At the cleaners (UET 6/2, 414)

SEAL no. 1655

Copy / Photo
74 (II. 9–20, 42)
Tablet Siglum
11.7 x 7.4 x 3.8
British Museum, London, (returned to Iraq?)
Genre / Classification
Wisdom Literature, dialogue
Ur (mod. Tell el-Muqayyar)

Dialogue between customer and a fuller.

CDLI No. P274721. (Genre is said wrongly to be "Lexical", and Period is said wrongly to be "Neo-Babylonian").  Collations in Ludwig 2009.

UET 6/3, p. 32: location "7, Quiet Street, upper level".




1       al-kam ašlākum(LÚ.TÚG) lu-wa-ʾi-ir-ka-a-ma ṣu!-ba-ti zu-uk-ki

2       ša ú-wa-ʾa-ru-ka la ta-na-ad-di-i-ma

3       ša-at ra-ma-ni-ka la te-ep-pe-eš

4       sí-is-sí-ik-tam qá-ap-si-da-am ta-na-ad-di

5       pa-nam a-na li-ib-bi-im tu-ta-ak-ka-ap

6       qá ši-id-dim ta-la-aq-qá-at

7       me-eḫ-ḫa-am qá-at-nam ta-ra-as-sà-an

8       i-na ma-aš-ḫa-li-im ta-ša-aḫ-ḫa-al

9       sí-sí-kà-at qá-ap-si-di-im tu-pa-aṭ-ṭá-ar

10      i-na me-e na-am-ru-tim te⌉-di-i[k?]

11      ki-ma ki-im-di-im-mata-ka?-pa⌉-ar ù te-⌈x-ni/ir

12     a-na bi-it-tim ta-z[a-] x ki-[m]a šu-tu-⌈um⌉ [x x] x bi?

13     [a/i-n]a me-es-ke-er-tim ta-ta-x-[x x]

14     [x] ku te pa uḫūlam(NAGA?) gaṣṣam(IM.BABBAR) t[u-ba-la-a]l

15     [i-na N]A4ta-ma?-[aḫ-ḫa-s]ú? (or: ta-ma?-[az-za-š]u?]

16     i-na te-er-ḫi-im ta-ma-ar-r[a-as ù ta/te-...]

17     pí-qá sí-im-tam te-me-sú t[a-...] /ù tu-na-⌈da⌉-[ad]

18     i-na ḫaṭṭi(gišGIDRI) eʾrim(MA.NU) tu-ta-a[r-ra-ak]

19     i[t-q-am na-pa-al-sà-aḫ-tam tu-[x x x ]

20     šu-ta-am ši-ip-ra-am i-na ṣillîm(gišIGI.GAG=dalá) x [x] ⌈x⌉



21      sí-sí-ik-tam ta-ša-at-ta-aq ù tu-pa-aš-ša-aḫ

22      i-na ṣi-it li-li-im tu-ub-ba-al

23      ki-ma šu-tu-um la uš-ta-ak-ka-sú

24      i-na ša-ad-di-im i-na pi-it-ni-im ta-ša-ak-ka-a[n]

25      lu pu-uš-šu-uḫ-kum bi-lam ú-ḫa-ad-da-ka ma-di-iš ḫu-um-ṭa-am

26      a-na bi-tim tu-ba-lam-ma sūtam(BÁN) ŠE a-na sú-ni-ka i-ša-ap-pa-[ak]

27      ašlākum(LÚ.TÚG) i-pa!(Text: ip)-al-šu aš-šum é-a be-el né-em-qì-im ša ú-ba-la-ṭù-[ni]

28      e-zi-ib la ia-ti ša ta-qá-ab-bu-ú um-mé-ni ù mu-ša-[di-ni]

29      ša ki-ma ka-a-ti li-ib-ba-am i-ra-aš-šu-ú-ma

30     ši-ip-ra-am ri-ta-šu i-ka-aš-ša-da ú-la i-ba-aš-ši

31     ša tu-wa-ʾi--an-ni šu-un-na-am da-ba-ba-am

32     qá-ba-am ù tu-úr-ra-am ú-la e-li-i

33     al-kam e-le-nu-um a-li-im i-na li-it a-li-im

34     ma-aḫ-tu-tam lu-ka-al-li-im-ka-ma-me

35     ma-na-ḫa-tim ra-bi-tim ša i-na qá-ti-ka i-ba-aš-ši-a i-na ra-ma-ni-ka šu-ku-un-ma

36     na-ap-ta-nu-um la i-ba-a et-ru-ba-am-ma

37     ⌈ùqé-e ašlākim(LÚ.TÚG) ma-du-tim pu-šu-ur

38     šum-ma la at-ta li-ib-bi ra-ma-ni-ka tu-na-ap-pa-aš

39     ašlākum(LÚ.TÚG) ša i-na-aḫ-ḫi-da-kum ú-la i-ba-aš-ši

40     i-me-eš-šu-ni-ik-kum-ma li-ib-ba-ka-mi

41     iḫ-ḫa-am-ma-aṭ ù te-er-ši-tam 

42     pa-ga-ar-ka te-mi-id




1          Come fuller, let me instruct you, treat my garment!

2          What I instruct you, do not lay aside,

3         Your own (ideas), you should not do!

4          As for the hem of the garment, you will lay down the selvage,

5          You will stitch the outer side to the inside,

6          You will pick up the thread of the (shorter) border.

7          You will soak the delicate part (of the cloth) in beer,

8         You will strain it through a sieve.

9          You will loosen the hem with the selvage.

10       You will spray it with clear water,

11       You will wipe it like a kimdum cloth, and you will...:

12       To the weft yarns you will [brush?] so that the warp yarns…

13       You will.... in a barrier(?)/basin(?),

14       … you will mix alkali with gypsum (to prepare fuller’s earth?).

