kurru (GUR) [Akkadian]


In Mesopotamia, a unit of capacity used for grain, about 180 liters. It had an extremely long life, from 19ᵗʰ century bce to 1st century bce, from Old Babylonia to the Achaemenid and Seleucid empires (550 bce – 63 bce).

The logotype (GUR) is conventionally written entirely in capital letters. In cuneiform, the unit looks like this: 𒄥 if you have a cuneiform font installed, otherwise:

GUR in cuneiform

Some idea of its value can be had from the wages and rents specified in the Code of Hammurabi (18ᵗʰ century bce)

Number of GUR
of grain
of the code
0.6 rental of wagon, oxen and driver for a day 271
3 rental of an ox (a milk cow?) for a year 243
4 rental of a draft ox for a year 242
6 annual wage of a boatman, or
common herdsman
239, 258
8 annual wage for a field-laborer, or
a herdsman to care for oxen or sheep
257, 261


Kurru was also a unit used in rating the sizes of ships.

The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of Chicago .
The kurru entry is in Volume 8, K, page 564. Original edition: Chicago: the Oriental Institute, 1971 and Glückstadt, Germany: J.J. Augustin Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1971. We consulted the 4th printing, 2008.

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