Kalhu (73-80)

073   074   075   076   077   078   079   080  

073 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006554/]

This text from Kalḫu (modern Nimrud) is generally referred to as the Nimrud Inscription or the Juniper Palace Inscription. It describes Sargon's restoration of the "juniper palace" at Kalḫu, which had originally been built by Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 BC), and his storing in it of gold and silver that had been taken as booty from Pisīri(s), king of Carchemish. It is found on two stone slabs from the North-West Palace. The text includes references to events down to at least the king's fifth regnal year (717) in view of the mention of the conquest of the city of Carchemish in line 10 (see also lines 21–22) that took place in that year and thus N. Naʾaman has argued that the text was composed in late 717 or early 716 (SAAB 8 [1994] pp. 17–20). For the archaeological context of the inscription, see J.M. Russell, Writing on the Wall p. 99.

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(01) BM 118923 (48-11-4,24) (02)


A.H. Layard states that these two gypsum slabs, which bear no sculpted relief, were placed on the palace wall above the standard inscription of Ashurnasirpal II (see ICC pl. 33 and Nineveh 1 p. 389). They may have been placed at the entry to the room in which the booty from Sargon's conquest of Carchemish was stored.

The master line is based on ex. 1, although in a few places a sign on that exemplar is partially damaged/unclear and fully preserved/clear on ex. 2; in these cases, the sign is indicated without any indication of damage in the master line. A squeeze of ex. 2 is preserved in the British Museum and that exemplar was collated by means of an examination of the squeeze. The copy of the inscription published by Layard follows sometimes one exemplar and sometimes the other exemplar, with the divergent reading being cited as a variant; this is contrary to Layard's indication that all his variants were found on one particular exemplar. (According to J.M. Russell, the original Layard hand copy is MS A, pp. 124–126.) Layard made his copies in the early days of the decipherment of cuneiform and a number of signs indicated on his copy as being abnormal or incorrect are in fact correct sign forms (e.g., AK not ENGUR in line 1 and ZI not GI in line 2). H. Winckler's copy was made from Layard's and thus has no independent value; no reference is generally made to divergences between it and Layard's copy below.


— Layard MS A pp. 124–126 (copy)
1849 Layard, Nineveh 1 p. 389 (provenance)
1851 Layard, ICC pls. 33–34 nos. 1–2 (copy, with variants)
1862 Oppert, Annales de Philosophie chrétienne 65 p. 45 no. 10 and pp. 182–183 (translation)
1862 Oppert, Sargonides pp. 3 no. 10 and 34–35 (translation) [identical to the preceding]
1874 Ménant, Annales pp. 204–206 (translation)
1886 Bezold, Literatur p. 91 §53.8 (exs. 1–2, study)
1886 Lyon, Manual pp. 9–10 and 68–69 (transliteration, study)
1889 Winckler, Sar. 1 pp. vi and 168–173; and 2 pl. 48 (copy, edition)
1890 Peiser in Schrader, KB 2 pp. 34–39 (edition)
1909 Winckler, Textbuch3 p. 37 (lines 7–8, edition)
1911 Sarsowsky, Urkundenbuch p. 27 (lines 7–8, copy)
1911 Weissbach, ZDMG 65 p. 634 (lines 21–22, study)
1916 Weissbach, ZDMG 70 p. 70 n. 2 (line 21, study)
1926 Ebeling in Gressmann, ATAT2 p. 350 (lines 7–8, translation)
1927 Luckenbill, ARAB 2 pp. 71–73 §§136–138 (translation)
1958 Wiseman, DOTT p. 62 (lines 1, 8, translation)
1969 Oppenheim, ANET3 p. 287 (line 8, translation)
1977 Briend and Seux, TPOA no. 37 (lines 1, 7b–9, translation)
1984 Borger, TUAT 1/4 p. 387 (line 8, translation)
1986 Renger, CRRA 32 pp. 112–113 (lines 1–2, partial transcription, study)
1994 Fuchs, Khorsabad p. 386 (study)
1994 Naʾaman, SAAB 8 pp. 17–20 (lines 7–12, study)
1999 J.M. Russell, Writing on the Wall p. 99 (study)
2000 Younger in Hallo, COS 2 pp. 298–299 no. 2.118I (lines 7–12, translation)
2001 J. and D. Oates, Nimrud pp. 56–57 (lines 13–22, partial translation, study)
2008 Cogan, Raging Torrent pp. 100–103 no. 24 (lines 7–12, translation, study)
2018 Frahm, Last Days pp. 66–68 no. 5 (lines 7–8, edition, study)
2019 Marchesi, JNES 78 pp. 21 and 24 (lines 10b, 21–22, edition)

074 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006555/]

A fragmentary inscription of Sargon II is found on pieces of two clay prisms discovered during British excavations at Nimrud. The inscription commemorates the construction of Dūr-Šarrukīn and records various military actions carried out during Sargon's reign. These military actions are not recorded in chronological order. The inscription was probably composed in the king's sixteenth regnal year (706) since it refers to Sargon's fourth year as ruler of Babylonia (vii 19), which would have been 706; see van der Spek, JEOL 25 (1977–78) pp. 65–66 and Naʾaman, NABU 2000 p. 1 no. 1. This text is usually referred to as the Nimrud Prism and C.J. Gadd refers to the two exemplars of the text as prisms D and E (Iraq 16 [1954] p. 175).

