Large Old Babylonian Cuneiform Clay Tablet Fragment


A fragment of Western Asiatic, Old Babylonian clay tablet. It is inscribed with cuneiform text to both sides in horizontal registers. This is a fragment of a whole tablet.

Date: Circa 18th – 17th century BC
Provenance: The property of a London gentleman and housed in London before 1992. Thence by descent to family members.
Condition: Fine condition, signs of cracks and chips remain visible to the surfaces. A surface section is missing from the bottom left corner of the front, and along the top of the obverse. There is also some minor staining to the surface.

In stock

SKU: RF-017 Category: Tags: , ,

One in a specialised collection of cuneiform texts, examined by Professor Wilfrid George Lambert FBA (1926-2011), a specialist in Assyriology and Near Eastern archaeology, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The collection is exceptional for its variety, and the very rare and well-preserved examples. Cuneiform writing was one of the earliest forms of writing, developed in the ancient lands of Mesopotamia. Babylonian society was complex and had a need, as we do today, to record such things as temple acquisitions, land transactions, financial loans, as well as their epic stories and personal letters. They would write these documents and letters on a wet clay tablet, which was then dried, retaining the inscriptions. 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 249.9 g
Dimensions L 10.9 x W 2.8 x H 8.8 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For similar: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 86.11.62

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