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A round peg in a square hole?: the sikkatu in old Babylonian Susa

Lotte Oers (2010) AKKADICA. 131(2). p.121-143
abstract
In the Old Babylonian loans, sales and leases from Susa a frequently occurring clause states that a so-called sikkatu should be driven in a house, field, orchard or other real estate. This sikkatu is a peg-shaped object made of wood. Unlike the Mesopotamian sikkatu (which was a publicly displayed symbol of ownership) driving this in made a hypothecary pledge out of the property. This could be the case when someone lent silver or barley, or when a property was sold or leased, to make sure that the buyer or lessee would be reimbursed if the estate was claimed by a third party. The clause does not occur on all tablets of these genres, meaning that there was a choice involved. We assume that the driving of the sikkatu was merely symbolic. Not the physical presence of the peg was important for the permanence of the pledge, but the fact that the symbolic act of fixing it in real estate was recorded in a contract. Some texts contain information on the transmission of the pledge in case of forfeiture of the real estate.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Old Babylonian, Susa, peg, pledge, sikkatu
journal title
AKKADICA
Akkadica
editor
Katrien De Graef
volume
131
issue
2
pages
121 - 143
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000287672900002
ISSN
1378-5087
project
IAP
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
1195040
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1195040
date created
2011-03-23 09:37:36
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:45:14
@article{1195040,
  abstract     = {In the Old Babylonian loans, sales and leases from Susa a frequently occurring clause states that a so-called sikkatu should be driven in a house, field, orchard or other real estate. This sikkatu is a peg-shaped object made of wood. Unlike the Mesopotamian sikkatu (which was a publicly displayed symbol of ownership) driving this in made a hypothecary pledge out of the property. This could be the case when someone lent silver or barley, or when a property was sold or leased, to make sure that the buyer or lessee would be reimbursed if the estate was claimed by a third party. The clause does not occur on all tablets of these genres, meaning that there was a choice involved. We assume that the driving of the sikkatu was merely symbolic. Not the physical presence of the peg was important for the permanence of the pledge, but the fact that the symbolic act of fixing it in real estate was recorded in a contract. Some texts contain information on the transmission of the pledge in case of forfeiture of the real estate.},
  author       = {Oers, Lotte},
  editor       = {De Graef, Katrien},
  issn         = {1378-5087},
  journal      = {AKKADICA},
  keyword      = {Old Babylonian,Susa,peg,pledge,sikkatu},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {121--143},
  title        = {A round peg in a square hole?: the sikkatu in old Babylonian Susa},
  volume       = {131},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Oers, Lotte. 2010. “A Round Peg in a Square Hole?: The Sikkatu in Old Babylonian Susa.” Ed. Katrien De Graef. Akkadica 131 (2): 121–143.
APA
Oers, L. (2010). A round peg in a square hole?: the sikkatu in old Babylonian Susa. (K. De Graef, Ed.)AKKADICA, 131(2), 121–143.
Vancouver
1.
Oers L. A round peg in a square hole?: the sikkatu in old Babylonian Susa. De Graef K, editor. AKKADICA. 2010;131(2):121–43.
MLA
Oers, Lotte. “A Round Peg in a Square Hole?: The Sikkatu in Old Babylonian Susa.” Ed. Katrien De Graef. AKKADICA 131.2 (2010): 121–143. Print.