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(01) IM 67661 (ND 2601 + ND 3401 + ND 3403 + ND 3417) (02) IM 67662 (ND 3400 + ND 3402 + ND 3408 + ND 3409 + ND 3404)


The fragments were found during British excavations at Nimrud in 1952 and 1953. For a plan showing the provenances of the pieces, see Mallowan, Iraq 16 (1954) pl. XIV. It has been possible to collate only two pieces of the inscription: ND 3403 (ex. 1, iii 1–14 and iv 1–8) and ND 3408 (ex. 2, ii 1´–20´, iii 42–57, and iv 32–53); the remaining pieces could not be located in the Iraq Museum in 1982 and 1998 when the author was working there. Thus, most of the inscription is edited from the published copies, although some use has been made of the photograph of part of ex. 1 published by C.J. Gadd in Iraq 16 (1954) pl. XLIII. Unfortunately, the published copy is mostly a composite of exs. 1 and 2 and it is generally not possible to be certain exactly what is on each exemplar. Lines for which only a composite copy of exs. 1 and 2 exists are iii 42–48, iv 32–53, v 17–42, vi 14–76, and vi 29–69; of these, it has been possible to collate ex. 2 (ND 3408) for iii 42–48 and iv 32–53. Thus, no score for the inscription can be presented on Oracc. Instead, a transliteration of ND 3408 (part of ex. 2) is presented there. It seems that when making his composite copy, Gadd relied mostly on ex. 1. In order to facilitate the use of older scholarship, the line numbering follows that used by Gadd.

Gadd presumably designated the two prisms D and E in order to follow on after fragmentary prisms A and B, which come from Nineveh and are now thought to be parts of the same prism (see text no. 82), and prism C, which also comes from Nineveh (text no. 83).

ND 3404 (Gadd, Iraq 16 [1954] pp. 174-175), found on the pavement of the east corridor of building ZT at Nimrud, is reported to have a totally illegible inscription (parts of two columns of 12–13 lines each) and to measure 4.9×4.5×1.2 cm. Gadd stated that it did not join any of the other Nimrud prism fragments, but according to J. Renger (private communication), A. Cavigneaux has joined it to ex. 2. Nothing is known about what is on the fragment.

For ND 3406, which may well preserve part of col. viii of this inscription and either have been originally part of one these two exemplars or have been part of a third exemplar of this inscription, see text no. 75.

Gadd (Iraq 16 [1954] p. 188) notes the close similarities between this inscription and 81-7-27,3 (text no. 83), a fragment of a prism in the Kuyunjik collection of the British Museum, and suggests that they may be duplicates. Since it is clear that the two are not exact duplicates ca. vii 7–11 and text no. 83 iii´ 1–5, they have been kept separate here.

Col. i: This is found only on ex. 1; the restorations in i 1–13 are based upon text no. 7 lines 1–7 and text no. 8 lines 1–3.

Col. ii: Lines 1–13 are found on ex. 1 and 1´–20´ are found on ex. 2. The edition follows Gadd in assuming that no lines are missing at the beginning of the column and that ex. 2 follows ex. 1. According to Gadd, although "measuring from the preserved top of both prisms, they overlap physically," in view of the content "it seems clear ... that the E fragment [ex. 2] follows the D [ex. 1]" (Iraq 16 [1954] p. 176). The size of the gap between exs. 1 and 2 is not clear.

Col. iii: Lines 1–41 describe Sargon's famous eighth campaign (714) to the land of Urarṭu; for the places mentioned in lines 1 and 12, see for example text no. 1 lines 137 and 139 and text no. 65 lines 168 and 189.

Col. iv: Most of our information on what was in col. iv comes from ex. 1. Only a little of iv 32–53 is found on ex. 2 ("the ends of a certain number of lines," Gadd, Iraq 16 [1954] p. 180). The beginning of the column, iv 1–12, is the end of an account describing an Assyrian victory over Mutallu of Kummuḫu while Sargon was in Babylonia; cf. text no. 2 lines 451–454 and text no. 7 lines 112–117 (particularly 115–117). For iv 13–24, see in particular text no. 1 lines 72–75. The rebellion and defeat of Samaria, which is related in Sargon's accession year in the Khorsabad Annals, is treated in iv 25–49, although the passage here may be a conflation of incidents in the king's accession year and second regnal year (722 and 720); see Gadd, Iraq 16 (1954) p. 181.

Col. v: Gadd states that there are about five lines missing at the beginning of the column in ex. 1 and about twelve in ex. 2 (Iraq 16 [1954] pl. XLVII). He notes that ex. 2 actually has "little of this column, for only a part of the right side of it remains" (ibid. p. 184). With regard to v 13–33, cf. in particular text no. 1 lines 196–204a and text no. 7 lines 30–32. With regard to v 34–40, see text no. 1 lines 125b–126. For v 41–76, cf. text no. 1 lines 204b–216a and text no. 7 lines 78–82.

Col. vi: Gadd states that there are about five lines missing at the beginning of this column in ex. 1 and about twelve in ex. 2 (Iraq 16 [1954] pl. XLVII). He notes that col. vi is the best preserved part of ex. 1 while only the extreme right ends of many of the lines in the lower half of ex. 2 are preserved. He also notes that "Distribution of the matter between lines varies slightly in the two copies, but there are no significant differences" (ibid. p. 187). Gadd (ibid. p. 188) notes that if the prism records matters in the same order as the prism fragment 81-7-27,3 (text no. 83), the first part of the column would have described "the wars against the kings of Ashdod and Meluḫḫa" (i.e., the episode of the rebel Iāmānī of Ashdod who fled to Egypt but was later delivered up to Sargon by the Kushite ruler). For vi 14–80, see in particular text no. 7 lines 121–37, text no. 86 lines 1´–16´, and text no. 113 lines 6´–23´.

