Parsa Daneshmand, Neo-Assyrian divinatory commentary in Akkadian

An illustrated divinatory commentary in Akkadian

An illustrated divinatory commentary in Akkadian, fragments K 2086 + 82-3-23, 26 + 83-1-18, 421 + 83-1-18, 422, the British Museum

The cuneiform tablet I present is an illustrated divinatory commentary written in the Akkadian language. The text, Neo-Assyrian in date (i.e. the first millennium BC), is written on a four columns tablet. The tablet in its present form, has been joined from four fragments: K 2086 + 82-3-23, 26 + 83-1-18, 421 + 83-1-18, 422. Two other BM texts are possible duplicates (K. 11714; K. 9815). The text includes some general rules on the divinatory interpretation of a sign called ‘kakku’ (weapon) on the liver of the sacrificial animal. It contains drawing of the sign ‘kakku’, as it was conceived by Babylonian diviners. The drawings are illustrated on the left side of the tablet, with omens and commentaries written above and to the right of them. The author of the text, the commentator, has selected different versions of kakku omens, and quotes entries from lexical texts known as şâtu and lišānu. All the lines containing commentaries have been indented, in order to make them identified from the main text. The collection of the British Museum contains about 20 illustrated kakku commentaries, most of which are broken and in the poor state of preservation. The present text is the most well-preserved one in the collection, and thus provides more complete examples of the layout of this commentary type.