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"Tablets of Shuruppak"

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  • Peter T. Daniels
    In a very bad book, *A History of Reading* by Steven Roger Fischer (2003), I find some bizarre assertions about cuneiform writing backed up by references to
    Message 1 of 22 , Jul 11, 2006
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      In a very bad book, *A History of Reading* by Steven Roger Fischer
      (2003), I find some bizarre assertions about cuneiform writing backed
      up by references to "the Tablets of Shuruppak." CANE tells me that this
      presumably refers to the Eblaite-like early Semitic texts from Fara
      (studied by Bob Biggs alongside those from Abu Salabikh, which received
      renewed attention with the discovery of the Ebla texts), though the
      phrase is not used by Assyriologists.

      Google tells me that the phrase appears a few times in webpages of
      fundamentalists and Mormons, but none of these appear to give the
      source of the term or what was believed to have been contained in them.

      Can anyone explain where these tablets were discussed after their
      initial discovery (and, one hopes, publication) that they could have
      become a rather obscure component of ANE folklore?

      [I only just discovered this third volume of Fischer's, after *A
      History of Language* (1999) and *A History of Writing* (2001) -- which
      latter I was allotted 500 words in the _Times Higher_ to deprecate; I
      considered typing out his 11 pages on Mesopotamian reading for the
      general amusement and hilarity of ANE List, but it would take rather
      too long. Inexplicably, these three volumes are in the series
      "Globalities" published by Reaktion, a series edited by the reputable
      historian Jeremy Black [not my late friend the Sumerologist Jeremy A.
      Black], once again illustrating the lack of respect shown linguistic
      topics by scholars in other fields that has recently been discussed at
      LINGUIST List, and less recently here, with reference to the journals
      *Nature* and *Science*.)

      --
      Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
    • goranson@duke.edu
      Perhaps see The Fara tablets in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology / Harriet P Martin et al., 2001 xxvii, 162 p. : ill. ; 29
      Message 2 of 22 , Jul 11, 2006
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        Perhaps see
        The Fara tablets in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and
        Anthropology /
        Harriet P Martin et al., 2001
        xxvii, 162 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.
        Bethesda, Md. : CDL Press, ; ISBN: 1883053668
        for bibliography.

        Stephen Goranson
      • Peter T. Daniels
        ... Aside from the fact that I have no way of see ing it, it s unlikely that this contains references to the secondary or tertiary literature that might have
        Message 3 of 22 , Jul 11, 2006
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          --- goranson@... wrote:

          > Perhaps see
          > The Fara tablets in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of
          > Archaeology and
          > Anthropology /
          > Harriet P Martin et al., 2001
          > xxvii, 162 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.
          > Bethesda, Md. : CDL Press, ; ISBN: 1883053668
          > for bibliography.

          Aside from the fact that I have no way of "see"ing it, it's unlikely
          that this contains references to the secondary or tertiary literature
          that might have percolated into the non-scholarly discourse early in
          the 20th century.

          --
          Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
        • William D. Tallman
          ... http://cdli.ucla.edu/comm/reports/Oct/Lafont20020131.html Location: The Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Quote: Shuruppak tablets (Museum signature: Shin):
          Message 4 of 22 , Jul 11, 2006
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            On Tue, Jul 11, 2006 at 08:37:45AM -0700, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
            > In a very bad book, *A History of Reading* by Steven Roger Fischer
            > (2003), I find some bizarre assertions about cuneiform writing backed
            > up by references to "the Tablets of Shuruppak." CANE tells me that this
            > presumably refers to the Eblaite-like early Semitic texts from Fara
            > (studied by Bob Biggs alongside those from Abu Salabikh, which received
            > renewed attention with the discovery of the Ebla texts), though the
            > phrase is not used by Assyriologists.
            >
            > Google tells me that the phrase appears a few times in webpages of
            > fundamentalists and Mormons, but none of these appear to give the
            > source of the term or what was believed to have been contained in them.
            >
            > Can anyone explain where these tablets were discussed after their
            > initial discovery (and, one hopes, publication) that they could have
            > become a rather obscure component of ANE folklore?
            >
            > [I only just discovered this third volume of Fischer's, after *A
            > History of Language* (1999) and *A History of Writing* (2001) -- which
            > latter I was allotted 500 words in the _Times Higher_ to deprecate; I
            > considered typing out his 11 pages on Mesopotamian reading for the
            > general amusement and hilarity of ANE List, but it would take rather
            > too long. Inexplicably, these three volumes are in the series
            > "Globalities" published by Reaktion, a series edited by the reputable
            > historian Jeremy Black [not my late friend the Sumerologist Jeremy A.
            > Black], once again illustrating the lack of respect shown linguistic
            > topics by scholars in other fields that has recently been discussed at
            > LINGUIST List, and less recently here, with reference to the journals
            > *Nature* and *Science*.)
            >
            > --
            > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...

