Lankelli 2

A Database for Month-Names in Elam
Developed by Gian Pietro Basello

Version 2 released on 2003 May 15

Your comments on this project are welcome; let me know if it is useful to you!
More about Elam at <>

dal 23/IX/2000
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By group, period, place, language

The following table gives a synoptical view of the distribution of month-names in Elam according to their group, historical period, finding place and language.

Groups are in rows. By group I mean a complete set of 12 month-names. An ideal group would be determined by a sequence of 12 different month-names in the same document. Further considerations on group formation are in Basello 2002. The 'extra' group is a virtual group for month-names which, at least by now, cannot be assigned to other groups. Other fictitious groups are for dating formulae and intercalary terms.

Historical periods are in columns. The periodization follows Steve 1992. The total number of documents with month-names for a given period is bracketed in the column headings.

At the crossings of rows and columns, i.e. for each group and each period, the places where month-names are attested are listed. The languages are also provided, and for each language the total number of month-names attested. Since a single document could report more month-names, the sum of these numbers could be higher than that given in the column headings.


Each link brings to a new page splitted in three frames. In the left frame a list of the related month-names is displayed. By clicking on a month-name, its spellings is displayed in the upper frame on the right. By clicking on a spelling in the upper frame, a list of the documents reporting it is displayed in the bottom frame on the right. By clicking on a document in the bottom frame, a new page reporting the data related to that document and a list of the month-names hither attested is opened. This page could be reached also through the online access by document.

Notice that the data displayed in the framed page is always limited by the link clicked in the following table: if you click on a group on the left, all the month-names of that group is listed in the framed page, whereas clicking on a place will limit the display to the month-names attested in that place and in that period; the data displayed can be further narrowed by clicking on a language. These constraints are showed in the status bar of the window.

(06/II/2001) The Elamite and Old Persian cuneiform viewer Tuppime is linked to Lankelli: click on the mark © in the queries.

group P III (126) M I (37) N I A (77) N II (3) N III A (1) N III B (187) Ach (1140) unknown (1)
Susiana Susa: AK 89 Haft Tepe: AK 53 Tall-i Malyān: EL 57 Susa: AK 1        
Anšan     Tall-i Malyān: EL 15 Susa: EL 1     Persepolis: EL 284  
Babylonian     Tall-i Malyān: EL 6 Susa: EL 29   Susa: EL 174 Bisotun: AK 20
Persepolis: EL 3
AR 6
unknown: EL 1
Old Persian             Bisotun: EL 20
OP 20
Persepolis: EL 1699
unknown: EL 1
Susa extra Susa: AK 61              
extra     Tall-i Malyān: EL 3 Susa: EL 2 Persepolis: EL 1 Susa: EL 15 Persepolis: EL 7  
intercalary terms Susa: AK 1   Tall-i Malyān: EL 1     Susa: EL 4 Persepolis: EL 42  
dating formulae             Persepolis: EL 5  
scribes             Persepolis: EL 25  

By catalogue, group, place, language

The following table gives a synoptical view of the distribution of month-names in Elam according to their catalogue, group, finding place and language.

Catalogues are in rows. The total number of documents with month-names for a given period is bracketed in the row heading; by clicking on this number a new page listing the content of the catalogue is opened. The number of documents indexed in other catalogues is given after the slash.

Groups are in columns.

At the crossings of rows and columns, i.e. for each catalogue and each group, the places where month-names are attested are listed. The languages are also provided, and for each language the total number of month-names attested. Since a single document could report more month-names, the sum of these numbers can be higher than that given in the row headings.

Each link brings to a new page splitted in three frames as explained for the above table.

catalogue Susiana Anšan Babylonian Old Persian Susa extra extra intercalary terms dating formulae scribes
Beckman 1991
(docs: 1/0)
Haft Tepe: AK 1                
(docs: 9/9)
Haft Tepe: AK 9                
(docs: 3/0)
    Bisotun: AK 20 Bisotun: EL 20
OP 20
(docs: 2/0)
Susa: AK 1 Susa: EL 1              
(docs: 145/13)
  Persepolis: EL 98   Persepolis: EL 103
unknown: EL 1
  Persepolis: EL 2 Persepolis: EL 2 Persepolis: EL 4  
(docs: 20/20)
Haft Tepe: AK 20                
(docs: 36/29)
Haft Tepe: AK 52                
(docs: 13/1)
Tall-i Malyān: EL 1 Tall-i Malyān: EL 7 Tall-i Malyān: EL 5     Tall-i Malyān: EL 3 Tall-i Malyān: EL 1    
(docs: 50/0)
Susa: AK 33       Susa: AK 23        
(docs: 8/0)
Susa: AK 3       Susa: AK 5   Susa: AK 1    
Meyer 1973
(docs: 1/0)
Susa: AK 1                
(docs: 1/0)
    Susa: EL 29     Susa: EL 2      
(docs: 887/0)
  Persepolis: EL 178 Persepolis: EL 2
AR 6
Persepolis: EL 1392   Persepolis: EL 5 Persepolis: EL 32 Persepolis: EL 1 Persepolis: EL 23
(docs: 13/13)
      Persepolis: EL 19   Persepolis: EL 1 Persepolis: EL 1 Persepolis: EL 4  
(docs: 15/0)
  Persepolis: EL 8 Persepolis: EL 1 Persepolis: EL 22          
(docs: 81/0)
      Persepolis: EL 164     Persepolis: EL 7   Persepolis: EL 2
PT 1957
(docs: 5/0)
      Persepolis: EL 7          
PT 1963
(docs: 2/0)
      Persepolis: EL 7     Persepolis: EL 1    
(docs: 186/1)
    Susa: EL 173     Susa: EL 15 Susa: EL 4    
S add.
(docs: 1/0)
    Susa: EL 1            
(docs: 67/0)
Susa: AK 52       Susa: AK 33        
Teh. 1957
(docs: 2/0)
      Persepolis: EL 4          
(docs: 65/1)
Tall-i Malyān: EL 56 Tall-i Malyān: EL 8 Tall-i Malyān: EL 2            
(docs: 1/0)
          Persepolis: EL 1      
(docs: 1/0)
    unknown: EL 1            
(docs: 1/1)
    Susa: EL 1            

