In Your Mouth And In Your ????

Claude Mariottini reminded me of an abnormally interesting paper by Nathan Wasserman and Michael Streck, “Dialogues and Riddles: Three Old Babylonian Wisdom Texts,” Iraq 73, 2011, 117-26. There are a lot of fun and colorful things on these tablets and some really hard problems.
Here is a riddle from IM 10836:5-8. The answer is indented here and apparently on the tablet.
i-na pi-ka ú ši-na-ti-ka
SÌLA be-li-ka
In your mouth and your urine,
constantly stared at you,
the measure of your lord.
Do take a look at Wasserman and Streck. My translation is somewhat different than theirs. Also take a look at their notes. It just might be that on should translate the first line “In your mouth and in your teeth.” I think Wasserman and Streck prefer “teeth” but only by a small margin. Even the answer is unclear. Some would read MUMUx, “malt” but like Wasserman and Streck, I find KAŠ, “beer” somewhat more satisfying. The whereabouts of this tablet is unknown and neither it nor photographs of it are available for study. Too bad. We might be able to resolve the issue of the answer to the riddle if we could see the tablet.
Update: Claude pointed out that my attempt to directly link to the paper does not work (or no longer works). Here is the link to Nathan Wasserman’s Google publication page. Once there, go about half way down to entry 5.27 and take the link in brackets. At least for now that will get the paper.

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