            http://cdli.ucla.edu/comm/reports/Oct/Lafont20020131.html

            Location: The Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

            Quote:

            "Shuruppak tablets (Museum signature: Shin): 1,000 tablets and fragments
            come from this site. The two volumes by Jestin, TSS and NTSS, made some
            of these tablets known in 1937 and 1957. A project headed by H. Steible
            and F. Yildiz will reassess this part of the collection. They are
            currently preparing a complete publication / republication of these
            texts."

            HTH

            Bill Tallman
          • Peter T. Daniels
            ... But whence the meme (if you will) Tablets of Shuruppak as a corpus that contains precious information about pre-biblical peoples and as an
            Message 5 of 22 , Jul 11, 2006
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              --- "William D. Tallman" <wdtallman@...> wrote:

              > On Tue, Jul 11, 2006 at 08:37:45AM -0700, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
              > > In a very bad book, *A History of Reading* by Steven Roger Fischer
              > > (2003), I find some bizarre assertions about cuneiform writing
              > backed
              > > up by references to "the Tablets of Shuruppak." CANE tells me that
              > this
              > > presumably refers to the Eblaite-like early Semitic texts from Fara
              > > (studied by Bob Biggs alongside those from Abu Salabikh, which
              > received
              > > renewed attention with the discovery of the Ebla texts), though the
              > > phrase is not used by Assyriologists.
              > >
              > > Google tells me that the phrase appears a few times in webpages of
              > > fundamentalists and Mormons, but none of these appear to give the
              > > source of the term or what was believed to have been contained in
              > them.
              > >
              > > Can anyone explain where these tablets were discussed after their
              > > initial discovery (and, one hopes, publication) that they could
              > have
              > > become a rather obscure component of ANE folklore?

              > Quote:
              >
              > "Shuruppak tablets (Museum signature: Shin): 1,000 tablets and
              > fragments
              > come from this site. The two volumes by Jestin, TSS and NTSS, made
              > some
              > of these tablets known in 1937 and 1957. A project headed by H.
              > Steible
              > and F. Yildiz will reassess this part of the collection. They are
              > currently preparing a complete publication / republication of these
              > texts."

              But whence the "meme" (if you will) "Tablets of Shuruppak" as a corpus
              that contains precious information about pre-biblical peoples and as an
              auhtoritative source of information on the third millennium?

              --
              Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
            • William D. Tallman
              ... ... Perhaps Jestin s work might shed some light on this? Given a publication date of 1937, some amount of speculation could have become
              Message 6 of 22 , Jul 11, 2006
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                On Tue, Jul 11, 2006 at 03:44:23PM -0700, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                >
                >
                > --- "William D. Tallman" <wdtallman@...> wrote:
                <snip>

                > But whence the "meme" (if you will) "Tablets of Shuruppak" as a corpus
                > that contains precious information about pre-biblical peoples and as an
                > auhtoritative source of information on the third millennium?
                >
                > --
                > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...

                Perhaps Jestin's work might shed some light on this? Given a
                publication date of 1937, some amount of speculation could have become
                self-replicating in the interim. And your use of the term
                "pre-biblical", if a part of the 'meme', probably gives the whole thing
                away: Bible oriented scholarship, probably considered more legitimate
                then than now, could well have provided the necessary platform of
                assumptions and substitution of plausibility for certainty required for
                such a meme to arise.

                Guess one is constrained to wait until Steible and Yildiz have a
                product.

                Can you acquire or gain access to Jestin's work?

                Bill Tallman
              • Tomas Marik
                Shuruppak is the ancient name of Fara. For an exhaustive overview see Manfred Krebernik, Die Texte aus Fara und Tell Abu Salabih, in: Josef Bauer - Robert K.
                Message 7 of 22 , Jul 12, 2006
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                  Shuruppak is the ancient name of Fara. For an exhaustive overview see
                  Manfred Krebernik, Die Texte aus Fara und Tell Abu Salabih, in: Josef
                  Bauer - Robert K. Englund - Manfred Krebernik, Mesopotamien.
                  Späturuk-Zeit und Frühdynastische Zeit, Freiburg - Göttingen 1998 [OBO
                  160/1], pp. 237-427.
                  Their obscurity is obviously based on the fact that these texts contain
                  the very first (ED IIIa) attestations of a Semitic language (e.g.
                  personal names, loanwords in Sumerian, words in wordlists and even the
                  first literary text), all of the grammatical stuff points to Akkadian.