By document

Catalogue:   number:  
alpha:   fragment:  

alpha represents the alphanumeric part used in some catalogue; for example, in DB catalogue type "OP" for the Old Persian version of the Bisotun inscription.
fragment represents the fragment number in some joint tablet of PT catalogue.

If the document number is not indexed in the catalogue, a list of the content of the catalogue is displayed.

Project description

Lankelli is a database designed for lexical research. Linguistic data are progressively classified in groups, names and spellings. Epigraphical data are progressively classified in catalogues and documents. An effective textual occurrence is linked both to its spelling and to the document in which it appears. Bibliographical data can be linked to each of these layers.

This structure has been filled according to the occurrences of month-names attested in Elam. Such a database is required to arrange the great number of month-names and their spellings. These month-names belong to Babylonian, Elamite and Old Persian calendars while their spellings occur in texts different for typology (legal and administrative tablets, royal inscriptions, menologies and omina), language (Akkadian, Elamite, Old Persian, Aramaic), historical period (from old Elamite to the Achaemenid period) and finding place (Mesopotamia, Susiana and Anshan). Nonetheless it seems possible to single out some threads across these differences.

For a synoptical view and further references see Basello 2002.

Technical implementation

On the brink of the third millennium, the historical research meets eventually the digital technology. There are a lot of projects (see in Italian Iniziative per la codifica digitale di testi antichi) but we are still far from a standard in exchanging and publishing cuneiform texts and bibliographical data, which are at the core of our scholarly efforts. I would like to describe briefly the road which I have undertaken.

I began developing Lankelli in 1999 in order to gather data for my dissertation on Elamite calendars. Microsoft Access 97 was the only database software installed on my personal computer (I can still remember an entire afternoon spent to get my first "many-to-many" relationship!). However it was a good choice because of its strictly interraction with SQL language. Firstly, I developed a complex interface through Visual Basic for Applications and the masks in Access. In autumn 2000 I published the database online with little effort thanks to SQL and Active Server Pages. Afterwards I became more acquainted both with ancient sources and modern technologies. In february 2001 I developed Tuppime, an online tool which parses Elamite transliteration (and even Old Persian transcription) displaying the cuneiform signs, in order to improve my reading of the cuneiform writing. At this time, the first version of the Cuneiform Text Markup Language was ready, implemented in XML, since I needed a support to archive the transliterated texts written for Tuppime. In the meanwhile I tried to develop a complex bibliographical database, being unsatisfied of software such as Endnote or Procite (which are unfortunately so little spread in the scholar community); the interface was internet-oriented from the beginning, being queried through ASP which create an XML result file displayed through XSL transformations. Meanwhile, CTML went under further revisions, changing radically from ASP display to XSL transformation. Together with Stefano Buscherini I am developing a new major release of the CTML, version 4.0: the XML code is written by a JAVA multi-platform cuneiform parser; full support for cuneiform display, well-formatted transliteration, sign by sign researches, bibliographical data are provided reusing a simple base structure.

It was a lot of time that I was thinking of re-designing Lankelli, when I resumed working on it in September 2002. The first goal achieved was the "many-to-many" relationship between documents and catalogues, because the same document could belong to more than one catalogue. Moreover finding places and historical periods were added in the document table. This way I could re-arrange the groups, which previously reflected these data, according to the achievement accounted for in Basello 2000. Another major features are language and bibliographical data. This way the link with Tuppime is more transparent, since the language of the spelling is provided directly by the database.

However, the database is a compromise. Nowadays I would surely use Javascript in ASP or even PHP. Personal and place names occurring in the texts should be recorded as spellings and names belonging to a specific proper noun group. Each document should be classified according to its typology and support. Unfortunately, I have not much time to devote to the developing of such features. CTML 4.0 will do that better!

If you need particular queries of the database, do not drive yourself crazy trying to recollect the data from these pages, but ask me!

Database status

Current database includes all known occurrences of month-names from Elam. "Known" means "published" with the following exceptions:

These are the main data added with respect to Lankelli 1:

I am aware that a lot of useful data is still missing. Full account of damaged text is given only for the Anshan month-names attested at Persepolis. Data about documents and proper nouns is largely incomplete, unless they are that of a Persepolis Fortification tablet with Anshan month-names.

Special characters

Special characters with diacritical marks are encoded through XML entities, the same used in CTML, referring to UNICODE characters. Unfortunately they are unrecognized in HTML, however I hope that they are quite explicit. Entities are enclosed between the ampersand and a semicolon. At the moment, you have to be patient and look to the original data coding.

san Giovanni in Persiceto, 25/IX/2000; updated Napoli, 11.20.28/III/2003; 5/VI/2003 English text revision (thanks to F.M.).

©2000-2003 Copyright by Gian Pietro Basello
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Created: 25/05/2004 18:24:02
Last modified: 25/05/2004 18:24:02
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Cite as:

Basello, Gian Pietro (2003) Lankelli 2. A Database for Month-Names in Elam, online database available at <>, last modified 23/06/2015 14:18:59, last visited 17/07/2024 13:26:28.