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Babylonian Clay Cuneiform Ritual Dedication Cone from 2350 BC


Sometimes the listings just speak for themselves:

Original clay cuneiform cone, circa 2350 BCE. Housed in custom-made Sangorski and Sutcliffe (of London) full morocco clamshell slipcase with velvet interior. Cuneiform cones, or nails, were commonly buried under the foundations, or built into the walls, of important public buildings and temples as ritual dedications. This cone is from the building of the temple of Ningirsu, Sumero-Babylonian god of rain, irrigation, and fertility, probably an earlier form of Ninurta. He was the patron deity of the ancient Sumerian city of Girsu (Lagash) where king Guda built a temple for him called the Eninnu. He had a field here where all sorts of plants flourished. He is a son of Enlil and a she-goat, and his consort is Baba. His name means “Lord of Girsu”, and his symbol is the lion-headed eagle. There is minor rubbing at the extremeties of the case, though the cone appears to be in very good condition, still pointy and with legible Sumerian inscription.
Favorite take-aways here:

-as a descriptor of the item’s condition: “Still pointy”;

-”Son of a She-goat!” may become my new go-to exclamation;

-I wonder if this is the weirdest/oldest/most unusual item master bookbinders Sangorski & Sutcliffe ever worked with.

$4,000 to the right collector of ancient artefacts – or wealthy person who wants a really amazing conversation piece.

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Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

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