                  Tomas Marik
                  tomas.marik@...



                  Peter T. Daniels wrote:

                  >In a very bad book, *A History of Reading* by Steven Roger Fischer
                  >(2003), I find some bizarre assertions about cuneiform writing backed
                  >up by references to "the Tablets of Shuruppak." CANE tells me that this
                  >presumably refers to the Eblaite-like early Semitic texts from Fara
                  >(studied by Bob Biggs alongside those from Abu Salabikh, which received
                  >renewed attention with the discovery of the Ebla texts), though the
                  >phrase is not used by Assyriologists.
                  >
                  >Google tells me that the phrase appears a few times in webpages of
                  >fundamentalists and Mormons, but none of these appear to give the
                  >source of the term or what was believed to have been contained in them.
                  >
                  >Can anyone explain where these tablets were discussed after their
                  >initial discovery (and, one hopes, publication) that they could have
                  >become a rather obscure component of ANE folklore?
                  >
                  >[I only just discovered this third volume of Fischer's, after *A
                  >History of Language* (1999) and *A History of Writing* (2001) -- which
                  >latter I was allotted 500 words in the _Times Higher_ to deprecate; I
                  >considered typing out his 11 pages on Mesopotamian reading for the
                  >general amusement and hilarity of ANE List, but it would take rather
                  >too long. Inexplicably, these three volumes are in the series
                  >"Globalities" published by Reaktion, a series edited by the reputable
                  >historian Jeremy Black [not my late friend the Sumerologist Jeremy A.
                  >Black], once again illustrating the lack of respect shown linguistic
                  >topics by scholars in other fields that has recently been discussed at
                  >LINGUIST List, and less recently here, with reference to the journals
                  >*Nature* and *Science*.)
                  >
                  >--
                  >Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Robert Whiting
                  ... I imagine that any general history would describe them this way since that is what they do and are. If memory serves me correctly, the earliest occurrence
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jul 12, 2006
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                    On Tue, 11 Jul 2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

                    > But whence the "meme" (if you will) "Tablets of Shuruppak" as a corpus
                    > that contains precious information about pre-biblical peoples and as an
                    > auhtoritative source of information on the third millennium?

                    I imagine that any general history would describe them this way since that
                    is what they do and are. If memory serves me correctly, the earliest
                    occurrence of MAR.TU is in a Fara text. But you are correct that
                    Assyriologists don't usually refer to them as "tablets of Shurrupak" but
                    generally as "Fara Texts". But the title of Jestin's work, "Tablettes
                    sumériennes de Shuruppak" [spelled with shin in the original], provides a
                    basis for referring to them as "tablets of Shuruppak." Earlier than
                    Jestin, "see" A. Deimel, Die Inschriften von Fara, Leipzig, 1922-24, which
                    probably accounts for Assyriological usage being "Fara texts" (apart from
                    the fact that it also saves a lot of typesetting and ink).

                    But whatever his other faults, I doubt that Fischer is overselling the
                    Fara texts. The following is from the introduction to the
                    Vorderasiatische Museum's collection at CDLI:

                    At the same time, excavations of the Babylon Expedition conducted in
                    Fara, ancient Shuruppak (the city of the Sumerian "Deluge" in southern
                    Mesopotamia), resulted in further texts from the early period of
                    literate culture. Of the more than 1000 tablets and fragments unearthed
                    in 1902 and 1903 in Fara, over 400 reached Berlin as the result of find
                    division. They date to the 26th century B.C. and are part of a rich
                    scribal tradition which left us not only administrative records, but
                    also significant literary documents of the scholarly cuneiform world,
                    including so-called god lists. These texts in Sumerian belonged together
                    with the earlier mentioned inscriptions to the oldest written records to
                    be found in European museums, and are still today important sources for
                    our better understanding of Sumerian language and culture.

                    <http://128.97.154.154/cdli/vam/overview_e.html>

                    These tablets certainly provide authoritative information about third
                    millennium Mesopotamia.

                    If you are looking for a pathway for the importance of early Sumerian
                    texts for practically everything into the tertiary literature, I'd look at
                    Sam Kramer's early stuff. History begins at Sumer and as far as readable
                    Sumerian is concerned, it pretty much begins with the Fara Texts.


