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Lawcourt Protocol
(Law suit opened by Queen Puduhepa against GAL.dU and his father Ukkura)
Boðazköy (Hattusa)

Hittite Empire, mid 13th century BC.
Baked clay. h:24.8 cm. w: 18.9 cm th:5 cm

Istanbul Archeological Museums, Bo.2131


50+45 lines on front face in two columns, 48+51 on back face. Restored from many fragments; missing and broken in places.

From this document we learn that Queen Puduhepa was in charge of administration of justice, and that having discovered an impropriety, she has made an independent complaint to the court. The people accused in the queen’s law suit, to whom valuable goods and animals were entrusted and are now missing, have been summoned to swear at the temple of Lelvani, Goddess of the Underworld and Hell. Before the court, GAL.dU says that he has not stolen the goods, but has given them to his mother, considering himself to be innocent. This is also evidence for the importance given to mothers (i.e. women) at those times. Extracts from the court proceedings are as follows:

...The queen speaks thus: Let the salasa-workers (and) the gold-smiths go along; let GAL.dU (and) Ukkura swaer without lying at the temple of the Goddess Lelvani’... Ukkura, the queen’s ‘leader of ten’, has sworn (and) under oath has made the following statement: I have never done anything wrong with the king’s stores which are always with me. I have taken nothing for myself. Moreover, I have never taken away anything that the queen has entrusted to me. The horses and mules that I had belonged to me... GAL.dU spoke thus before the god: I took for myself the ornamental pieces of three horses’ harnesses for the annual festival. And I took for myself two mules. They died whilst they were with me... From the stores entrusted to me which belonged to the seal house of the city of Partiya, I took for myself the following: 2 saddle-cloths and a kugulla-vessel, GAL.dU sent to his. I took for myself and sent to my mother 10 utensils of bronze, 1 lance, 1 bowl for washing hands, 1 copper measuring cup, 1 copper sieve, 1 large axe, 1 cart with its leather trappings... The bow with gold inlay checked by the queen. I found opened. And the(gold) inlay had been stolen. I did not take the gold myself. And I do not know who stole the (gold) inlay. But on seeing this, I was afraid, and I took gold from my mother and had it fixed in place again...

This text, which contains the testimony of several witnesses, ends abruptly because the tablet is fragmentary; and the court decision is unfortunately not known. (Not included in the exhibition.)

WERNER 1967, 1-20, (Kub XIII 35).


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