Three Cuneiform Texts from the National Museum of Finland Provenance, Editions, and Commentary

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Johannes Bach Rick Bonnie


This paper offers provenance studies and editions of three hitherto unpublished texts stored in the National Museum of Finland collections. VK 5738:2 is another exemplar of a well attested clay cone of Gudea of Lagaš. The clay cone bears an M.K. signature in Arabic, indicating that it once was held in the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. VK 6400:6 is a fragment of an octagonal prism of Sennacherib. Its text probably is a version of Sennacherib 17 with differing lineation, but other options remain possible. The object has been donated to the National Museum of Finland in 2004 after its re-discovery in the storerooms of the Finno-Ugrian Society. VK 6400:5 is a tablet fragment preserving text from a partially unknown royal inscription of Tiglath-pileser I. It has the same provenance as Sennacherib fragment VK 6400:6. The text on the obverse has its best parallel in the “Extended Five-Year-Annals” of Tiglath-pileser I (A.0.87.2). The reverse contains text that has its closest parallels in two inscriptions hitherto ascribed to Tiglath-pileser I’s son Aššur-bēl-kala. In 2020, Shibata proposed to rather attribute these two inscriptions to Tiglath-pileser I. The Helsinki fragment provides proof for this thesis, as the text on its reverse apparently also was part of at least some younger versions of the “Extended Five-Year-Annals”.

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