                    Bob Whiting
                    whiting@...
                  • Peter T. Daniels
                    ... I could have when I had access to an Assyriological library. There isn t one in New York -- NYU doesn t even have a complete set of ZA. The point is that
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jul 12, 2006
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                      --- "William D. Tallman" <wdtallman@...> wrote:

                      > On Tue, Jul 11, 2006 at 03:44:23PM -0700, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- "William D. Tallman" <wdtallman@...> wrote:
                      > <snip>
                      >
                      > > But whence the "meme" (if you will) "Tablets of Shuruppak" as a corpus
                      > > that contains precious information about pre-biblical peoples and as an
                      > > auhtoritative source of information on the third millennium?
                      > >
                      > > --
                      > > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                      >
                      > Perhaps Jestin's work might shed some light on this? Given a
                      > publication date of 1937, some amount of speculation could have become
                      > self-replicating in the interim. And your use of the term
                      > "pre-biblical", if a part of the 'meme', probably gives the whole thing
                      > away: Bible oriented scholarship, probably considered more legitimate
                      > then than now, could well have provided the necessary platform of
                      > assumptions and substitution of plausibility for certainty required for
                      > such a meme to arise.
                      >
                      > Guess one is constrained to wait until Steible and Yildiz have a
                      > product.
                      >
                      > Can you acquire or gain access to Jestin's work?

                      I could have when I had access to an Assyriological library. There
                      isn't one in New York -- NYU doesn't even have a complete set of ZA.

                      The point is that the phrase "Tablets of Shuruppak" has to be attached
                      to the phenomenom. It just occurred to me to check Breasted, Ancient
                      Times (1916; no mention), Albright (Stone Age to Christianity, 2nd ed.,
                      talks about the importance of "Shuruppak texts"), and CAH 1/2 (chapters
                      by Gadd and Mallowan refer to "Farah texts" and the importance of
                      god-lists).

                      Who else wrote ANE histories that earlier generations of biblical
                      scholars might have consulted?

                      --
                      Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                    • goranson@duke.edu
                      Though I haven t read Fischer s book, I see that he gives a note for the paragraph that mentions tablets of Shuruppak : Visible Language 1981, 419-40. Perhaps
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jul 12, 2006
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                        Though I haven't read Fischer's book, I see that he gives a note for the
                        paragraph that mentions "tablets of Shuruppak": Visible Language 1981, 419-40.
                        Perhaps that gives some information you requested. New York Public Library has
                        it on microfilm.

                        Stephen Goranson
                        http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
                      • Peter T. Daniels
                        ... That could be it -- in *The Sumerians*, he notes that he was the epigrapher for the 1930s campaign(s) that found more of the same sort of tablet; he refers
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jul 12, 2006
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                          --- Robert Whiting <whiting@...> wrote:

                          > On Tue, 11 Jul 2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                          >
                          > > But whence the "meme" (if you will) "Tablets of Shuruppak" as a corpus
                          > > that contains precious information about pre-biblical peoples and as an
                          > > auhtoritative source of information on the third millennium?
                          > I imagine that any general history would describe them this way since that
                          > is what they do and are. If memory serves me correctly, the earliest
                          > occurrence of MAR.TU is in a Fara text. But you are correct that
                          > Assyriologists don't usually refer to them as "tablets of Shurrupak" but
                          > generally as "Fara Texts". But the title of Jestin's work, "Tablettes
                          > sumériennes de Shuruppak" [spelled with shin in the original], provides a
                          > basis for referring to them as "tablets of Shuruppak." Earlier than
                          > Jestin, "see" A. Deimel, Die Inschriften von Fara, Leipzig, 1922-24, which
                          > probably accounts for Assyriological usage being "Fara texts" (apart from
                          > the fact that it also saves a lot of typesetting and ink).
                          > These tablets certainly provide authoritative information about third
                          > millennium Mesopotamia.
                          >
                          > If you are looking for a pathway for the importance of early Sumerian
                          > texts for practically everything into the tertiary literature, I at
                          > Sam Kramer's early stuff. History begins at Sumer and as far as readable
                          > Sumerian is concerned, it pretty much begins with the Fara Texts.

                          That could be it -- in *The Sumerians*, he notes that he was the
                          epigrapher for the 1930s campaign(s) that found more of the same sort
                          of tablet; he refers to the "Instructions of Shuruppak," explaing why
                          in one place it looks like Fischer thinks Sh. is a person rather than a
                          place; and the chapter on Sumerian scribes begins by mentioning lots of
                          school texts from there.