Col. vii: According to Gadd (Iraq 16 [1954] pp. 191 and 193), there are about six lines missing at the top of col. vii of ex. 1 and that exemplar has only the first halves of the lines preserved. Gadd notes that ex. 2 begins at line 29, but is neither well-preserved nor clear until ND 3408+3402 joins the exemplar (beginning at line 50). For vii 7–38, see in particular text no. 7 lines 141–49, text no. 83 iii´ 1–13, and text no. 103 iv 8–42.

Col. viii: Gadd (Iraq 16 [1954] p. 197) notes that although the remains of col. viii in exs. 1 and 2 "overlap when the prisms are set side by side it is not possible to discern any connexion between their texts." Gadd does not indicate the number (if any) of lines likely to be missing at the beginning of the prism on ex. 1, but states that ex. 2 comes from near the bottom of the column on that exemplar. Thus, ex. 1 is presented first in the edition (viii 1´–33´) and ex. 2 second (viii 1´´–25´´). The edition indicates that there may be a lacuna between the two sections, but no gap may exist and the two may actually overlap. For a further prism fragment that may well have been part of column viii (ND 3406), see text no. 75.

Since the inscription does not record the events of Sargon's reign in chronological order, the following chart lists the major events recorded in the body of this inscription together with the dates for them (mostly based upon statements in the Khorsabad Annals [text nos. 1–6]).


Text no. 74TopicDate
i 1–13+Introduction
i (+)23–28(+)Work on/for Eḫ[ursaggalkurkurra?]
ii 1–13, 1´–20´Mannea 6th palû (716)
iii 1–41Mannea, Urarṭu, Muṣaṣir 8th palû (714)
iii 42–56Ellipi, Media 9th palû (713)
iv 1–12Kummuḫu 14th palû (708)
iv 13–24Carchemish 5th palû (717)
iv 25–41Samaria rēš šarrūti (722)
iv 42–49Opening of Egyptian harbor district rēš šarrūti (722)
iv 50–58Šinuḫtu 4th palû (718)
v 13–33Tabal, Bīt-Purutaš 9th palû (713)
v 34–40Que (Cilicia) 7th palû (715)
v 41–76Melid, Kammanu 10th palû (712)
 Gurgum, Marqasa 11th palû (711)
vi 14–85Babylonia 12th and 13th palûs (710–709)
vii 7–19Babylonia 13th–16th palûs (709–707?)
vii 20–24aDilmun (Aḫundara) (16th palû?) (706?)
vii 24b–44Yadnana (Cyprus) (14th palû?) (708?)
viii 1´–33´Uncertain
viii 1´´–9´´Dūr-Šarrukīn
viii 10´´–25´´Uncertain


1953 Wiseman, Iraq 15 pp. 138–139 (provenance)
1954 Gadd, Iraq 16 pp. 173–201 and pls. XLIII–L (ex. 1, photo; exs. 1–2, composite copy, edition)
1956 Borger, Asarh. pp. 52–53 commentary to line 74 (iii 40, study)
1957–58 Borger, AfO 18 p. 116 sub §27 (iii 40, study)
1958 Tadmor, JCS 12 p. 34 (iv 25–49, edition)
1958 Wiseman, DOTT p. 60 (iv 25–41, translation)
1964 Brinkman, Studies Oppenheim p. 44 no. 44.2.20.c.ii (study)
1968 Borger in Galling, Textbuch2 pp. 60–61 no. 30 (iv 25–49, translation)
1976 Saporetti, Studi Ciprioti e Rapporti di Scavo 2 pp. 84–85 (vii 24b–44, translation, study)
1977 Briend and Seux, TPOA no. 36 (iv 25–41, translation, study)
1979 Elayi and Cavigneaux, OrAnt 18 p. 64 (vii 42–44, edition)
1981 Zaccagnini in Fales, ARIN pp. 276–282 (vii 45–76, translation, study)
1982 Ephʿal, Arabs pp. 38–39 (iv 25–49, study)
1982 Spieckermann, Juda unter Assur pp. 349–350 (iv 25–33a, edition)
1984 Borger, TUAT 1/4 p. 382 (iv 25–49, translation)
1984 Brinkman, Prelude p. 53 n. 248 (vii 46, study)
1985 Dalley, Iraq 47 p. 36 (iv 25–39a, translation, study)
1986 Renger, CRRA 32 pp. 114–18 (iv 13–24, 50–58, v 20–33, 41–76, transcription)
1988 Cogan and Tadmor, II Kings p. 336 no. 6A (iv 25–41, translation)
1990 Naʾaman, Biblica 71 pp. 209–210 (iv 25–30, translation, study)
1990 Potts, Arabian Gulf 1 p. 335 no. 8 (vii 20–24a, translation, study)
1991 Hayes and Kuan, Biblica 72 pp. 171–175 (iv 25–28, edition, study)
1992 Becking, Fall of Samaria pp. 28–31 (iv 25–41, edition, study)
1994 Cole, JNES 53 p. 88 (vii 45–68, translation)
1994 Fuchs, Khorsabad p. 387 (study)
1995 Brinkman in Liverani, Neo-Assyrian Geography pp. 26–27 (vii 45–68, translation)
1995 Galil, CBQ 57 pp. 54–55 (iv 25–28, edition)
1995 Malbran-Labat in Caubet, Khorsabad pp. 171–172 and 178 n. 20 (vii 39–44, edition; study [erroneously cited as ND 3411])
1998 Fuchs, SAAS 8 p. 5 (i 24–28, edition)
1998 Naʾaman, Orientalia NS 67 pp. 239–240 (vii 24b–44, translation)
1998 Uehlinger, Studies Loretz pp. 742–743 (iv 25–41, translation, study)
1998 Younger, JBL 117 pp. 216–217 (iv 25–41, edition)
1999 Younger, CBQ 61 pp. 469–473 (iv 25–41, edition, study)
2000 Bagg, Assyrische Wasserbauten pp. 143, 162, and 327–328 nos. 27–28 (vi 32–44, vii 57–72, edition)
2000 Naʾaman, NABU 2000 p. 1 no. 1 (iii 55–56, iv 21, 31, 33, study)
2000 Younger, COS 2 pp. 295–296 no. 2.118D (iv 25–49, translation)
2001 Naʾaman, CRRA 45/1 p. 358 (vii 24–38, study)
2002 Younger in Chavalas and Younger, Mesopotamia and the Bible pp. 291 and 301 (iv 25–41, translation)
2008 Cogan, Raging Torrent pp. 89–93 no. 19 (iv 25–49, translation, study)
2013 Frame in Berlejung and Streck, Arameans, Chaldeans, and Arabs pp. 93–94 (vii 45–76, translation)
2014 Maniori, Campagne di Sargon pp. 46–47 G6–G7 and passim (study)
2018 Frahm, Last Days pp. 71–75 no. 8 (iv 25–41, edition, study)
2019 Aster, JAOS 139 pp. 602–609 (iv 37–41, edition, study)
2019 Edmonds in Dušek and Mynářnová, Aramaean Borders p. 45 (vii 45–76, translation)
2019 Marchesi, JNES 78 p. 23 (iv 13–24, edition)

