Heavy Babylonian Door Socket with the Name of the High Priest Nur-Kakka

Culture: Old Babylonian
Period: 2100-1900 B.C.
Material: Limestone
Dimensions: 24.5 cm x 21.5 cm x 7.5 cm
Price: 12 000 Euro
Ref: 6243
Provenance: Old English private collection. Auctioned and published at Christie's auction London on 13 May 2003, lot 46.
Condition: Ancient wear in the corners and on the edges, but the inscription is wonderfully preserved. At the bottom remains of an old collection label.
Description: Important, rectangular limestone block with circular hollowed out centre part, once serving as a socket of a temple door. One of the outer sides with a very finely drawn, two-column inscription (6 and 1 line). The translation reads: ”Only Nur-Kakka, beloved high priest of Nin-isina, erected two matching doors and the beam of the Pahum gate." Notable for this inscription is that it mentions a high priest, whereas it was exclusively reserved for kings to inscribe foundation stones. The referenced Pahum gate is due to this inscription to be assumed in the temple of Nin-isina, the protective goddess of the city of Isin (today Išān in Iraq).