                          But the key phrase "Tablets of Shuruppak" doesn't appear: can anyone
                          check in *History Begins at Sumer: nn Firsts*, where the number nn
                          increased with each edition, and so did the price? and wasn't that
                          volume earlier than *The Sumerians*?

                          --
                          Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                        • Peter T. Daniels
                          ... That s a reference to the number of signs in the inventory in use at that time/place, rather than to their overall importance, and somehow I don t see
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jul 12, 2006
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                            --- goranson@... wrote:

                            > Though I haven't read Fischer's book, I see that he gives a note for the
                            > paragraph that mentions "tablets of Shuruppak": Visible Language 1981, 419-40.
                            > Perhaps that gives some information you requested. New York Public Library has
                            > it on microfilm.

                            That's a reference to the number of signs in the inventory in use at
                            that time/place, rather than to their overall importance, and somehow I
                            don't see Marvin Powell in 1981 as the originator of a meme that
                            percolated through conservative biblical studies some time in the 20th
                            century.

                            I do have a copy of that number of *Visible Language* (I don't remember
                            why -- Peg Green may have given it to me), but it seems to have
                            disappeared in my move.

                            --
                            Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                          • Robert Whiting
                            ... I was going to ask if there was any possibility that Fischer has conflated the Instructions of Shuruppak (person) with Tablets of Shuruppak (place).
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jul 12, 2006
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                              On Wed, 12 Jul 2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

                              > --- Robert Whiting <whiting@...> wrote:
                              > > If you are looking for a pathway for the importance of early Sumerian
                              > > texts for practically everything into the tertiary literature, I would
                              > > look at Sam Kramer's early stuff. History begins at Sumer and as far
                              > > as readable Sumerian is concerned, it pretty much begins with the Fara
                              > > Texts.
                              >
                              > That could be it -- in *The Sumerians*, he notes that he was the
                              > epigrapher for the 1930s campaign(s) that found more of the same sort
                              > of tablet; he refers to the "Instructions of Shuruppak," explaing why
                              > in one place it looks like Fischer thinks Sh. is a person rather than a
                              > place; and the chapter on Sumerian scribes begins by mentioning lots of
                              > school texts from there.

                              I was going to ask if there was any possibility that Fischer has conflated
                              the "Instructions of Shuruppak (person)" with "Tablets of Shuruppak
                              (place)." From what you say he does not have a particularly firm grasp on
                              the cultural milieu, and if one doesn't know Shuruppak from shredded
                              wheat, one Shuruppak looks pretty much like another.

                              > But the key phrase "Tablets of Shuruppak" doesn't appear: can anyone
                              > check in *History Begins at Sumer: nn Firsts*, where the number nn
                              > increased with each edition, and so did the price? and wasn't that
                              > volume earlier than *The Sumerians*?

                              Yes, the sequence is:

                              From the Tablets of Sumer, Indian Hills CO 1956
                              History Begins at Sumer, New York 1959
                              The Sumerians, Chicago 1963

                              And "Tablets of Sumer" allows a painless segue into "Tablets of
                              Shuruppak."


                              Bob Whiting
                              whiting@...
                            • William D. Tallman
                              ... At this point, the pros have waded in: I shall take my amateur status and retire once again to Lurker-ville. Happy to have been able to offer
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jul 12, 2006
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                                On Wed, Jul 12, 2006 at 03:38:17AM -0700, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                                >
                                > --- "William D. Tallman" <wdtallman@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > > On Tue, Jul 11, 2006 at 03:44:23PM -0700, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > --- "William D. Tallman" <wdtallman@...> wrote:
                                <snip>

                                At this point, the pros have waded in: I shall take my amateur status
                                and retire once again to Lurker-ville. Happy to have been able to offer
                                something of possible value.

                                Thanks for reading,

                                Bill Tallman
                              • Peter T. Daniels
                                ... Sheesh, those moderators ll pass anything these days! Another point in Kramer s favor is that he uses biblical names whenever he can -- thus Erech is
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jul 12, 2006
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                                  --- "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...> wrote:

                                  > At 12:38 12/07/2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                                  > [...]
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > >The point is that the phrase "Tablets of Shuruppak" has ...
                                  >
                                  > ... nothing to do with "tableur of Shtsuppak" even if the bookkeeping
                                  >
                                  > tablets display some spreadsheet characteristics. To paraphrase
                                  > Clinton, I did not have accounts with these tablets!
                                  >
                                  > :)
                                  >
                                  > [The heat ...]

