Cuneiform Texts and Sealings

Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Kessler (University of Erlangen, Germany) studies the epigraphical testimonies excavated 2007 in Tall al-Hamidiya by the Swiss Archaeological Mission.

The finds, housed now in the Archaeological Museum in Deir ez-Zor, comprise about 50 inscribed objects, among them c. 20 clay tablets or fragments of such texts. The rest consists of heavily destroyed small clay objects, some of them with irregular forms, but all sealed with specified Mitanni-style seals, to which short inscription belong that normally mention a personal name and the delivery of a quantity of satukku-beer.

The inscribed and sealed objects and the cuneiform texts form a coherent archive as the clay tablets refer to expenditures of a palace household with only two different commodities that are primarily quantities of satukku-beer and of ad/takurru-vessels filled with some beverage. The recipients mentioned comprise household personal, female and male, some of them for travelling, eventually adding the name of a temple or of some place names. Rather remarkable are deliveries for people from Misru/Egypt, Ugarit, Arrapha and from Alasia/Cyprus. The vocabulary shows a clear Hurrian background.