The Inscription of 36 lines is given
twice on this
nail, once around the shaft in two
division between lines 20 and 21, and
the head also in two columns divided
lines 20 and 21. The Text is a royal
Lipit-Ishtar, king of Isin in Babylonia (c.
-1924 BCE). It reads:
who reverences (the town) NIppur,
farmer of Ur, ceaseless for (the town)
priest the adornment of (the town) Uruk,
Isin, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad,
favourite of (the goddess) Ishtar am I.
I made to potstands the delight of (the
and (goddess) Ninlil in Isin, my royal city,
gate of the palace, did I, lipit-Ishtar, son
god) Enlil when I established justice in the
of Sumer and Akkad."
The king first stresses his concern for the
of the major cities of Sumer: Nippur, Ur,
and Uruk, then after giving his titles, he
his making of two pot stands to put at his
gate from which the divine pair Enlil and
would receive some benefit. The
Occasion of this
dedication was when he established
justice in his
land. This was the cancellation of certain
debts to prevent the rich from getting
the poor poorer. The head of this nail is
incomplete, but the shaft is complete.
some salt encrustation on the surface.
copies of this inscription are known to
although on cones only. This would then
only existing nail of such kind ever found.
[Translation and interpretation by Prof.