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    Sale 1915

    Antiquities

    6 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 68

    AN OLD BABYLONIAN SERPENTINE CUNEIFORM TABLET

    CIRCA 2000-1800 B.C.

    Price Realised  

    AN OLD BABYLONIAN SERPENTINE CUNEIFORM TABLET
    CIRCA 2000-1800 B.C.
    The rectangular tablet with an inscription in twelve lines on the obverse, three on the reverse, in Babylonian cuneiform with a list of personal names, indicating that all were present on some occasion, reading, "Bala-Nanna, Nanna-mansum ... , Narâm-Ea, Ur-Ninurta, Nanna-mansum, Ili-iddinash, Nanna-sig, Inim-Nanna, Ipiq-Adad, Ku-Nanna, Narâm-ilishu, Sîn-ennam, Lugal-geshtu-igigal, Sîn-ennam were present"
    2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm.) long


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    In this period it was customary to use clay for tablets rather than stone as it was inexpensive and easily worked. The fact that a stone tablet was used in this case indicates that the occasion recorded must have had some importance. It is probable that these people had assembled for some serious purpose, perhaps a law case, or the appointment of a high official.

    The name Nanna-mansum appears twice. The first time with an indecipherable sign, which likely differentiates the two.

    Provenance

    Israeli Collection, 1970s.
    Acquired by the current owner in 1988.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN