Results 1 277
22 Previous Next

Cone of Lipit-Ishtar
Explore Object
Creative Commons License

Cone of Lipit-Ishtar

Description Conservation Provenance Inscription Credit
Description The tidy Akkadian cuneiform characters, impressed neatly in horizontal registers all around this votive cone, describe an offering made by Lipit-Ishtar to the god Enlil and his consort Ninlil near the palace gates of the city of Isin. Lipit-Ishtar (also known as Lipit-Eshtar) ruled over the city-state of Isin (in south central Iraq) ca. 1934-1924 BCE. To establish the extent of his power, Lipit-Ishtar lists the territories (Sumer and Akkad) as well as the cities (Nippur, Ur, Eridu, and Uruk) then under the control of Isin. The section about setting “justice in the lands of Sumer and Akkad” may refer to the law-code of Lipit-Ishtar, which predated the more famous laws of Hammurabi of Babylon by about a century. Around one hundred examples of this text are known, of which the Walters Art Museum has three. Clay cones and nails were inscribed in the name of a ruler of a Mesopotamian city-state to commemorate an act of building or rebuilding, often of a temple for a specific deity. Deposited in the walls or under the foundations of these structures, the words of the texts were directed at the gods but would be found by later restorers.
Date Description Narrative
Provenance Edgar J. Banks, Alpine, New Jersey, [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [said to be from from Senkereh]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1921, [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Translation from composite text of Cuneiform Digital Library RIME] Lipit-Ishtar, / shepherd, / honorer of / Nippur, / farmer / true / of Ur, / unending (caretaker) / for Eridu, / lord / fitting / for Uruk, / king of Isin, / king of the lands / Sumer / and Akkad, / gift of / the heart of Ishtar, / am I; / pot stands, / gifts for / the side of Enlil / and Ninlil, / in Isin, / city of my kingship, / at the gate of the palace-- / Lipit-Ishtar, / son of Enlil, / am I-- / when / justice / in the lands / Sumer / and Akkad / I set, / I made. []
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1921

Download Image Add to Collection Creative Commons License

1934-1924 BCE (Old Babylonian)
baked clay, impressed
Accession Number
H: 4 7/16 × W: 2 1/16 in. (11.2 × 5.3 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


    Thumbnail: Cone of Lipit-Ishtar
    Zoom Out Zoom In Back to Details  
    Full Size: Cone of Lipit-Ishtar