The kudurru, or boundary stone, was placed in the temple to record land grants given by the king, which served to prevent the agreement from being undone at a later date. Most kudurrus date from the end of the Kassite period but continued to be produced until the beginning of the first millennium BC.
At the top of the piece are three astral symbols in relief: a crescent moon for the moon-god Sin, a solar disc for the sun-god Shamash, and a disc for Ishtar, the planet Venus. Below these is a stylised representation of six temples, each topped with a symbol, the two on the left bearing horned crowns alluding to Anu, god of the heavens, and Enlil, god of air, wind and storms; the third with a round object alluding to the Mother Goddess Ninhursah. The fourth with an animal head representing Ea, god of subterranean waters; the fifth with a shovel, symbol of the god Marduk, god of the city of Babylon and the sixth only partially preserved.
In the second register is Gula, goddess of medicine, seated on the left on a throne resting on a dog; Nusku, god of fire and light, who is represented with a lamp in front of his face. Next is the storm god Adad, in profile with one foot resting on a bull and one arm raised and the other at rest; then the house god Shuqamuna who has a bird in front of his face. He is followed by a scorpion below on the right, symbolising the goddess of love Ishara, and a walking bird symbolising Pap-sukkal, the vizier of the gods.
The lower register is partially preserved and shows a lion on the right side with its head turned to the side; at the end of this register, a waving serpent, symbol of the underground waters known to Irhan.
The reverse of this kudurru retains three columns of Babylonian cuneiform writing that tell:
The donation in exchange for horses of the kassite king Marduk-apla-iddina I (1166- 1154) to Adad-zera-subsi, merchant, son of Adad-laughter. The amount of 300 sutus (81 ha) of land in the province of Bit, Sin-seme and 300 sutus (81 ha) of land in Bit, Sin-Asared province. A total of 600 sutus (162 hectares) that are measure and permanently established for Adad- sera-subsi, the merchant.
The governor of Bit-Sin-Seme and the governor of Bit-Sin-Asared reclaimed the land and expropriated it.
The appeal to Nebuchadnezzar I (1126- 1103 AD) and his gift to Adad-zerar- subsi son, caused Musallim-Marduk, son of Adad-zera-subsi to appeal to Nebuchadnezzar I. The king of the universe respected to the cities of Kar- Marduk and Kar-Sarpenitu, the king gave him 300 sutus of additional lands totaling 900 sutus (243 hectares).
King sent Sapiku, the son of Usi-ana- nurisa, son of Adrad-Ea, who measured the land and permanently established it for Musallim-Marduk and for his heir, Altammar-Adad.
Kabtija ruler of Nammar, Marduk-nadin- sumi carriage warrior from the land of Nammar and Gula-sum-iddina herald of the land of Namar, were there.
Whenever in the future a mayor, a responsible person, a provincial lord, a governor, or anyone who wishes to stand up and make a claim for this land, let someone claim this land, take this land, or let someone take it, anyone who said “This land is not a gift of the king!”. To this man, shall An and Enlil and Ea, the great gods of heaven and the earth, curse. Adad, the chief of the inspectors of the channels of heaven and earth, must close his channel, his god must curse him, his goddess should look at him with hostility toward him, his king should too.
The name of this kudurru is: “Ninurta, established forever this kudurru!” This is the name.
Provenance: English private collection, acquired in the 1980s / Christie's New York, 2010/ J. Bagot Gallery, Spain, 2015
Exhibited: Feriarte, IFEMA (Madrid, 16-24 November 2019) / Ifergan Collection, Málaga (2018-2020)
Published: Christie's New York, Antiquities, 9/12/10 / K. Sternitzke, A. Bartelmus, M. Roaf (eds.), Karduniash, 2012. S. Paulus, Die babylonischen Kudurruinschriften von der kassitischen bis frühneubabylonischen Zeit, Alter Orient and Altes Testament 51, Münster, 2014, pp. 515-520, pl. 30-34, NKU I 4.
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- Kudurru van Nebukadnezar I, 53,3 x 35 x 14 cm. EX-CHRISTIES Zeer zeldzaam en belangrijk.
- Eeuw / Periode
- Second Dynasty of Isin, 1126-1105 B.C.
- Compleet op een fout in de linker bovenhoek na. Algemene erosie met slijtage aan de achterzijde.