075 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006556/]

A fragment of a clay prism found at Nimrud preserves part of a description of the construction of the palace of Sargon II at Dūr-Šarrukīn and quite likely should be considered part of the previous inscription (text no. 74), preserving part of the last column (col. viii) of that inscription.

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ND 3406


Since text no. 74 ex. 2 and most of text no. 74 ex. 1 were found in the same place as ND 3406 and since all are prism fragments assignable to Sargon II, it is quite probable that all bear parts of the same inscription, as suggested by C.J. Gadd (e.g., Iraq 16 [1954] p. 173). ND 3406 may in fact have originally been part of either text no. 74 ex. 1 or ex. 2; Gadd (ibid. pp. 196–197) notes that ND 3406 is "not securely attributable to either, though its general appearance is rather more like E [ex. 2]." Gadd attributed ND 3406 to part of col. viii (of text no. 74) "only on the ground of its contents, as containing part of a building-inscription." While acknowledging the probability that the text on this fragment is really part of the previous inscription (text no. 74), the author has preferred to edit it separately since we do not know its exact relationship to the parts of col. viii found on the other two prisms. The inscription is edited from the published copy.

The restorations are based on those proposed by Gadd. Similar passages to lines 6´–9´ are found in several inscriptions of Sargon II (e.g., text no. 12 lines 30–33). For lines 11´–12´ and 18´–19´, see also text no. 2 lines 466–467.


1954 Gadd, Iraq 16 pp. 173–175, 196–98, and pl. L (copy, edition, study)

076 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006557/]

Five fragments of prismatic cylinders appear to have parts of the same inscription of Sargon II, an inscription that is written in Babylonian script and that summarizes a large number of his military actions. The latest actions mentioned — campaigns against Gurgum/Marqasi and Kammanu (lines 24´–27´, heavily restored) — occurred in the ruler's eleventh regnal year (711) and thus the inscription must have been composed no earlier than that year. The two fragments whose provenance is certain (exs. 2 and 5) come from Nimrud and Tell Baradān respectively. The text has sometimes been called the Nimrud Cylinder.

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(01) K 1660 (02) IM — (ND 3411) (03) MS 2368
(04) S. Moussaieff collection (05) IM 85067 (35)


Ex. 1 comes from the center of a prismatic cylinder that originally had nine faces; it preserves parts of the beginning and end of the inscription. Assuming that the first eight faces had four lines each as on the first face — the penultimate face had four or more lines — and knowing that the final face had three lines, the inscription on this exemplar would have been ca. thirty-five lines in length. The piece is catalogued as part of the Kuyunjik collection in the British Museum; however, some pieces in that collection were actually not found at that site (see J.E. Reade in CRRA 30 p. 213). This raises the possibility that this fragment could have come from Nimrud, just like ex. 2.

Ex. 2 amounts "in bulk to rather more than a quarter of the whole" piece (Gadd, Iraq 16 [1954] p. 198). C.J. Gadd indicates that the fragment preserves parts of six faces of the "originally nine faces" of the cylinder. As it is currently preserved, each face had four lines, except for one that had only three lines (lines 8´–10´ of that exemplar). Thus, this exemplar would likely have had an inscription of approximately thirty-five lines. Gadd proposed that only five lines were missing at the beginning of the inscription (i.e., one complete face of the cylinder and the first line of the next face) and thus treated the first line preserved on that piece as his line 6. He noted that the beginning of the piece must have had an "abridged version" of the text found on the Khorsabad Cylinder of Sargon (text no. 43) since the beginning of the first preserved line (our 1´) is found at the end of line 8 on the Khorsabad text. If exs. 1 and 2 are in fact exemplars of the same inscription, and if the first part of the inscription (1–10´a) essentially duplicates text no. 43 lines 1–17, as seems to be the case from what is preserved on exs. 1 and 2, then the first preserved line on ex. 2 might well have been on the third face of that cylinder rather than the second as assumed by Gadd. He numbers the lines on ex. 2 as 6–25, which in our edition are 1´–21´. Gadd has suggested that the piece "might prove to have been made for 'export' to some temple or structure in the South" (Iraq 16 [1954] p. 199); however, if the inscription originally ended with line 27´ (see below), there would be nothing in it to suggest that the piece was not intended for use in Assyria. R. Borger (HKL 1 p. 140) has suggested that exs. 1 and 2 may have come from the same cylinder, but this cannot be proven. With regards to the findspot of the fragment, ZT 4, see Pedersén, Libraries pp. 147–149.

