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Christiansen, Birgit (2019): Granaries in Urartu and Neighboring States and the Monumentalization of Administrative Records. In: Avetisyan, Pavel S.; Dan, Roberto and Grekyan, Yervand (eds.) : Over the Mountains and Far Away. Studies in Near Eastern history and archaeology presented to Mirjo Salvini on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Oxford: Archaeopress. pp. 134-143 [PDF, 612kB]


The present article revisits the Urartian inscriptions concerning granaries and discusses them in a broader ancient Near Eastern context. In comparison with Hieroglyphic Luwian and Assyrian sources from the Middle and Neo-Assyrian period it highlights the characteristics of the Urartian inscriptions and addresses them as monumentalized manifestations of archival records of the storage of grain. On the basis of detailed analyses of the Urartian and other ancient Near Eastern sources it will be argued that the Urartian verb šu- which describes the royal activities related to granaries has the meaning ‘to fill’ rather than ‘to build’ or ‘install’. Furthermore, the structure and function of an ašiḫuši building, which according to some inscriptions was related to granaries, will be discussed in the light of Middle Assyrian administrative records. Special attention will be laid on CTU I A 9–20 from Arin-berd and the phrases andani DUB-ti-ni-e and šalmatḫi DUB-ti-ni-e in lines 8 and 10 of this text. This study thus aims to contribute to the understanding of an important institution for the safeguarding of the food supply, which obviously played a prominent role both in the Urartian state administration and the royal ideology of the Urartian kings.

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