                                  Sheesh, those moderators'll pass anything these days!

                                  Another point in Kramer's favor is that he uses biblical names whenever
                                  he can -- thus Erech is really important early on.

                                  --
                                  Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                                • Ariel L. Szczupak
                                  At 12:38 12/07/2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote: [...] ... ... nothing to do with tableur of Shtsuppak even if the bookkeeping tablets display some spreadsheet
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jul 12, 2006
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                                    At 12:38 12/07/2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                                    [...]


                                    >The point is that the phrase "Tablets of Shuruppak" has ...

                                    ... nothing to do with "tableur of Shtsuppak" even if the bookkeeping
                                    tablets display some spreadsheet characteristics. To paraphrase
                                    Clinton, I did not have accounts with these tablets!

                                    :)

                                    [The heat ...]



                                    Ariel.

                                    [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                                    ---
                                    Ariel L. Szczupak
                                    AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                                    POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                                    Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                                    ane.als@...
                                  • Ariel L. Szczupak
                                    ... The heat? :) ... I checked my Kramer, History Begins at Sumer , 3rd revision, 1981 - the one with 39 firsts . There s no index so it was a quick page
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Jul 13, 2006
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                                      At 18:38 12/07/2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:


                                      >--- "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > > At 12:38 12/07/2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                                      > > [...]
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > >The point is that the phrase "Tablets of Shuruppak" has ...
                                      > >
                                      > > ... nothing to do with "tableur of Shtsuppak" even if the bookkeeping
                                      > >
                                      > > tablets display some spreadsheet characteristics. To paraphrase
                                      > > Clinton, I did not have accounts with these tablets!
                                      > >
                                      > > :)
                                      > >
                                      > > [The heat ...]
                                      >
                                      >Sheesh, those moderators'll pass anything these days!

                                      The heat? :)

                                      >Another point in Kramer's favor is that he uses biblical names whenever
                                      >he can -- thus Erech is really important early on.

                                      I checked my Kramer, "History Begins at Sumer", 3rd revision, 1981 -
                                      the one with "39 firsts". There's no index so it was a quick page
                                      flipping and not something conclusive - Shuruppak is mentioned, of
                                      course, but I found no "tablets of Shuruppak" as some kind of term.

                                      More generally, I don't recall encountering the expression "tablets
                                      of Shuruppak" as anything else than a simple descriptive phrase for
                                      the tablets found at Farah (or, possibly, the tablets on which are
                                      written the instructions of Shuruppak, though I don't recall a specific case).

                                      As for ...

                                      At 00:44 12/07/2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                                      >But whence the "meme" (if you will) "Tablets of Shuruppak" as a corpus
                                      >that contains precious information about pre-biblical peoples and as an
                                      >auhtoritative source of information on the third millennium?

                                      The tablets of Farah are of course important scientifically, but the
                                      only contexts in which I found them to have an importance that could
                                      imply attributes like "precious" and "authoritative" are in
                                      discussions concerning non/pseudo scientific narratives (e.g.
                                      freemasonry, Mormonism, etc).

                                      The caveat is that it's my personal experience, not a comprehensive survey.




                                      Ariel.

                                      [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                                      ---
                                      Ariel L. Szczupak
                                      AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                                      POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                                      Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                                      ane.als@...
                                    • goranson@duke.edu
                                      Here is the paragraph with tablets [sic: lower case t] of Shuruppak, page 17, Steven R. Fischer, A History of Reading (2003): Whereas Egypt codified its
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Jul 13, 2006
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                                        Here is the paragraph with "tablets [sic: lower case t] of Shuruppak,"
                                        page 17,
                                        Steven R. Fischer, A History of Reading (2003):
                                        Whereas Egypt codified its hieroglyphic and hieratic signs early on, and so
                                        fossilized its writing system. for many centuries Sumer maintained a loose and
                                        ambiguous inventory of about eighteen hundred pictograms and symbols.[note to
                                        Fischer, A History of Writing, 2001] Simplification and conventionalization
                                        occurred, and by 2700-2350 BC, with the tablets of Shuruppak, the
                                        inventory had
                                        been reduced to about eight hundred, with greater use of linearity (writing in
                                        lines of text). By roughly 2500 BC nearly all the graphic elements in Sumer's
                                        writing system had become sound units. And by 2000 BC only about 570 logograms
                                        were in everyday use.[note to Powell, Visible Language 1981]

                                        Here are two book citations:
                                        Early dynastic administrative tablets of Suruppak /
                                        Francesco Pomponio; Giuseppe Visicato; Amedeo Alberti
                                        1994 English Book xix, 479 p. ; 34 cm.
                                        Napoli : [Istituto universitario orientale].
                                        Indices of early dynastic administrative tablets of Suruppak /
                                        Giuseppe Visicato 1997
                                        English Book x, 136 p. ; 34 cm.
                                        Napoli : Istituto universitario orientale.

