Dubovskaya ON THE USE OF THE TERM “KUDURRU” IN RELATION TO THE MONUMENTS OF THE MIDDLE BABYLONIAN PERIOD (BEGINNING OF THE 16th TO THE MIDDLE 12th CENTURIES BC)
ON THE USE OF THE TERM “KUDURRU” IN RELATION TO THE MONUMENTS OF THE MIDDLE BABYLONIAN PERIOD (BEGINNING OF THE 16th TO THE MIDDLE 12th CENTURIES BC)
V. N. Dubovskaya
Researcher of the National Art museum of the Republic of Belarus Minsk, National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus email@example.com
Kudurru is one of the most famous complex of monuments of the Kassite ruling in Babylonia. Traditionally, they are defined as “boundary stones”, but until now, the legitimacy use of this term is controversial. The function of these monuments probably extends beyond the documentary record of the royal land grant, which does not allow us to perceive these artifacts exclusively as territorial markers and information carriers about land holdings. It is an open question how the Babylonian culture defined the objects that are traditionally called kudurru. The texts of the monuments simultaneously contain several words related to both the royal benefit and the divine punishment for the crime. Analysis of the named text fragments reveals that the creators of the stones shared directly the land border, which was called “kudurru”, and the monument itself – narû. The latter term is traditional for the royal stele, and it also suggests that the stone artifacts of the Kassite time were much more complex in their function than simply guarding the boundaries of the land. The difference in potential crimes aimed at kudurru and narû also highlights the disparity in their nature and functions. The actions associated with the narû determine its physicality and threaten not so much to destroy it as to make it invisible. To hide the stone or change the information on it is tantamount to destruction and is punishable by the gods. The word kudurru is used in a series of natural or artificial boundaries that separate lands. According to this, kudurru cannot be destroyed as a land marker. The functions of the stone monuments and what the Babylonian culture understood by the word kudurru do not coincide. Identifying them with narû raises the question whether they were not more closely related to the royal stele in their function than to the usual border marker.
Keywords: Babylonia, Kassites, Kudurru, boundary stones, land grant, narû, royal stele
Preislamic Near East 2021, (2):53-60
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