Identification of Training Processes within the Nuzi Scribes Families: The Case of the Apil-Sin Family

Véronique Pataï, University of Lyon

Approximately 6,000 tablets were discovered in Nuzi and nearly 300 scribes produced this documentation. The indication of their patronym allows sometimes to identify scribes families on several generations. In 1962, Ernst René Lacheman identified the scribe’s family of Lu-Nanna, Inb-adad and Apil-Sin. Others members of this latter family were identified especially by Gernot Wilhelm in 1970, then Jeanette Fincke in 2009. Gernot Wilhem qualified this family as a “school” because the names of the members of this family may have a different ethnic origin from one generation to another as demonstrated by Ignace Gelb and his team in 1943. The studies conducted by Paola Negri Scafa and Jeanette Fincke in 2015, allowed to affirm that it was a family and not a school.

Thanks to the analysis of the corpus of some members of the Apil-Sin family, we can partly identify the training processes, which are otherwise poorly documented (the Nuzi corpus has yielded a limited group of 9 school tablets). For example a few scribes have the same employers, and share some elements in their writing style. Sometimes scribes are present as witnesses in tablets written by their sons, their brothers or their nephews. This paper will present the finds resulting from the analysis of the corpus of a few scribes of the Apil-Sin family and the elements constitutive of their training process.