                                        Here is an item from the Glossary in Kramer, History Begins at Sumer
                                        (1981) [the
                                        1961 ed. has no glossary]:
                                        Shuruppak: A city in south-central Sumer; home of the Sumerian "Noah."


                                        Stephen Goranson
                                        "Jannaeus, His Brother Absalom, and Judah the Essene"
                                        http://www.duke.edu/~goranson/jannaeus.pdf

                                        PS Does anyone know of a use in English of "Egyptology" earlier than 1845, or
                                        "Aegyptologie" in German earlier than 1840?
                                      • Peter T. Daniels
                                        ... This is exactly what I m wondering about. The handful of google hits for tablets of shuruppak turn up exactly that range of contexts, suggesting that the
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Jul 13, 2006
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                                          --- "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...> wrote:
                                          > At 00:44 12/07/2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                                          > >But whence the "meme" (if you will) "Tablets of Shuruppak" as a corpus
                                          > >that contains precious information about pre-biblical peoples and as an
                                          > >auhtoritative source of information on the third millennium?
                                          >
                                          > The tablets of Farah are of course important scientifically, but the
                                          > only contexts in which I found them to have an importance that could
                                          > imply attributes like "precious" and "authoritative" are in
                                          > discussions concerning non/pseudo scientific narratives (e.g.
                                          > freemasonry, Mormonism, etc).
                                          >
                                          > The caveat is that it's my personal experience, not a comprehensive
                                          > survey.

                                          This is exactly what I'm wondering about. The handful of google hits
                                          for "tablets of shuruppak" turn up exactly that range of contexts,
                                          suggesting that the phrase appeared, maybe just once, in some
                                          authoritative (or at least widely popular) source. (Does anyone have
                                          vol. 1 of the Durants' history of civilization?)

                                          Meanwhile, Mr. Fischer also suggests, in both the Mesopotamia and the
                                          Egypt sections, that (aside from the hollow reeds suggested by M. Civil
                                          long ago) a potential magnifying device for reading tiny cuneiform or
                                          hieroglyphic signs was a "transparent vessel filled with water."
                                          Somehow I don't recall seeing any sort of "transparent" vessels at
                                          either the OI or the Met museums ...

                                          A few pages further on, he notes that "all the Jews" were exiled to
                                          Babylon ...

                                          --
                                          Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                                        • Peter T. Daniels
                                          ... That is ONE OF the mentions of the Tablets of Shuruppak [sic: capital T]. I certainly wouldn t recommend that anyone _read_ this book, but if that s what
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Jul 13, 2006
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                                            --- goranson@... wrote:

                                            > Here is the paragraph with "tablets [sic: lower case t] of
                                            > Shuruppak,"

                                            That is ONE OF the mentions of the Tablets of Shuruppak [sic: capital
                                            T]. I certainly wouldn't recommend that anyone _read_ this book, but if
                                            that's what the index sent you to, then even the index is inadequate.

                                            > page 17,
                                            > Steven R. Fischer, A History of Reading (2003):


                                            --
                                            Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                                          • Robert Whiting
                                            ... Actually, one of the google hits that I got was a short history of war from the Air War College (maybe my google works differently from yours).
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Jul 13, 2006
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                                              On Thu, 13 Jul 2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                                              >
                                              > --- "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...> wrote:
                                              > > At 00:44 12/07/2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                                              > > >But whence the "meme" (if you will) "Tablets of Shuruppak" as a corpus
                                              > > >that contains precious information about pre-biblical peoples and as an
                                              > > >auhtoritative source of information on the third millennium?
                                              > >
                                              > > The tablets of Farah are of course important scientifically, but the
                                              > > only contexts in which I found them to have an importance that could
                                              > > imply attributes like "precious" and "authoritative" are in
                                              > > discussions concerning non/pseudo scientific narratives (e.g.
                                              > > freemasonry, Mormonism, etc).
                                              > >
                                              > > The caveat is that it's my personal experience, not a comprehensive
                                              > > survey.
                                              >
                                              > This is exactly what I'm wondering about. The handful of google hits
                                              > for "tablets of shuruppak" turn up exactly that range of contexts,
                                              > suggesting that the phrase appeared, maybe just once, in some
                                              > authoritative (or at least widely popular) source. (Does anyone have
                                              > vol. 1 of the Durants' history of civilization?)