Ex. 3 originally had eight faces and approximately half of the circumference of the piece is preserved. Parts of nineteen lines on five faces are extant; each face whose full length is known had five lines. Since the last line preserved on the fragment may well have been the last line of the inscription and since it was the second line on that face, this exemplar may have originally had thirty-seven lines.

Based on the published photographs of ex. 4, parts of five faces and fourteen lines of text are preserved; when a face is fully preserved, the number of lines on it varies from three to four, although one face may possibly have five lines. It is not known how many faces this cylinder would have had and thus it is not possible to estimate how many lines of text were originally on it. K. Abraham kindly supplied the author with information on ex. 4 before the article by her and J. Klein was published.

Ex. 5 preserves parts of three faces and eight lines of text, one line on the first face, five lines on the second face (the only fully preserved face) and two on the third face. It is not known how many faces the cylinder originally had and thus it is not possible to estimate how many lines of text this cylinder originally had. The author must thank K. Kessler for providing both a copy of the inscription and information on the piece itself.

While it is not certain that the inscriptions on the five exemplars were exact duplicates, at those points where the pieces overlap there is nothing to suggest that they were not. It is assumed here that the first half of the inscription (lines 1–10´a) basically duplicated text no. 43 lines 1–17. The end of the inscription (lines 26´–27´) is somewhat uncertain. The inscription on ex. 1 clearly ended with line 27´ since that line is followed by a line ruling and since the next face of the piece preserves the beginning of the inscription. It is uncertain whether or not the inscription on ex. 3 ended at this point since the cylinder is broken immediately following this line (indeed only the top half of most of the signs in line 27´ is preserved) and since there would have been room for two or possibly three more lines on that face of the cylinder. Ex. 4 probably also ended with line 27´ since there are no traces of a line following it, even though there is room for one, and since some of the signs towards the end of that line are spaced widely apart. Some of the signs on the last line of ex. 5 (part of 27´) are also widely spaced, suggesting that they may come from the last line of the inscription on that exemplar. Thus, it seems likely that line 27´ was the last line of the inscription on at least three of the exemplars (exs. 1, 4, and 5).

The line arrangement is based on ex. 1 for lines 1–5, on ex. 2 for lines 1´–14´ (lines 6–19 according to Gadd's line numbering of this exemplar [see above]), and on ex. 3 for lines 15´–27´ (lines 7´–19´ of that exemplar). The reading of lines 1–5 follows ex. 1 and that of lines 1´–7´ follows ex. 2; lines 8´–27´ are a composite of two or more exemplars. Restorations in lines 1–4, 1´–8´, and 12´–14´ are based upon text no. 43 lines 1–4, 8–15, and 19–22 respectively. See also Frame, CUSAS 17 pp. 138–140 for the arrangement of the five exemplars and in particular the line equivalences for lines 8´b–27´.


1889 Bezold, Cat. 1 p. 326 (ex. 1, partial copy, study)
1894 Winckler, Sammlung 2 p. 4 top (ex. 1, copy)
1953 Wiseman, Iraq 15 pp. 137 and 139 (ex. 2, study, provenance)
1954 Gadd, Iraq 16 pp. 175, 198–201, and pl. LI (ex. 2, copy [by D.J. Wiseman], edition)
1994 Fuchs, Khorsabad pp. 385–386, 388–389, and 396–398 (ex. 1, study)
2001 Rollinger, Melammu 2 p. 239 (line 14´b, edition)
2007 Abraham and Klein, ZA 97 pp. 252–261 (ex. 4, photo, copy, edition)
2009 Frame, Studies Parpola pp. 80–82 nos. b–e and m (exs. 1–5, study)
2011 Frame, CUSAS 17 pp. 138–143 and pl. LII no. 72 (ex. 3, photo, edition; exs. 1–5, study)
2014 Maniori, Campagne di Sargon pp. 51–52 g5–g6 and passim (exs. 1–2, study)
2019 Marchesi, JNES 78 p. 24 (17´a, edition)

077 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006558/]

A brief label mentioning Sargon is found on a green glass vase and on several stone jars; all exemplars whose provenance is known come from Nimrud. Each exemplar has a depiction of a lion before the inscription. This depiction may be an official mark indicating that the article derived from or belonged to the palace or treasury of the king, Sargon. With regard to the use of the figure of a lion, see Millard, Iraq 27 (1965) p. 15; Curtis and Reade, Art and Empire p. 146; Galter, Journal for Semitics 16/3 (2007) pp. 646–648; and Niederreiter, Iraq 70 [2008] pp. 51–86, esp. pp. 51–59.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006558/] or the score [/rinap/scores/Q006558/score] of Sargon II 077


(01) BM 90952 (=BM 12084; N 2070) (02) BM 91460 (48-11-4,165) (03) BM 118443 (48-11-4,166)
(04) BM 91639 (N 1561) (05) BM 91595 (48-11-4,286) (06) BM 104894 (1983-1-1,69)
(07) VA 970


A.H. Layard found numerous fragments of vessels of white alabaster and baked clay below fallen stone slabs in Room I of the North-West Palace at Nimrud. Some of the fragments had cuneiform signs upon them, among which Layard "perceived the name and title of the Khorsabad king" (Layard, Nineveh 1 p. 342). He also found in the room three whole vessels: a glass vessel (ex. 1), an alabaster vessel (ex. 4), and a vessel that was broken by a workman (ex. 5?). Ex. 6 was also likely among the pieces found by Layard in this room at Nimrud. (See Layard, Nineveh 1 pp. 342–343 and Searight, Assyrian Stone Vessels.) Copies of three exemplars of this inscription are found in Layard's notebook MS A on pp. 320 and 322 (British Museum); these copies likely represent exs. 2, and 1 and 4 respectively. The statements as to the type of stone for exs. 2–5 and 7 are based upon museum records and/or published accounts (in particular Searight, Assyrian Stone Vessels).

