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083. Tell Drehem (ancient: Puzrish-Dagan)

Al Qadishiyah Governorate. A few miles southwest of Nippur.

Dates of Site: Ur III period, late 3rd millennium BC

A Sumerian city which served as a large tax collection depot and produced more than 100,000 cuneiform tablets dating from the Third Dynasty of Ur (circa 2112-2004 BC).

The site, which has never been officially excavated, has been extensively looted. Hence our knowledge of the site and the people who inhabited it remains fragmentary at best. Everything we believe was found at the site must include the prefix "reportedly".

During the Ur III dynasty, Puzrish-Dagan probably served as the collection point for the bala (literally, “rotation”),  a tax system in which the major citied of Sumer and Akkad paid the central government a monthly tax, usually in livestock like cattle or sheep.  Many of these payments went to a large collecting center, Puzrish-Dagan probably being one of them; others apparently went to Nippur, the religious capital, as religious offerings, and many more went to Ur, all meticulously documented (according to the records, some taxes may have not made the trip literally, but were still accounted for — virtual sheep and goats). Other tribute, including silver, cattle and hides paid by distant provinces and some countries under Sumerian domination were also recorded on cunieform tablets reportedly found at Puzrish-Dagan. An analogy might be the Fed Ex processing center in Memphis, although without the religious and civic dimensions. More than one hundred thousand cuneiform texts have been recovered at the site in clandestine fashion

Site assessement: old and recent looters holes present at last inspection.



  32° 3' 44.4960" 
  45° 17' 27.6360"