Cuneiform Tablets
at Bridwell Library
A. V. Lane Museum Contents Digital Resources A. V. Lane Bridwell Library Home

Note to the Readers from the Curator

The A. V. Lane Museum purchased a number of cuneiform tablets over the course of several years beginning in  1929, mostly from Dr. Edgar James Banks.  In 1933, Professor  I. H. Hicks sent twelve of the tablets to Samuel I. Feigin at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago for translations. For many years, the Tablets were on display as part of the A.V. Lane Museum collection. They were relocated to Bridwell Library when the Lane Museum merged with the library's own collection. Several of these tablets are of special historical interest, as they originate from the site of Abu Jamous, near Babylon; comparatively few tablets have been found at this site.  Over the years the tablets have been exhibited and moved many times and  identifications are no longer certain. Please email comments or corrections to Special Collections. Thank you.


[Tablet No. 1.] Abu Jamous, 1900 B.C. Clay Tablet.

Tablet from Abu Jamous

Bibliographic description:
Tablet from a ruin called Abu Jamous, near Babylon, where but few tablets have been discovered. They are of a greater historical value than those from ruins like Drehm or Jokha, where many tablets have been found. 2000 B.C. Cuneiform writing is very distinct. Tan in color, 9 cm. long by  5 cm. wide by 3 cm. thick.

Hammurabi-rim-[i1i?], the son of Sin-magir, bought 3 1/2(?) sar of built house from Ilushu-naeir, the son of Ingur-Shamash, for 6 1/2 shekels of silver. The seller and all his heirs swore never to contest the sale. Seven witnesses, the first of them an anointer.

For full transcription (link)

[Tablet No. 2.] Abu Jamous, 2214 B.C. Clay Tablet.


Small tablet from Abu Jamous
Bibliographic Description:
Tablet from a ruin called Abu Jamous, near Babylon.(see note on one above)
This one is almost a lead color on one side and the other has a streak of lead color and the other corner is much lighter. 6 cm. long by 5 cm. wide by 2.5 cm. thick


The farmer Zurnakum borrows 1 kor 180 qas of barley fran the shepherd
Siya to pay the wages of his five worbuen for one day. The farmer Belieri seals
it in the name of Zumakuin, The debt is to be paid in harvest iime Three witnesses.

1. 1 + 180 e-gur 1 kor 180 (qas) of barley
2. kal-bi 5 u4-l- its workmen are five for one day;
3. se-gur10-d in the harvest of barley,
4. sag-bi ge-ge-dam its capital he will return
5. ki Si-a-a na-qad-ta fran Siya, the shepherd,
6. Zu-ma-ku-um engar  Zumakum, the farmer
7. u-ba-ti has borrowed for himself.
8. mu Zu-ma-ku-um- For the name of Zumakun
9. kiib Be-1-rei engar the seal of Beli-rei, the farmer.
10. Ilu-ta-bi  Ilu-tbi;
11. ur-dSul-pa- akab Ur-Shulpae, the shoemaker;
12. A-da-ll Adalal
13. l-inim-ma-bi-me are its witnesses
14. mu dGimil-dSin the year in which the deified Gimil-Sin,
15. lugal uriki-ma the king of Ur,
16. ma-da Za-ab-a-li in which the land of Zabshali
17. im-mu-hul-a has devastated.


[Tablet No. 3.] 2221-2213 B.C. Clay Tablet.

Bibliographic description:
4cm. long by 4 wide by 1.5 cm thick

 Gjjujl-Njnshubur borrows 10 shekels of silver from Si
. Three witnesses.


1. 10 gn k-babbar 10 shekels silver,
2. ki Si-a-a-ta from Siya
3. Gimil-dNin-ubur Gimil-Ninshubur
4. u-ba-ti has borrowed.
5. igi Ga-zu-a hum Before Gazua, the grinder;
6. igi Nu-r--1 before Nr-ili;
7. igi Gimil-Ma-ma before Gimil-Mama.
. itu Gi-dug-ga The month the good reed.

Note: The provenance is according to the statement of the dealer Abu-Jamous.

Tablets from Abu Jamous

[Tablet No. 5.] First Half of the Third Millenium. Clay Tablet.

Bibliographic description:
Inventory Tablet belonging to the ear1ier part of the Ur III Dynasty or the latter part of the Dynasty of Akkad (the first half of the third millenium B.C.) 8.5 cm long by 5 cm wide by 2.5 cm thick.

The tablet consists
of an inventory of sheep and lambs. The first eight lines
(the first line is completely broken) list a number
of sheep and lambs which had been received from various individuals; the total is stated in the especially spaced line following. The tablet then continues with a detailed description of the uses to which these animals were put; thus: 9 were taken as royal tax; others were set aside for individuals or places mentioned. The following is the transliteration and translation of the legible portions of the tablet (dots indicate either a break or illegibility due to the condition of the tablet)

