Royal Ratification of Property Transfer in Early Dynastic Syria: Towards a New Interpretation of ARET 16, 27
The text we study here was first published by D.O. Edzard in 1981. A new edition, by A. Catagnoti and P. Fronzaroli, was included in the second volume of the testi di cancelleria (2010) as ARET 16, 27.
The general import of the document has been correctly seen by the editors. Its main object is property transfer from the vizier Yibrium to his three sons by one of his wives named Tirut. Yibrium’s sons receive a number of agricultural settlements from their father, and the deed is ratified by the king who takes an oath making it irrevocable. Besides, Yibrium expresses his will about the status that Tirut and his other wives will have after his death. The text ends with additional provisions about an exchange of landholdings between the king and one of the sons of Yibrium.
Though we accept this general interpretation, we understand the document differently in many respects, including vocabulary, segmentation of sentences and historical reconstruction. In particular, we challenge the idea that the document dates to the last year of the king Yirkab-Damu and settles the succession of his heir Yiš’ar-Damu. In our view, the improvements we have made justify a new edition of this unique document.