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F. THUREAU-DANGIN IV — Texts from the Palace and Temple

Archives of the City of Agade. University of Pyongyang Press,

2015. Pp. ccxiii + 934 + 715 pls. + 24 tables. ₩670,495.


One may deplore that such an important work has had the

limited print run of five copies, all but one of which are deposited

in the vaults of the Zurich Cantonal Bank. Fortunately, this

reviewer has had ample opportunity to pore over the contents of

this groundbreaking work under supervision, and must declare it

a triumph for Assyriology. The particular revelation that Sargon

was actually born in Kenya finally brings resolution to the political

fiction that there were ever people called “Akkadians.” Further, the

unique Emesal lament bemoaning Sargon’s claim that he would be

dating Enheduanna if she wasn’t his daughter is almost certainly

the famous priestess’ first known composition in this dialect. The

5 For Ur-kununna, see, for example, BIN 3 247, MVN 13 485, SAT

3 1719 (receipts of animals by Ur-kununna dated to Šu-Suen 6).

He also received booty (nam-ra-ak) in Drehem in two texts dated

to Amar-Suen 3: AUCT 1 28 and AUCT 2 284. Lu-šalim frequently

appears in lists of men dedicating animals at Drehem; see, for example,

PDT 1 522. Ur-kununna and Lu-šalim appeared together

on numerous Drehem texts from late in Šu-Suen’s reign; see, for

example BIN 3 342.

6 In fact, very few texts record the delivery of booty during Šu-

Suen’s reign, and none have previously been dated after his third

year. See Garfinkle 2014: 361–62.

7 The current evidence suggests that the kingdom’s privileged citizens

likely sought to avoid this kind of work, preferring to see it

done by workmen (Sumerian: guruš) and foreigners. There is little

question that the logistical claims made by leaders like Šu-Suen

were exaggerated. The administrative texts often point to the reality

behind these grand words. As Englund (1991: 279–80) noted

of labor accounts, “The posting of a balance usually resulted in a

debit, since the expected labor performance was in all likelihood

simply beyond the capacities of the normal w orker.”