ŠU.SI [Akkadian]

In the Neo-Assyrian Empire, 9ᵗʰ – 6ᵗʰ centuries bce, a unit of length, about 2 centimeters. The word is usually translated “finger”. According to Postgate¹,

The ‘finger’ (although used in astronomy) is not known to me in true Neo-Assyrian texts, and is given here with due reserve.

However, Chicago's monumental Assyrian Dictionary gives examples in which ŠU.SI is used to describe the circumference of the liver (vol 15, page 235); the dimensions of bricks (vol 16, page 133), and the height of figurines (vol 17, page 85).

1. J. N. Postgate.
Fifty Neo_Assyrian Legal Documents.
Warminster, England: Aris & Phillips, Ltd. 1976.
Page 71.


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