A Sumerian cuneiform clay tablet with envelope, 2200-1900 B.C.

A Sumerian cuneiform clay tablet with envelope, 2200-1900 B.C.

Code: 2818


Description: A good-sized cuneiform adminstrative clay tablet with clear cuneiform text on both sides still partially retained in its original clay envelope. The envelope with worn text on both faces and faint seal impressions on the sides. The envelope fragmentary and has been cut longitudinally to expose the tablet, the top and bottom ends of the envelope lost with irregular break lines, from southern Iraq.

Size: The tablet, 55 x 40 x 20 mm/2.1 x 1.6 x 0.8 in., the envelope 60 x 53 x 30 mm/2.3 x 2 x 1.2 ins.

Culture: Sumerian

Date: Third Dynasty of Ur, c. 2200-1900 B.C.

Provenance: Ex London private collection and acquired from a LAPADA dealer some 20 years ago (supplied with the LAPADA dealers ticket).

Notes: Clay tablets were enclosed in ‘envelopes’ – wrappers of clay inscribed with the substance of the text on the enclosed tablet and then rolled with the scribe’s seal. This prevented the tablet from being altered. In a dispute, a document was only admissable if it could be produced in its unopened envelope.

In our opinion a rather paler shade of brown than suggested by the photographs.