Large Cuneiform Barrel of Sin-Iddinam

Culture: Old Babylonian
Period: 1785-1778 B.C.
Material: Clay
Dimensions: 14.5 cm high
Price: 12 000 Euro
Ref: 6393
Provenance: From an English private collection prior to 1992, thence on the English art market.
Condition: Unrestored. On the upper part some wear, several minor chips below, overall an impressive cuneiform barrel.
Description: Massive clay barrel from the period of the Old Babylonian king Sin-Iddinam from Larsa. The cuneiform barrel with a flat base and a circular opening on top depicts an inscription of around 70 lines covering the entire outside. Sin-Iddinam stresses that he dredged the river Tigris to provide water supply to his city. A series of similar barrels are known and published. The standard reference originates from Dougals Frayne “The Old Babylonian Period”, 1990, pages 158-160, E4.2.9.2. The translation reads: “I, Sin-Iddinam, mighty man, provider of Ur, king of Larsa, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, king who built the Ebabbar, temple of the god Utu, who restored the rites of the temples of the gods, when An, Enlil, Nanna and Utu granted to me a good reign of justice whose days are long, by means of my broad wisdom, supremely established, which excels, in order to establish good water for my city (and) land (and) to make magnificent my ways, praise (and) valor for the future, I prayed ardently to the gods An and Enlil. They having agreed to my firm entreaty commissioned (me), by their unalterable word to dig the Tigris, to restore (its banks, and) to establish my name for a long life-span. At that time, by the decree of the gods An and Inanna, by the supreme might of the gods Nanna and (Utu), by means of my triumph I grandly dug there the Tigris, the river of abundance of the god Utu. I connected its intake to the border, the boundary of my choice, and directed its great (course) straight into a swamp (thereby) providing perpetual water, unceasing abundance for Larsa, my land. When I dug the Tigris, the great river, the wages of each worker were: 1 gur of barley, 2 sila of bread, 4 sila of beer, 2 shekels of oil, in one day so they received this. I let nobody take less or more. By the decree (and) decision of the great gods, I restored (the banks) of the Tigris, the broad river, (and) set up my name for the distant future.”