Babylonian Cuneiform Administrative Document


A fine example of an Old Babylonian administrative document. It comprises a rectangular tablet made of baked clay, which is incised with clear cuneiform text on the obverse, reverse, and two sides. The remaining two sides have cylinder seal impressions, which show standing figures in long robes.

Date: Circa 1900 - 1700 BC
Period: Old Babylonian Period
Provenance: Ex collection of the late Professor Geoffrey Wilson (Warks).
Condition: Complete and intact, very fine condition.


SKU: AS-3427 Category: Tag:

Cuneiform was one of the earliest forms of writing, developed in the ancient lands of Mesopotamia. The complex social structure of Babylonian society created a need to make records, which pertained to temple acquisitions, land transactions, financial loans, and so on. In addition, they preserved their epic stories and personal letters in writing. They would write these documents and letters on a wet clay tablet, which was then dried.

Cuneiform is instantly recognisable by the wedge-shaped marks, usually pressed into clay tablets. Indeed, the name ‘cuneiform’ literally means “wedge-shaped”. The text would have been written using a blunt reed.

Weight 35 g
Dimensions W 3.5 x H 4.5 cm


Pottery and Porcelain