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5807Cuneiform question.

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  • jimw wagner
    Jul 31, 2007
      The other day, I was looking at pl. 48 in the British Museum series part
      40, "omens concerning the surdu bird (falcon)."
      When I looked up this word in the Akkadian Dictionary at:


      It gave the name as surdu(MUŠEN), MUŠEN apparently being the
      determinative for at least some birds.

      The ePSD (http://psd.museum.upenn.edu/epsd/nepsd-frame.html) confirms this.

      However, the second part of the determinative, as it occurs in BMC4000,
      does not appear in any of the Neo-Assyrian lists I have, that is,
      Borger, Bauer, or Labat.

      This same sign occurs in several times in the cylinder of Sennacherib
      (BMC2600) with the value of 'ḫu'.

      Can anyone give me enlightenment on this? For instance, I haven't found
      any other bird-names that took the determinative though I haven't read
      more than a limited sample of cuneiform texts. Also, can anyone give me
      any notion of why the value of the sign should be so radically different
      between Sumerian and Neo-Assyrian. (Yes, I realize that one is a
      language-isolate and the other is Semitic. Is there any reason beyond that?

      I regret that I cannot show the signs as they appear in Neo-Assyrian, as
      I don't have a Neo-Assyrian font. However, the Sumerian version appears
      to be 𒄷.

      One of my main curiosities, I suppose, is that if a sign occurs as a
      part of a determinative, why is it not in the major sign-lists?

      If I'm asking the wrong questions, I'd appreciate being told that as well.

      Jim Wagner
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