Agricultural adminitrative archive texts

Clay tablets

Old Babylonian period, Hammurabi (c. 1760 B.C.E.)

These tablets are from the areas of Larsa and Lagash. They were studied and published by Maria deJong Ellis in 1977.   The tablets are reports by individual cultivators, or ishshakkus, regarding the cultivation of state-owned fields and their production.

The tablets have a basic format of one entry explaining an enumeration of fields and their harvests. The number of oxen involved in cultivation is also mentioned. All three Free Library texts are from the the 33rd year of Hammurabi’s reign. FLP 1884 has the seal of the ishshakku as well as that of the shassuku or land recorder. FLP 1883 has the seal of the ishshakku, whose name in this case was Mannum-mahir-shunu: his seal is visible on the surface.  FLP 1829 was never sealed. It mentions to whom the state land has been assigned. It also notes the availability of the use of land for the year to come.

FLP 1884, 1883, 1829


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The Rare Book Department is in the Parkway Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
This entry was posted in Documents, Hammurabi (c. 1792-1750 B.C.E.), Old Babylonian Period (c. 2000-1600 B.C.E.). Bookmark the permalink.

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