Ex. 1 is a "squat alabastron of pale green cast and cut glass" (Collon, Ancient Near Eastern Art p. 175). D. Barag (Catalogue pp. 53–54 and 61) suggests that the vessel may have been made in Phoenicia or in Assyria by Phoenician artisans; J.E. Curtis (Curtis and Reade, Art and Empire p. 146) notes that the inscription may have been added later. The inscription has been collated from the published photos, but these are not always clear.

Ex. 5 was "found in a box from palace of Nimrud" (British Museum records; Searight, Assyrian Stone Vessels p. 18 no. 52). Ex. 6 preserves only the beginning of the inscription (É.GAL) and it is possible that the remainder of its inscription did not duplicate this one. It is assigned to Sargon in view of the presence of a depiction of a lion immediately to the left of the signs; for a possible origin in Nimrud, see ibid. no. 53. Ex. 7 was purchased by the Vorderasiatisches Museum. Comparing ex. 7 to two vases from Cyprus, F.W. von Bissing suggested that it also came from Cyprus (ZA 46 [1940] p. 153).


— Layard, MS A pp. 320 and 322 (exs. 1–2, 4?, copy)
1849 Layard, Monuments p. 22 and pl. 97 no. 9 (ex. 5, drawing)
1849 Layard, Nineveh 1 pp. 342–343 (exs. 1, 4, 5, provenance); and 2 p. 421 (ex. 1, study)
1851 Layard, ICC pls. 83E and 84A (exs. 1–2, copy)
1853 Layard, Discoveries pp. 196–197 (exs. 1, 4, 5, drawing, study)
1886 Bezold, Literatur p. 93 §56.14.e–f (exs. 1–2, study)
1889 Winckler, Sar. 1 p. 192; and 2 pl. 49 nos. 4–5 (exs. 1–2, copy, transliteration; ex. 7 study)
1907 Ungnad, VAS 1 no. 73 (ex. 7, copy)
1922 BM Guide pp. 195–196 nos. 204, 210, 219, 221, and p. 237 no. 134 (ex. 1, photo, partial copy, transliteration; exs. 2, 6, study; ex. 3, translation; ex. 5, copy)
1927 Luckenbill, ARAB 2 p. 114 §228 (exs. 1–2, translation; ex. 7, study)
1940 von Bissing, ZA 46 p. 153 no. 6 (ex. 7, edition [by Falkenstein], study)
1966 Forbes, Ancient Technology2 5 p. 132 fig. 22 (ex. 1, photo)
1966 von Saldern in Mallowan, Nimrud 2 p. 626 and fig. 584 (ex. 1, photo, study)
1970 von Saldern in Oppenheim, Glass p. 218 no. 17 (ex. 1, edition, study, additional bibliography)
1985 Barag, Catalogue pp. 25–26, 28, 32, 53–54, and 60–61, and fig. 2, pl. 3, and col. pl. B no. 26 (ex. 1, copy, study; edition [by Sollberger])
1994 Lackenbacher in Fontan, Khorsabad p. 155 fig. 1b and p. 282 (ex. 4, photo)
1995 Collon, Ancient Near Eastern Art pp. 174–175 fig. 139a (ex. 1, photo, translation)
1995 Collon, Studies Boehmer p. 72 and p. 73 fig. 7 (exs. 1, 4, drawing)
1995 Curtis in Curtis and Reade, Art and Empire p. 146 no. 115 (ex. 1, photo [inscription not legible], edition) and p. 148 no. 117 (ex. 4, photo, edition)
2004 Marzahn, Könige am Tigris pp. 107–109 no. 19 (ex. 7, photo, translation)
2008 Mango, Marzahn and Uehlinger, Könige am Tigris p. 197 Kat. 42 (ex. 7, photo, translation, study)
2008 Niederreiter, Iraq 70 pp. 51–86, esp. p. 53 figs. 1a–d, p. 77 nos. La.4–9, and p. 85 (ex. 1–2 and 4–7, edition; exs. 2, 4–6, copy, transliteration; ex. 3, edition)
2008 Searight, Assyrian Stone Vessels pp. 16–19 and figs. 8–9 nos. 51–54 and 57 (exs. 2–6, copy, edition, study)
2018 Tubb in Brereton, Ashurbanipal pp. 124–125 no. 127 (photo, translation)

078 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006559/]

In 1846, A.H. Layard found sixteen bronze weights of varying sizes in the shape of crouching lions under one of the winged bull colossi in Entrance b of the throne room of the North-West Palace at Nimrud. Thirteen of these bear cuneiform inscriptions and these allow the assignment of one to Tiglath-pileser III (Tadmor and Yamada, RINAP 1 pp. 152–153 Tiglath-pileser III no. 63), nine to Shalmaneser V (Tadmor and Yamada, RINAP 1 pp. 171–181 Shalmaneser V nos. 1–9), one to Sennacherib (Grayson and Novotny, RINAP 3/2 no. 211), and two to Sargon II (text nos. 78–79). A third lion weight (BM 91235), which has only the weight written on it in Aramaic (šqln 2), might also be assigned to Sargon according to F.M. Fales (Studies Milano pp. 488, 491, and 501–505 no. 14). The largest of the two lion weights of Sargon II has two brief texts, one in Akkadian and one in Aramaic, and both state that the object weighed "one mina of the king."

