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192 Reading 9-3 showed improvement, he was to water it a 4th time, and thus get an extra yield of 10%. When the time came for harvesting, the farmer was not to wait until the barley bent under its own weight, but was to cut it “in the day of its strength”; that is, just at the right moment. Three men worked as a team on the standing grain-a reaper, a binder, and a third whose duties are not clear. The threshing which followed immediately upon the harvesting was done by means of a sledge drawn back and forth over the heaped-up grain stalks for a period of f ve days. The barley was then “opened” with an “opener,” which was drawn by oxen. By this time, however, the grain had become unclean through con- tact with the ground. Therefore, following an appropriate prayer, the grain was winnowed with pitchforks, laid on sticks, and thus freed of dirt and dust. The document closes with the statement that the agricultural rules laid down were not the farmer’s own but those of the god Ninurta, the son and “true farmer” of the leading Sumerian deity, Enlil. In order that the reader might taste the real
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course HIST 302 taught by Professor Jensic during the Summer '10 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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