                                              Actually, one of the google hits that I got was a short history of war
                                              from the Air War College (maybe my google works differently from yours).
                                              Interestingly, they refer to the "Tablets of Shuruppak" [sic, with capital
                                              T], and in their bibligraphy for the Sumerians list only Kramer, "The
                                              Sumerians" and Roux's history. "See"
                                              <http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/gabrmetz/gabr0001.htm> (Senhor Rossi,
                                              take note).

                                              > Meanwhile, Mr. Fischer also suggests, in both the Mesopotamia and the
                                              > Egypt sections, that (aside from the hollow reeds suggested by M. Civil
                                              > long ago) a potential magnifying device for reading tiny cuneiform or
                                              > hieroglyphic signs was a "transparent vessel filled with water."
                                              > Somehow I don't recall seeing any sort of "transparent" vessels at
                                              > either the OI or the Met museums ...

                                              <snip>

                                              I've mentioned this before, but not for 15 years or so, but a simple (but
                                              effective) magnifier can be made by catching a drop of water in a small
                                              loop of wire (or most anything thin with a small hole in it). Anyway, if
                                              you can make transparent containers, why would you need water. A
                                              magnifying glass is just that, transparent glass with the surfaces
                                              properly curved to bend the light in the proper way. Once you can make
                                              transparent glass, it doesn't take much additional technical knowledge to
                                              make a magnifying glass.


                                              Bob Whiting
                                              whiting@...
                                            • Christopher Conlan
                                              Whilst I have not seen any transparent vessels that would serve this purpose, I did attend a lecture on the use of hollow glass beads. It was suggested that
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Jul 13, 2006
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                                                Whilst I have not seen any transparent vessels that would serve
                                                this purpose, I did attend a lecture on the use of hollow glass
                                                beads. It was suggested that the beads had been used for the purpose
                                                of magnification IA Assyria, though I don't believe that it was
                                                suggested that this was in order to read small cueniform documents.

                                                As I recall the lecture was at the RAI in London a few years ago,
                                                and was entitled something along the lines of "The eye glasses of
                                                Ashurbanipal". Whilst there does not appear to be any textual
                                                evidence regarding the use of these beads, it does appear to be
                                                quite a reasonable theory.

                                                Christopher Conlan


                                                --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>
                                                wrote:
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > --- "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...> wrote:
                                                > > At 00:44 12/07/2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                                                > > >But whence the "meme" (if you will) "Tablets of Shuruppak" as a
                                                corpus
                                                > > >that contains precious information about pre-biblical peoples
                                                and as an
                                                > > >auhtoritative source of information on the third millennium?
                                                > >
                                                > > The tablets of Farah are of course important scientifically, but
                                                the
                                                > > only contexts in which I found them to have an importance that
                                                could
                                                > > imply attributes like "precious" and "authoritative" are in
                                                > > discussions concerning non/pseudo scientific narratives (e.g.
                                                > > freemasonry, Mormonism, etc).
                                                > >
                                                > > The caveat is that it's my personal experience, not a
                                                comprehensive
                                                > > survey.
                                                >
                                                > This is exactly what I'm wondering about. The handful of google
                                                hits
                                                > for "tablets of shuruppak" turn up exactly that range of contexts,
                                                > suggesting that the phrase appeared, maybe just once, in some
                                                > authoritative (or at least widely popular) source. (Does anyone
                                                have
                                                > vol. 1 of the Durants' history of civilization?)
                                                >
                                                > Meanwhile, Mr. Fischer also suggests, in both the Mesopotamia and
                                                the
                                                > Egypt sections, that (aside from the hollow reeds suggested by M.
                                                Civil
                                                > long ago) a potential magnifying device for reading tiny cuneiform
                                                or
                                                > hieroglyphic signs was a "transparent vessel filled with water."
                                                > Somehow I don't recall seeing any sort of "transparent" vessels at
                                                > either the OI or the Met museums ...
                                                >
                                                > A few pages further on, he notes that "all the Jews" were exiled to
                                                > Babylon ...
                                                >
                                                > --
                                                > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                                                >
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