15       You will [beat? or: press?] it on/with/under a stone.

16       …in a vessel.

17       If you remove(?) the (laundry) mark, (then) you must ... and you will have to    comb (the fabric).

18       You will tap (the garment) repeatedly with an e’ru-wood stick (to felt or smooth the fabric).

19       Y[ou will arrange] the fringe on the washer’s stool.

20       You will [sew/repair] the work, the (damaged) warp, with a needle.


21       You will spread and flatten the hem.

22       You will dry (the garment) in the break of evening,

23       so that the fabric will not dry (and wrinkle).

24       (Afterwards) you will place it in a box (and) in a chest.

25       It had better be smooth! Bring (it) to me; I will make you very happy – promptly!

26       You will bring (the garment) to the house, (one) will pour a seah of barley into             your lap.

27       The fuller answers: By the name of Ea, the lord of wisdom who keeps me alive!

28       Drop it! Not me! What you are saying – only my creditor and my tax collector

29       have the nerve (to talk) like you!

30       Nobody’s hands could manage this work!

31–32            What you have instructed me I cannot repeat, utter or reiterate!

33       Come upstream of the city, in the environs of the city –

34       let me show you a washing-place!And then (you could)

35       set yourself (to do) the great work you have in your hands!

36       The meal time should not pass – come in and stay and

37       unravel the cleaner’s many threads!

38       If you don’t calm yourself down

39       there will be no fuller who will bother for you.

40–41You will be mocked. Your heart will burn,

41–42and you will cause a rash(?) to appear on your body.

Its lines, their number (is) 41(sic).

Word Translation Semantic Line
abnum (NA4) stone, rock Materials 15
ālum (URU.KI) village, town, city Locations/Buildings 33
ašlākum (lúTÚG) washerman, fuller Social status/Groups/Professions 1, 27, 37, 39
bēlum (EN) lord, master, proprietor, owner Social status/Groups/Professions 27
bittum weft yarns Fabricated objects 12
bītum (É) house Fabricated objects,Locations/Buildings 26
Ea DN Deities/Divine sphere 27
ērum (MA.NU) tree (a kind of) Flora 18
gaṣṣum III (IM.BABBAR) gypsum Materials 14
ḫaṭṭum (gišGIDRU) stick, sceptre Fabricated objects 18
itqum fleece, fringe Fauna (wild) 19
kimdum cloth (a kind of) Fabricated objects 11
lētum cheek; side Body/Body parts 33
libbum (ŠÀ) heart, mind; inner body Body/Body parts 1, 5, 29, 38, 40
līlum evening Abstract concepts 22
maḫtûtum washing-place? Locations/Buildings 34
mānaḫum earnings; hard labour Abstract concepts 35
mašḫalum sieve (a type of) Fabricated objects 8
meskertum barrage, dam? Fabricated objects 13
miḫḫum beer (a type of), used for libations Fabricated objects 7
mû I (A(.MEŠ)) water Food/Drink,Nature/Cosmological phenomena 10
mušaddinum tax collector Social status/Groups/Professions [28]
napalsaḫtum low stool Fabricated objects 19
naptanum meal(-time) Abstract concepts 36
nēmequm wisdom, sagacity Abstract concepts 27
pagrum body, corpse Body/Body parts 42
pānum I (IGI) front, face Abstract concepts,Body/Body parts 5
pitnum box; (a musical instrument) Fabricated objects 24
qapsīdum edge (of garment)? Abstract concepts 4, 9
qātum (ŠU) hand Body/Body parts 35
qûm I (GU) flax; thread, string Fabricated objects 6, 37
rittum hand Body/Body parts 30
šaddum chest? Body/Body parts 24
še'um (ŠE) barley, grain (also a measure) Flora 26
šiddum side, edge, curtain Abstract concepts 6
ṣillûm (gišIGI.GAG=dalá) needle, pin Fabricated objects 20
simtum appropriate symbol, characteristic Abstract concepts 17
šiprum sending, mission, work, messenger Abstract concepts,Human activities/actions,Verbal expressions 20, 30
sissiktum hem, fringe Fabricated objects 4, 9, 21
ṣītum exit, (new) growth of plant, rise Abstract concepts 22
ṣubātum textile, garment Fabricated objects 1
sūnum loin, lap Body/Body parts 26
šutûm warp yarns, woven material Fabricated objects 12, 20, 23
sūtum (BÁN) seah (a capacity measure) Abstract concepts 26
taršītum harassment, inconsiderate behaviour Human activities/actions 41
terḫum beer vase (a type of) Fabricated objects 16
uḫūlum (NAGA) potash, plant for soap Flora 14
ummiānum craftsman, creditor Social status/Groups/Professions 28
Revision History
Wagschal, Avigail
Wagschal, Avigail
Wasserman, Nathan
Web-formatting and corrections
Bo, Zhang
Corrections on indexed words
Wasserman, Nathan
Wasserman, Nathan
Streck, Michael P.
Wasserman, Nathan
Photography, web-imaging