1. ...................................... ......................................
2. 3...................................... ......................................
3. 2 silaki-......................... 2 lambs from ................
4. 1 silaki-........................ 1 lambs from ................
5. 2 sila4 ki-A.KU ............ 2 lambs from .................
30 sheep from ..............
7. 6 udu mu-tum GR ki ....... 6 sheep brought by the official from .......
8. 1 sila4 ki-la-te -ni(?)-?-ta 1 lamb from ..........
9. 60 + 30 + 3 93(total)
From their midst (the following were removed for specialized purposes)
11. 3 udu s-du 3 sheep, the satuqqu offering
12. 3 sila4 dnin-k-nu-na 3 lambs for dninkununa
13. 1 sila4 ?-ka 1 lamb for ...........
14. 2 Sila4 dlugal- u4- da 2 lambs for dLugaludda
15. 10-lal-l 9 (total)
1. zi-ga lugal royal tax
2. 10 udu --gal-e AS.KU-da (?)-lum(?) 10 sheep to the palace ..........
3. ... udu.k.nanna(?) ... sheep to the gate of Nanna(?)
4. 2 udu ... dam(?) a-la-mu 2 sheep ... the wife? of Alamu
5. 1 udu lal-ni a-la-mu... 1 sheep...
6. 10 + 3 13
7. 16 ....da.......gub-ba ......stationed at ........
8. 5 ........... ..............
18 sheep
10. 17 ...... abra ....... 17 sheepp

uncertain whether the last line and lower edge were inscribed.

Large Clay Tablet

[Tablet No. 6.] 2222 B.C. Clay Tablet.
Small clay tablet Bibliographic Description:
2 cm long by 2 cm wide by 1 cm thick.

Shulgi-urtmiu receives from Zubaga three killed sheep, namely, one goat, one lamb, and one milk lamb for the 16th day.

1. l uz one goat
2. 1 sil one lamb
3. 1 sil-ga one milk lamb
4. ba- u4 16-kam killed ones, (for) the 16th day
3. ki Zu-ba-ga-ta from Zubaga
dul-gi-uru-mu Shulgi-urumu
7. u-ba-ti has received.
8. itu Ma-d-k The month Mashduku (1st)
9. mu en dNannar year: the high priest of Nannar
10. kar-zi-da ba-tg of Karzida was invested
Left edge.  
udu 3 sheep.

Note: : For the same men see G. Contenau, Contribution a lhistoire
Economique d' Umma

[Tablet No. 7.] 2235 BC. Clay Tablet.

Bibliographic description:
4 cm long by  4 cm wide by 1.5 cm thick.


(1)1 Pi z-gu-lugal 60 royal qa of gu-flour
(2) ki e-a-ni-ta from his brother
(3) kiib Igi-uru-u-d(?) The seal of Igi-urushudu(?);
(4) -bal-a  In the store house(?)
(5) mu en dNannar The year: The high priest of Nannar
(6) ma-e -p by a sign was chosen.

Small clay tablet

[Tablet No. 9.] 2233 B.C. Clay Tablet.


Small clay tablet
Bibliographic description:
Smallest tablet, almost white and very clear writing. 3 cm long by 3 cm wide by 1 cm thick.

Eri-du, which he has apparently leased from its owner for a certain amount of barley.


(1) 1 + 90 e-gur lugal 1 kor 90 qa barley in the royal gur
(2) lal-ni e a- Eri-du7 the balance of the barley of the field of Eridu,
(3) L-dingir-ra dumu Lu-dingirra, the son of
(4) He-ti Heti
(6) su-su-dam he shall add (pay)
(6) mu Ur-bi (l)- the year Urbillum
(7) lum ba-hul was devastated..
[Tablet No. 10.] 2294-2187 B.C. Clay Tablet.

Bibliographic Description:
Almost white. The small one at the left goes inside the broken one at right. 3 cm long by 3.5 cm wide by 1 cm thick.

Summary: Abil-Ati borrowed from Lu-Innini 4 kors barley, the wages of a hireling.
(1) 4 e-gur lugal 4 kors barley in the royal measure
(2) ki L-dInnini-ka Lu-Innini
(3) l hun-g the wages of a hireling
(4) A-bil-A-ti Abil-Ati
(5) u-ba-ti he borrowed for himself.
(6) itu Ki-sg-dNin- The month Kisig-Ninazu.
(7) a-zu  
(i) [4] e gur lugal 4 kors of barley in the royal measure
(2) [ki] L-Innini-ka fran Lu-Innini
(3) l hun-g the wages of a hireling
(4) A-bil-A-ti Abil-Ati
(5) u-ba-ti has borrowed,


Clay tablet and case

[Tablet No. 12.] 2213 B.C. Clay Tablet..
Bibliographic Description:
Grayish tan on one side and a good deal of tan showing through on the other. 1-1/2" long by 1-1/4" wide

An apple, as a sacrifice, covered in a bowl(?), entered the palace for five days beginning with the morning of the eighth day of the month of Shekarragalla.

1. gi hahur s-dug4 an apple, a sacrifice
2. bur-e--a in a bowl, covered,
3. itu e-kar-ra-gl-la-ta from the month of Shekarragalla
4. u4 8 ba-ra-zal-la-ta from the 8th day in the morningg
5. u4 5- -gal-la
6. tur-ra entered
7. gr Ab-ba-gir the "foot" (man) Abbagur
8. itu e-kar-ra-gl-laq the month of Shekarragalla
9. mu dGimil-dSin the year Gimil-sin
10. lugal Uri-ki- the king of Ur
11. ma  
12. m-gur8-mah the lofty sail(?)-boat
13. dEn-lil dNin-lil-ra for Enlil and Ninlil
14. mu ne-dim he built for them..

Small clay tablet

Top Digital Resources Contact Special Collections A.V. Lane Museum
BRIDWELL LIBRARY SMU Home Perkins School of Theology Home
Webdesign and photography by Katherine Swan Wright
     Images may not be published without the permission of Bridwell Library.
     Copyright 2007  Bridwell Library. All rights reserved.