarters of the world,
5. u-nibru........................................when he, Nippur
6. uru-ki-ag.....................................beloved city
7. en-lil-la.......................................of Enlil,
8. gu-bi...........................................completely
9. mu-un-du....................................built.
10. eren-bi-kaskal-ta......................His troops
11. ba-ra-an-zi-ga-a........................in military service
12 .bad-gal.....................................worked
13. i-si-in-na...................................around Isin,
14. mu-un-du..................................built
15. bad-ba.....................................these walls:
16. Is-me-da-gan...........................Ishme-Dagan
17. En-lil-da...................................thanks to Enlil
18. a-an-gala................................. and with the strength
19. mu-bi-im..................................of his name.

cf.: G. Pettinato, L'Uomo Cominicio a Scrivere, Inscrizioni Cuneiformi della Collezioine Michail, (Milan, 1997), pp. 152-160, nos, 75-83.

Formerly in the S. V. collection, New York, acquired in Israel in the early 1990s.

Note: This cuneiform text was outside of Iraq in a private collection decades before the export of archaeological material was prohibited. Due to the recent looting of museums and sites in Iraq and Syria, Near Eastern artifacts are carefully scrutinized by worldwide law enforcement agencies. This piece has been checked against all relevant databases of stolen Iraqi artwork and was cleared for import by US Customs and Homeland Security.

Inv#: 5724

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