Major studies dealing with the bronze lion weights from Nimrud by T.C. Mitchell, F.M. Fales, C. Zaccagnini, and L. Peyronel are found in Gyselen, Prix pp. 129–138; Studies Lipiński pp. 33–55 and Studies Milano pp. 483–510; Studies Heltzer pp. 259–265; and Mesopotamia 50 (2015) pp. 93–112 respectively. Note also J. Reade's important study on Assyrian weights and money in SAAB 24 (2018) pp. 125–193. For further bibliography on the lion weights, see de Vogüé, CIS 2/1 p. 2 and Fitzmyer and Kaufman, Aramaic Bibliography 1 p. 37 no. B.2.4. For a photograph of one of the lion weights of Shalmaneser V, see Pritchard, ANEP2 p. 36 no. 119.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006559/] of Sargon II 078


BM 91229 (48-11-4,74)


The larger and heavier of the two bronze lion weights ascribed to Sargon II weighs 468.388g/468.5g. There is no handle on the back. Published references to this weight have often mixed information about it and BM 91227, a bronze lion weight weighing 480.149g and bearing an inscription of Shalmaneser V (Tadmor and Yamada, RINAP 1 pp. 178–179 Shalmaneser V text no. 7; attributed to Tiglath-pileser III by T.C. Mitchell). The two pieces were kindly weighed for the author several years ago by the staff of the British Museum and he was informed that BM 91229 was the one that weighed 468.388g. In the meantime several publications have continued to state that BM 91229 weighed 480.149g, and so its weight was again checked for the author by J.E. Reade in June 2018, when it was found to weigh 468.5g, a difference of about one tenth of a gram from the earlier weight of 468.388 and a difference that is likely due to different scales being used. In any case, it is clear that BM 91229 is over eleven grams lighter than BM 91227. In the bibliography provided below, it has been thought advisable to cite information on both weights in a few cases since it is not always easy to disentangle the information.

The Akkadian text is found on the back of the lion; line 1 of the Aramaic text is found on the left flank of the lion and line 2 on the base. The edition is for the most part based upon the published copies and the edition by Fales (Studies Lipiński p. 42), although the original has also been examined.


1853 Layard, Discoveries p. 601 and pl. facing p. 601 nos. 10–11 (copy of Aramaic, study)
1856 Norris, JRAS 16 pp. 217, 219, 221, and pl. facing p. 222 nos. 10–11 (partial copy of Akkadian and Aramaic, study)
1864 Madden, Jewish Coinage p. 262 nos. 10–11 (translation, study)
1884 Aurès, RA 1/1 pp. 11–16 (study)
1884 Ledrain, RA 1/1 pp. 16–17 (study)
1889 de Vogüé, CIS 2/1 p. 9 and pl. I no. 8 (photo of Aramaic inscription line 2, copy, edition)
1891 Müller, WZKM 5 p. 5 (study)
1901 Johns, ADD 2 pp. 260 leo 10 (transliteration, study)
1907 Weissbach, ZDMG 61 p. 401 no. 69 (translation)
1912 Lehmann-Haupt, ZDMG 66 pp. 682–683, 685, 687, 691–692 (study)
1921 Thureau-Dangin, RA 18 p. 139 no. 10 (study)
1975 Segert, Altaramäische Grammatik p. 496 no. 22 (copy of Aramaic)
1984 Braun-Holzinger, Bronzen p. 111 no. 383j (translation of Akkadian, study)
1990 Mitchell in Gyselen, Prix pp. 129–138 nos. 10–11 [inscription under no. 11] (edition, study)
1995 Fales, Studies Lipiński pp. 42–43 no. 9 (copy, edition)
1997 Fales, Économie antique p. 293 no. 9 (translation)
2013 Curtis, Examination of Late Assyrian Metalwork pp. 74–75 and 173 no. 542 (translation, study)
2015 Peyronel, Mesopotamia 50 pp. 94, 97, 99–100, and 102 N10 (translation, study)
2016 Fales, Studies Milano pp. 485, 488, and 500–505 no. 9 (edition, study)
2018 Reade, SAAB 24 p. 136 fig. 7 (left), p. 166, and p. 181 no. B 15 (photo [inscription not legible], partial translation, study)

079 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006560/]

The second bronze lion weight from Nimrud that can be assigned to Sargon II also bears both Akkadian and Aramaic texts. The Akkadian one states that the object belonged to the palace of Sargon, while the Aramaic one states that it weighed three shekels.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006560/] of Sargon II 079


BM 91234 (48-11-4,79)


The bronze lion weight has no handle on its back and currently weighs 49 g (52.36 g in Peyronel, Mesopotamia 50 [2015] p. 99 N15). It was found with two rings (now missing) around its neck and with the rings would have weighed ca. 54.6 g (note also Mitchell in Gyselen, Prix p. 135 no. 15; Curtis, apud Fales, Studies Lipiński p. 45 and n. 24; and Curtis, Examination of Late Assyrian Metalwork p. 173 no. 547). In a personal communication (July 15, 2018), J.E. Reade has pointed out to the author that the two rings around the neck of the lion may not originally have been part of this weight and that this had already been noted back in 1864 by the respected numismatist Reginald Stuart Poole: "The weight of the shekel, obtained by including the rings is excessive ... I am therefore of opinion that these rings are smaller weights, originally of flexible metal" (in Madden, Jewish Coinage p. 264 n. 9).

