Other Parts and Features of the Exta

The Breast-Bone (kaskāsu)

The breast-bone (kaskāsu, logogram GAG.ZAG.GA)[[193]] is rarely attested in OB extispicy reports.[[194]] In OB omen texts as well as in MB extispicy reports, it is commonly associated with the verb naparqudu "to lie flat," especially in the verbal pair kapāṣu "to be curled" - naparqudu.[[195]] This association persisted into the NA omen texts.[[196]]

In the Sargonid queries and reports the breast-bone usually appears after the inspection of the lungs and their parts is completed. The standard observation is kaskāsu ebi, "the breast-bone is thick" (the word ebi mostly written syllabically, but sometimes also, by way of a rebus writing, KUG). Other attested qualifications are hussur "blunted" (e.g. 290 r.5 and 296:14), paṭir "split" (282:10 and 15), etc.

193 For the identification of kaskāsu with the breast-bone, see Goetze YOS 10,p.8;cf.CAD s.v.244a,"soft part of the sheep's breastbone." The equation, first recognized by Boissier, Choix (1905) p. 56, is evident from Starr Rituals 127:31 and 130:34.

194 An exception is JCS 21 224 L14f, in a broken context. The restoration, however, is certainly correct, since the identical protasis is attested in the MB report JCS 37 149:36 and in no. 306:10.

195 See Starr Rituals, p. 22f. For the MB reports, see JCS 37 150:55 (cf. no. 301:9 and r.3, identical protases). See also ibid. 146:9 and 149:31.

196 See, for example, the omens cited by Boissier Choix, p. 94f, and KAR 423 i 17-22 (5 liq-te ša BE GAG.ZAG.GA). This equation was first noted by Boissier in OLZ 11 (1908) 456ff.

Ivan Starr

Ivan Starr, 'Other Parts and Features of the Exta', Queries to the Sungod: Divination and Politics in Sargonid Assyria, SAA 4. Original publication: Helsinki, Helsinki University Press, 1990; online contents: SAAo/SAA04 Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2020 [http://oracc.org/otherpartsandfeaturesoftheexta/]

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