The Akkadian text is found on the back of the lion; line 1 of the Aramaic text is found on the left flank of the lion and line 2 on the base. The presence of a "badly preserved fourth line" in the Akkadian inscription was noted by F.M. Fales (Studies Lipiński p. 46), who suggested a tentative reading of that line (Studies Milano p. 501 no. 13 and n. 54); cf. text no. 78 line 2 of the Akkadian inscription.


1849 Layard, Monuments p. 22 and pl. 96 nos. 7–8 (drawing)
1853 Layard, Discoveries p. 601 and pl. facing p. 601 no. 15 (copy of Aramaic, study)
1856 Norris, JRAS 16 pp. 216, 222–223, and pl. facing p. 222 no. 15 (copy of Aramaic, study)
1864 Madden, Jewish Coinage pp. 263–264 no. 15 (translation, study)
1884 Aurès, RA 1/1 pp. 11–16 (study)
1889 de Vogüé, CIS 2/1 pp. 12–13 and pl. I no. 13 (photo of Aramaic inscription line 2, copy, edition)
1891 Müller, WZKM 5 p. 5 (study)
1901 Johns, ADD 2 pp. 261–262 leo 15 (transliteration, study)
1907 Weissbach, ZDMG 61 p. 402 no. 74 (translation)
1909 Lehmann-Haupt, ZDMG 63 pp. 724–725 no. 74 (study)
1912 Lehmann-Haupt, ZDMG 66 pp. 691–692 n. 2 (study)
1921 Thureau-Dangin, RA 18 p. 139 no. 15 (study)
1975 Segert, Altaramäische Grammatik p. 496 no. 22 (copy of Aramaic)
1984 Braun-Holzinger, Bronzen p. 112 and pl. 74 no. 383n (drawing, translation of Akkadian, study)
1990 Mitchell in Gyselen, Prix pp. 129–138 no. 15 (edition, study)
1995 Fales, Studies Lipiński pp. 45–46 no. 13 (copy, edition)
1997 Fales, Économie antique p. 293 no. 13 (translation)
2013 Curtis, Examination of Late Assyrian Metalwork pp. 74–75 and 173 no. 547 (translation, study)
2015 Peyronel, Mesopotamia 50 pp. 96–97, 99–101, and 102 N15 (translation, study)
2016 Fales, Studies Milano pp. 485, 488–491, 496, 498, and 500–505 no. 13 (edition, study)
2018 Reade, SAAB 24 pp. 166 and 181 no. B 13 (partial translation, study)

080 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006561/]

Fragments of sixteen ivory writing boards (ND 3557–3572) and seven wooden writing boards (ND 3575–3581) were found in "Layard's well" of the North-West Palace at Nimrud in 1953. One of the ivory writing boards has an inscription engraved upon its polished outer face recording that Sargon II had had the series of celestial omens Enūma Anu Enlil copied on it and deposited in his palace at Dūr-Šarrukīn.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2//] of Sargon II x


IM 56967 (ND 3557)


The inscription on the piece could be viewed as a colophon to the copy of Enūma Anu Enlil, but it has been included here among Sargon's royal inscriptions since it is incised on the outer surface of the writing board and since it does not refer to one specific tablet of the series. It has been edited both from the published photographs and photographs kindly supplied by J. Renger. A few sections of wax with inscriptions on them were still preserved upon some of the boards and those that are legible have been identified as parts of the series Enūma Anu Enlil.

With regard to Mesopotamian writing boards, see San Nicolò, Orientalia NS 17 (1948) pp. 59–70; Mallowan, Iraq 16 (1954) pp. 98–107 and pls. XXII-XXIII; Howard, Iraq 17 (1955) pp. 14–20; Wiseman, Iraq 17 (1955) pp. 3–13 and pls. I-III; Mallowan, Nimrud 1 pp. 152–163; Pritchard, ANEP2 pp. 348 and 376 no. 803; Parpola, JNES 42 (1983) pp. 1–8; Nemet-Nejat, Bagh. Mitt. 31 (2000) pp. 249–258; J.M. Russell, Senn.'s Palace p. 29; Freydank, Studies Haas pp. 103–111; MacGinnis, Iraq 64 (2002) pp. 217–236; and Cammarosano, Weirauch, Maruhn, Jendritzki, and Kohl, Mesopotamia 54 (2019) pp. 121–180.


1954 Mallowan, Iraq 16 pp. 98–99, and pl. XXIII (photo, translation [by Wiseman], provenance)
1955 Wiseman, Iraq 17 pp. 7–8 and pl. I (photo, copy, edition, study)
1966 Mallowan, Nimrud 1 pp. 152–156 and fig. 93 (photo, translation, provenance)
1976 Basmachi, Treasures pp. 249 and 405, and fig. 186 (photo [reversed])
1992 Fales and Postgate, SAA 7 p. 65 fig. 15 (photo)
2000 Nemet-Nejat, Bagh. Mitt. 31 p. 254 (edition)

Grant Frame

Grant Frame, 'Kalhu (73-80)', RINAP 2: Sargon II, Sargon II, The RINAP 2 sub-project of the RINAP Project, 2021 [http://oracc.org/rinap/rinap2/rinap2textintroductions/kalhu7380/]

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The RINAP 2 sub-project of the University of Pennsylvania-based RINAP Project, 2020-. The contents of RINAP 2 were prepared by Grant Frame for the University-of-Pennsylvania-based and National-Endowment-for-the-Humanities-funded Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period (RINAP) Project, with the assistance of Joshua Jeffers and the Munich Open-access Cuneiform Corpus Initiative (MOCCI), which is based at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Historisches Seminar (LMU Munich, History Department) - Alexander von Humboldt Chair for Ancient History of the Near and Middle East. Content released under a CC BY-SA 3.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/] license, 2007-21.
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